About the Race:
The Toronto Marathon (I did the Half Marathon) runs primarily along Yonge Street, starting at Yonge and Shepherd and ending at the Better Living Centre. For the race, it was sunny around 6C to 11C and it heated up during the race. All things considered, these were great conditions for a run.
For race gear – this was the first time trying out my new Team Running Free Gear and it was comfortable to wear the vest (although it did heat up quite a bit long the course). It was also amazing to see fellow team members on the course who cheered and offered words of encouragement.
Upon starting the race, the first thing that stood out was that there weren’t as many attendees as there were in other Toronto races. Having run the Scotiabank Waterfront run I was expecting a huge crowd, however runners seemed to fit within a block. So, if you’re looking for less weaving at the start line, this would be a good race.
On the course signage consisted of white boards with orange text for kilometer markers, which were clearly visible at every kilometer. While there was some controversy with runners complaining that the course was longer than it should have been, I noticed that in past races that the run my phone app records is usually a bit off in distance because the route can be made a bit longer if you’re weaving, or not following the mapped route exactly, and on occasion the GPS tracking can be a bit off when in high traffic areas. So any results recorded should be taken with a grain of salt.
On a more disappointing note, the water stations left a lot to be desired. When at a station, the volunteers were amazing and water or Gatorade was quickly handed out, however there was no designated bins to throw used cups in, so the grounds were quickly littered with plastic cups. Also there were water stations missing which were clearly marked on the route map (specifically between the 9km to 16km mark). Perhaps they were smaller or out of the way, but for those in need of hydration it was frustrating not to have them readily available. They also served Clif Gels Chews on the course at apx 8km which was a nice treat, albeit a bit early for a half.
The Half Marathon finished around the same time and in the same spot as the 10km and full marathon so that if you’re meeting up with other runs doing another distance it is very well timed. It also makes for a busy finishing zone, so if you’re looking for a friend (like I was) it can be challenging to navigate through the crowd.
While this wasn’t a personal favourite, I’m glad to have run a half so early in the season to set a baseline for the rest of the year.