Wow, can’t believe it’s been almost 3 weeks since the event! Nike Women’s Toronto 15k is a pretty impressive from a logistics perspective. 10,000 runners (from over 20 countries) converging in Toronto to take ferries to an island to run a loop. In addition to all the runners there were all of the Nike employees/food vendors/park crew/medical crew/police/airport workers/volunteers to organize. Not that I’ve been in a lot of big races but this was by far the smoothest race logistically I’ve been in.
The alarm went off race morning so much earlier than I would have liked. Then the flurry of activity commenced. Dressing, packing, eating (and trying to figure out the right amount to eat), checking the weather (decent with storms in the afternoon), layering, loading the car. All done in 30-40 minutes. Then we had the walk to the ferry. All the time me looking at my phone saying we’re going to miss our ferry, we’re going to miss our ferry, we’re going to miss our ferry. We got to our ferry line and within 5 minutes were loaded and headed out to Toronto Island. Arriving on the island, there was so much to see and do before our wave (wave 6) went off. Making our way to bag check we passed an amazing drum core, hydration stations, food stations, medical tents, heat sheet tents, temporary tattoo stations, stretching areas, etc. When we had 45 min before the race started we shed our layers, checked our bags, and got in line for the bathrooms. After only 25 minutes we were finished with our pit stop and stepped outside into…sprinkles. Cold sprinkles. None of the lovely spring/summer warm sprinkles, cold sprinkles with overcast skies. Then the cold sprinkles turned to cold rain. We grabbed heat sheets and headed to our corral. The heat sheets were wonderful and made the wait bearable. They kept our heads dry and upper bodies warm enough. Unfortunately that left our legs exposed. We waited in our corral in the rain as the first wave went off, then we all moved up and waited for the second, third, fourth. While we were waiting for the fifth wave to start the rain cleared up and we had some blue sky! We shed our heat sheets and after a few minutes we were on our way! We made the mistake of starting in the middle of our wave. We got hung up behind a lot of people who misjudged their speed during the first mile. After the first few kms of paved road, we transitioned to an off road path with decent footing (no ankle turners!) Another km or two and we were back on paved road, turned the corner and there was the airport! We got to run on one of the runways, with a plane taking off, and Toronto in the background! Most of the rest of the race was on various paved paths on the island. It was wonderful having the varied scenery that the island provided. There are so many distance races that are so strung out you can go miles without seeing a spectator. Here however, there were people around pretty much all the time. There were the usual water and medical locations but also a few not so usual. There were two drum cores and 2 miles from the end, a gospel choir. What a good way to raise spirits and stay motivated! There was a section where a bunch of cancer survivors were cheering us all on and a bunch of people with signs (favorite being “sexiest parade ever”) A favorite of ours was the random spectators giving high-fives. As Brenna said, I’ll never turn down a good high-five!
One of the difficulties I had was pacing. Without having done a lot of (long) training runs I didn’t know what pace I should try to maintain so I tried to go with what felt aggressive without being killer. Brenna had forgotten her watch at home so all we had to go on was the mile splits I would call out. Talking after, we were both having the same internal struggle of this is tough and I want to slow down/walk but she isn’t so I can’t! By time we got to the last mile-ish we were on the boardwalk running right along the water, so beautiful! We really picked up our pace for the last mile and then again for the last km and did an extra push when we saw the finish line! It felt so good crossing the finish line. Tired and happy 🙂 We grabbed some water and finisher snacks and headed to get our finisher pendants. The cool thing about the Nike women’s races? Instead of the typical finisher’s medals, you get a Tiffany’s necklace!
And two minutes later it started raining again. We grabbed used heat sheets and, shivering, got our bags from gear check and headed back to the ferry. Once on land we made a soggy slog the Nike Women’s Village for some finisher’s gear, then back to the car and our drive home. Another fine adventure and good time!
Here is the break down of our actual run:
|mile 10 (actually .42 miles)
||3:44 min (8:58 pace)
When I registered I put our goal time as 1:30 and considering my late watch stoppage, I’d say we reached our goal!!! According to the results online I finished 2663 out of 9168 finishers and 301 out of 1171 in my age group! Which puts me in the top 30% overall and top 25ish% in my age group! I’m pretty freakin’ proud of how I did 🙂