As I was running the course I was thinking about how I would blog about it when I wasn’t suffering from a side stitch. It’s been so long since I’ve ran with side stitches, I don’t know what my problem Sunday was! Anyway, I’ve decided I would rate my races from now on, on four criteria: the course (elevation, tangents), amenities (water stops, bathrooms, bag drops, etc), the enthusiasm (both crowds and runners), and the views.
I’m not going to say I loved this course because I didn’t. But I didn’t hate it – it just didn’t fit my usual preferences of having minimal tangents and being less crowded.
Elevation: Very, very flat with a climb in the last 5k. But they stepped you through the climb so it wasn’t too bad.
Tangents: Many and they were narrow in the first 5.5k.
Crowds: It was very crowded the first 5.5k on the island but as races naturally do it thinned out as it went. But I was still surrounded by runners the entire time. This was my biggest race ever with 16,382 half marathon runners and another 3872 for the full. I’m nervous now about how crowded the NYC Marathon will be (and by nervous I mean not looking forward to it).
Water stops: Lots of them. And I have major complaint about them because the gatorade and water were mixed together. Definitely prefer if the gatorade is first and the water is second or at least some semblance of order. Gu was handed out at the 10k mark which was nice. And somewhere around the last 5k of the half bananas were handed out. With peels! I know I wasn’t the only one thinking of Mario Kart on this one.
Bathrooms: There were plenty before and after the race so the lines weren’t too bad. I didn’t use any on the course so I can’t really comment on that.
Bag Drop: The start and finish were in different locations you bag dropped your bag at a school bus sorted by your bib number. It went pretty smoothly. And clear bags were provided when you did your bib pick up.
Other: They provided us with a free metro card for the day to travel to and from the race which was very nice. Also the festival after and the expo before had lots of Oasis juice samples, corn on the cob, and other free food. Oh and of course my favorite, free post-race beer!
Not really room for any cheerers the first 5.5k because it’s on a small little island but it steadily builds after that. Also the live music was great. FYI: if you want to know what the cheerers are saying you might need to practice your French.
You start on the Jaques-Cartier Bridge which is a beautiful bridge and somewhere on the course (sorry, I forgot) you get a really nice view of the skyline as you run in. I really wish I had photos to share of this.
Weather = Damn Near Perfect. It was both sunny and cool. It had rained the night before so the temps and humidity dropped and there was also a nice breeze. Other than the few puddles left behind in the first 5k it was perfect.
The medal is super heavy. It’s like wearing a 5 lb dumbbell around your neck. But it says 21,1km on it and let’s be honest, how many medals do you have like that?! (Put your hands down and let me be excited)
Bottom line: would I run this race again?
Official Time: 2:00:17
I didn’t PR and I definitely am feeling a bit bummed about it. But it was still a lot of fun. And it was the first destination half for all of us. It was definitely a success.
Shout out to Blair (bib 23685) for running her first ever half marathon! And a shout out to Danelle (bib 9184) for PRing! She ran a 1:42:01. In case you can’t do the math, that means every single mile is a sub 8 min mile.
Danelle’s and my inaugural destination half was a success and we’re definitely excited to have many more to go.
Have you done any destination races?
Any suggestions for our next destination?