On Sunday May 22nd, I ran my 103rd half marathon in Whitby, Ontario – a city located approximately 40 minutes south east of Toronto situated on the north shore of Lake Ontario. It was the Whitby International Marathon.
The morning of the race, the sun was strong and the air was hot. The start of the race was mixed with both half marathon runners, of which there weren’t that many, as well as the 10K and 5K runners. Because of this, it definitely was enticing to push my pace more. The half marathoners ran one loop while the full marathoners had to do two loops.
This course was not exactly flat as there were a few rolling hills; not significant but enough to test our legs. The route was very scenic, as a great part of the route hugged Lake Ontario. On this hot sunny morning, the sun glistened over the lake, making the colour extra blue. It was very beautiful and worth a trip out to Whitby if you are ever in Toronto. Just beware, there were many many bugs by the lake. Along the course, they stuck to my cap, my forehead and all over my skin, which was kind of unpleasant and uncomfortable.
Overall this was a good race, except in regards to one water station close to the finish where they ran out of cups. They had these water jugs and asked runners to put their hands out if they wanted water. I think organizers should always be well planned and prepared, especially in hot weather. At the finish, there was good recovery food which was all packaged in a large ziploc bag for the finishers.
I enjoyed myself a lot during this race. I received a lot of cheers and words of encouragement from the marathoners going out on their second loop, which was very motivating for me. They helped me realize my race really wasn’t so bad despite the heat.
I met a couple of Half Fanatics and a Marathon Maniac at the start of the race – everyone was so friendly! The association with the Club made it easy to recognize each other instantly. We chatted about how many races we’d all run, which is the general topic of what Half Fanatics and Marathon Maniacs usually talk about! There is for sure a level of mutual respect for one another.
Thanks to the volunteers at the finish. One lady gave me a big hug which I seldom find in big races. That sometimes make a huge difference for the runners!
I am impressed that a small marathon/half marathon could do so much for runners, so hats off to the organizers and volunteers of the Whitby International Marathon! Thanks for a great race! You guys were great 🙂