My 101st half marathon, which was the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Half Marathon, was really supposed to be my 100th. But I somehow squeezed another half marathon in the prior weekend, making it #101 instead.
If you’re wondering how I felt running #101 vs. #100, let me tell you – there were equally the same levels of pre-race jitters and anxiety. I think sometimes the more novice you are, the less nervous you are on race day due to being both oblivious and excited.
Now, not only was this my 101st half marathon race, I was also completing my 200th race, so, as you can expect, I was crazy nervous!!!
The morning of the race was wet, cold and windy; it wasn`t nice at all, and was drastically different than the weather that Vancouver had experienced last weekend (sun, sun, sun). I got myself prepared with a garbage bag, a cheap pair of mitts, a long sleeve shirt to layer over my singlet, and an old pair of shoes. I factored in so many variables to make sure nothing went wrong.
From the start of the race and throughout, there was a head wind which was less than ideal. For parts of the race, I actually had to hang on to my cap so it didn`t get blown away. And the rain kept falling. In fact, it was heavy rain for all day.
Luckily, living in Vancouver, I am so accustomed to the rain that I actually ended up having a stronger race in this lousy weather. I reasoned that it was because I didn`t want to suffer in the cold and wet weather as long, so that was my motivation to speed up!
I ran mostly the same course last year, except I did the full marathon. Interestingly enough, the weather between this year`s and last year`s race day was really day & night. Last year was so brutally hot (above 20 degrees), I felt like dying in the heat; while this year the temperature hovered around only 4 degrees.
Despite the natural, uncontrollable factors, the course was very nice. We started from the North York City Hall (which is considered uptown) of Toronto, and the route took us straight down Yonge Street (which was formerly known as the longest street in the world until 1999), towards downtown Toronto. It is very neat, as we ran by some very pretty neighbourhoods. Namely, York Mills, Yonge-Lawrence, Yonge-St. Clair, Rosedale, Yorkville, and past the downtown financial district to finish at Ontario Place.
I highly recommend this half marathon if you happen to be looking for a race to run in Toronto. Very well-organized and the medal is very big and nice! The race itself is a great way to see the city of Toronto.
Now I have completed two of the big Toronto races: the GoodLife Fitness Half Marathon this past weekend, the GoodLife Fitness Full last year; and the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon many years ago – completing both the full and half. These races are totally a must-do for all Canadians.
So having done over 100 half marathons, I have been to some very interesting places. I will discuss that topic in another post.
This journey really has been more than about numbers of races, it has confirmed my belief that anything is POSSIBLE if you put your mind to it! Happy Running!