Road2Hope Marathon is held in Hamilton usually in November. This year it was held on Sunday November 5 – along with a half marathon. This year they held a 5 and 10 k race on the Saturday. What a beautiful day the Saturday was – sunny and warmish. Sadly I did not make it to pick up my bib – my daughter picked it up for me from the expo. She says it was a well attended expo with the usual vendors and exhibitors.
The race on the Sunday for the Marathon was at 7-45 and the half marathon 8am. The day started damp wet and early.
My daughter and i parked the car at the finish in Confederation park and boarded one of many buses. Our bus driver seemed to enjoy slamming on the brakes – maybe it was to wake all the sleepy heads up! We were taken up the mountain to the start line – a warm community centre with little indoor bathrooms. It took about half an hour to bus it there. Once there you could do your bag check.
The full marathoners were asked at 7-35 to make it to the start line……..we were singing OH Canada and the heavens opened. We were soaked. The race started. We had rolling hills for about 20k with nice open fields and good footings on asphalt roads….the rain was just drizzle at this point. Water stations were plentiful with very happy volunteers. We ran through a residential area where the roads intersections didn’t have volunteers – which was a bit scary – as drivers didn’t want to wait! We made it to the Red Valley parkway and thankfully it was closed to all vehicles – it was lovely and downhill! We then had a short trail to run on once we exited the parkway – the trail was narrow and wet and muddy but nothing we couldn’t handle. We made it down to the lakeshore trail and the end was in sight. Lots of cheering crowds in this part which was good as we were at 32k. The finish line was a little congested and i was a bit disappointed i didn’t get a jacket that used to be handed out to runners at the end – we did get an amazing medal and a foil blanket. The food was a bit blah – cold pizza and the usual banana – but given in a warm tent.
I did enjoy the race and yes i would do it again. I did qualify for Boston again which was a bonus. I was wet tired and cold so we didn’t stick around or festivities or awards – have a feeling they may have already been done! in 2016 my daughter did this marathon and we loved the music and festivities put on at the finish line.
Highly recommend the race – fast and well organised with plenty of water stations and cheering spectators.