Event: 2014 Chilly Half Marathon
Date: March 2, 2014
Location: Burlington, ON
I am sure a lot of you have either ran this race yourself or read a previous race report, which makes it difficult to shed any new light on the race. There have been some recent petitions to change the route of this race from residents along lakeshore and to also change the start time to 7am from the current 10am.
I can understand the frustration on the part of the residents that the route blocks them into their houses for a few hours but the route and start time are a very good selling point of this race. There is also a number for the residents to call if they need any assistance during the race. The 10am start time is important to me for the following reasons: a) it is still cold in early March b) it would still be dark at 7am c) this runner doesn’t like cold and dark things. And I absolutely love this route. It is essentially an out and back which really shortens the distance lost on tangents but most importantly the course is really flat. There are a few small rolling inclines and declines which changes up the muscle groups a bit, but I don’t think it is a coincidence that both times I have ran this race I have set a PB.
As for the 2014 running of this event I can provide some details of the day. We all know that it hasn’t been the best winter for training due to wind, snow, ice and extreme cold conditions and I was pretty worried that I was either going to be running through 3 feet of snow, 60kph winds, or -28 degree temps. I wouldn’t say I was pleasantly surprised, but a lot of the snow we received on the morning of the race was off the roads, there was an only small amount of wind and it was a warm -13 degrees. It really was cold on this day, but it was bearable. The cold just meant I had to time my warm up to leave me at the start line right before the gun goes off and prior to that I huddled in City Hall trying to stay warm and question my sanity.
The earlier snow and cold weather did cause some minor problems in the race though. The water at the aid stations consisted of 50% water and 50% ice which made them a little difficult to get the needed amount. I would just get a quick sip and melt the ice chunks for the next few steps. One thing I would suggest is not using plastic cups. It might be just me but I always fold the cups to make an easily drinkable spout, but with the plastic cups I forget and end up crushing them causing some wet hands and usually shorts. The earlier snow created a few slushy areas and runners would avoid these spots which created a few passing difficulties. These problems are very minor and really didn’t affect my race in the grand scheme of things, but I have to write about something.
I did hear about some timing issues with some people not seeing their names on the race results. I am not sure if this was rectified, but it might be worth sticking with one of the main timing companies. Also, I had a hard time finding the race results online afterwards as there were no mention of where to locate them.
As always the free Chilly was hot and the free beer was cold. It is always nice to sit down after the race with the group you went down with and appreciate the company and exercise. I should also note that parking around the start line fills up fast and even an hour before the race we were one of the last spots in our parking lot. There is a free shuttle from the GO station that is recommended. Parking in most city lots on Sundays is free, which is in my price range.
This is a fairly expensive ½ marathon and if it wasn’t for the added extras it definitely wouldn’t be worth the large entry fee. With the running jacket, chilli, beer and kick off to the running season it falls into the category of good value for the money. The only problem is that if you run this event on an annual basis, exactly what are you to do with 8 Chilly Half Marathon Jackets.
Thanks Chilly for another good event and kick off to the racing season.