Sunday, August 28, 2011

Race Report: Toronto Women's Run 5k

This weekend we drove five hours so I could run 5k with some dear friends from university at the Toronto Women's Run.

We did it!
I am very happy to say that my time - 34:29 chip time - was a personal record, beating my time from my only other 5k by almost 2.5 minutes!  I have my fantastic friends to thank for that, especially my friend Jessica who made her personal goal for the race to pull me to a personal record.  She didn't let me slow down for even a second, even during our walking breaks (we did 10/1 run/walks).  At the finish she sped up and yelled that I had to chase her if I wanted to cross the line together.  I definitely had a burst of energy after that but crossed the line a couple seconds after her.

Here are my splits according to my Garmin (which is a little off my chip time):
  • 1 - 6:43
  • 2 - 6:48
  • 3 - 6:42
  • 4 - 7:00
  • 5 - 6:56
  • to end (0.07) - 0:21
Not bad, if I do say so myself!  I felt great through the whole race, which was a nice change from my first 5k when I was ready to fall over by the end.  We maintained a nice pace and we were able to chat most of the time.  I am always amazed how fast I really can run when someone else pushes me.  I rarely hit this sort of pace when I'm running on my own, but know that I can hit it and could run even faster based on the fact that we could chat the whole time.

Other than getting me to a PR, I made it our goal to get good (or at least funny) race photos.  After my horrible pictures from the Ottawa race (no you can't see them) and reading Caitlin's great post on perfect race photographs, I was a woman on a mission.  We ended up with a bunch of awesome pictures that look more or less like this:

We are awesome.

And a couple where we looked like serious runners:

I love that we look like we might even be winning here (we were not).

I am actually tempted to order one of the professional photos!  I never thought that would happen.

There was also a photographer near the finish that we didn't see, so we ended up with more not so attractive pictures from there, but at least I look like I'm having a good time:

I wonder what was playing on my iPod?!
The race route was very enjoyable .  It was not too flat but not too hilly, and surprisingly not crowded for such a narrow pathway and so many women running an out-and-back course.  They had course marshals all along the route making sure everyone kept moving in the right direction, and they made a great cheer squad, which was good because only the start/finish really had room for our support crews.

The race itself was well organized.  They had signs at the starting line for us to organize ourselves as to when we thought we would finish, gave plenty of warning as to when the start was, and the finish wasn't  too crowded considering they had to give everyone a medal and get everyone's chip timer off their shoe. We went right into the recovery area afterwards where we could meet our support people and get water/sports drinks and a lunch bag with treats (banana, breakfast bun, chocolate, etc.)  I was really worried about finding parking but they kept all the cars moving to the next available parking area and it was no trouble at all.

Nom nom nom!

The race fee was just under $40 and for that we got a short sleeved tech t-shirt, great race bling, and lots of food and other treats both at the finish and in our race kits, including chocolate!  The race shirts are really cute but a little small - I'm glad I ordered a large!  It *just* fits.

Race bling!
Overall it was a great race experience, not just from the perspective of my performance but the race as a whole.  I would definitely return and run a race at this series again, and hope my friends are up for meeting at the October race in a few months!

P.S. See those nifty matching Bondi bands?  Stay tuned for a review of them (preview: they are AWESOME) and a chance to win one of your own.

4 comments:

  1. Great job on the 5K!

    I agree with you that if I wasn't running the race, I would have stayed out of the park or changed my route.

    I came home on Saturday and registered for October's 5K! Looking forward to it.

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  2. I think we are all going to sign up for the October 5k as well. Looking forward to another run on that course.

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  3. Congrats, sounds like a great, fun race! Having someone to run with always helps!

    Super jealous of the chocolate!

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  4. @Kim I forgot to mention that the water stations were manned by firefighters! :-)

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