Here is another race review of the September 9th, 2012 Wasaga Beach Half Marathon. I will split this review up into 2 sections. The first being my journey through the race and the second portion will give a little more detail of the event and course itself.
So, personally I have had a few struggles in the month of August with losing a week due to strep throat, then losing another week with a slight hamstring pull while returning from strep throat and then finally a last week with a busy trip to Paris. So for all the mathematically challenged readers, I missed a total of 3 weeks in August making me a little scared about my upcoming October Marathon.
When I finally got back into the running mode, for some reason I thought it would be best to jump right back in where I left off and ended up with some sore and tired legs. No problem I will just run a half marathon to make things right lol.
So going into this half I was just set on running nice and easy with a goal of completing it. My warmup felt OK with only some slight leg irritation so I decided that I was good to go. I started off fairly conservative for the beginning of a race and found myself running through KM’s at about a 4:43/K pace. Around 8KM’s in my mind started playing tricks on me, telling me that I am not prepared for this race and I should just pack it in, but I was able to bury those thoughts deep inside.
I made it to the turn around and actually started to feel a little more energy but that soon faded as at KM 15 it wasn’t my mind telling me I wasn’t prepared it was my legs. My legs were cramping up and were exhausted so I gave them a quick walking breather. I really wanted to complete this race with no walking (giving up) periods, so this was disappointing. The next few KMs were difficult as I was trying to push, telling myself that it’s only 5K left, but I ended up walking again around 17, 19 etc. KMs. The funny thing as well is every time I would walk for a few seconds I would get passed by this girl, and then I would start running and pass her again only to walk a few more seconds and be passed. This happened about 4 times.
I felt a little bad about this so at the finish line we were going to run in at the same time but I stopped and let her take it. I think she deserved it more than me. I found it funny that as we were running in together people lining the finish chute were yelling “don’t let her chick you”. I laughed and ended up letting her chick me.
For those who don’t know getting ‘chicked’ is when you get beat by a girl. I get ‘chicked’ a lot.
I wasn’t thrilled with my 1:40:12 but I wasn’t disappointed either as I hadn’t been getting in a lot of quality runs lately. There were only 4 people in my age group and I beat them all (lol) to get a undeserved first place age award.
Now for the race itself:
Very small race which is part of a bigger race weekend. There is the main triathlon, try-a-tri etc. on the Saturday with a half marathon and 5K on the Sunday. Terrible weather turned the tri into a duathlon with the competitors being given the option to run the Sunday half for free. Total finishers in the Half Marthon were 132 (72 males , 60 females) with the winning time of 1:16:52.
This was one of the flattest races I have ever run. My garmin, which we all know isn’t really that accurate, listed the total elevation gain as 11m and loss as 8m. Don’t ask me how in an out and back course the loss/gain is not the same but you get the idea, it was a flat race. As I previously stated the course was mostly an out and back with a small loop to start off the race.
The running surface consisted of a mixture of asphalt and packed gravel as we made our way along the waterfront through roads and well packed trails. Looking at the online map I thought it might be a little bit boring as we were running one direction for 11K and then returning along the same path, but I was pleasantly surprised that the trails added some bends and curves other than a simple A to B boring run. It was also nice to look over and see the bay and beach at a couple of the spots.
There is a long flat stretch at the finish line which might make some start their kick a little too early and you were greeted at the finish line with a photographer, and volunteers ready to help you get hydrated. This might be a personal thing, but don’t try the Heed drink if offered. Wow was that disgusting.
Race Kit pickup is available on race day as well as leading up to race day. We arrived slightly over an hour prior to start and were a little surprised that they were still setting up. We picked up our race kits but had to wait a bit to get our timing straps as they hadn’t set up that station yet. I think the slow start was in large part due to the weather the previous day and the morning of. We had everything with plenty of time prior to race start though.
Parking was about 100m from the start/finish area and was offered free of charge. There were about 10 porta potties and open building washroom facilities available.
The start of the race occurred fairly quickly as there was not really a countdown or any anthem, sort of just ‘ready go’. But I have to give it to them, they had some timing equipment problems a couple minutes prior to start and Sportstats hurriedly corrected the issue to allow for a 9:00 am start on the dot.
Results were posted and updated regularly as people came in and the awards presentations started about 2.5-3hrs after the start of the race. Podiums were set up and gold, silver, bronze medals were given to each of the top 3 of the 5 year increments. Podium photos were taken for winning an age group award and as a prize you basically get a coupon code for a picture of your choice of the race.
This would definitely be a PB race and is dated to be a perfect option for those running fall marathons, so I am a bit baffled as to why it doesn’t get that many competitors. I am thinking that marketing has a lot to do with it as I hadn’t heard of this race either until I did a little bit of research into early September halfs.
There are a lot of options around this time of year, but I am glad I gave Wasaga a shot.