Midnite Run Toronto on New Year’s Eve

Happy New Year!

What a hoot we had last night!  What did we do you might ask?  We ran our first 5K 3.5K race of the year at the Midnite Run Toronto by My Next Race and organized by Good Times Running.  (I’ll get to that part a little later on in the post)

The night started off rather early, as we wanted to have a nice dinner at The Keg.  We arrived around 5pm, and the restaurant was already very busy.  They weren’t taking reservations, so it was first come, first served.  Luckily, we didn’t have to wait more than 15 minutes for our table.  The service was excellent.  The staff were really prepared for the NYE business.  I’m sure they had a fantastic night.  Here we are as our meal came to the table. Yum!

After dinner we had time to go home and relax for a couple of hours. Kari had a brief nap and I opted to read Facebook postings and blogs. At 9:45pm we got in our car and drove to the race location which was in the west end of the city.  We live in the east end, so we had to allow for driving time.

By the time we found parking and collected our gear, it was close to 10:30pm.  We were one of the first to arrive at the Market Bistro on Liberty street to pick up our race kits. Racers did have the option to pick up their race kit earlier in the afternoon at the same location.  Had we lived closer, we would have gotten it then.

The race kit did not fail to disappoint.  It was packed with various goodies.

After we collected our race kits, we went back to the car to store them away. There was a coat/bag check at the race location but at that particular moment, we didn’t know where it was located. Since our car was so close, this also alleviated any bag check lines later on. By the time we got back to the Bistro, it was getting really busy with several runners picking up their race kits. The Market Bistro isn’t that large, so it was pretty much wall-to-wall runners. I found a little seat by the door and tried to stay warm. Kari was beginning to get overheated, so he went outside a few times. We then found out about the other side of the complex, which is connected to Danceology (after party location). Also where the food was to be served post-race and where the baggage check was located. We opted to move to the other side of the complex, which supplied the necessary warmth.

Shortly before midnight, a race volunteer ushered us out to the -18 C weather of Toronto to corral ourselves for the start of the race. Luckily, it was no more than 10 minutes that we had to stand waiting.

We hopped and we bopped on the spot to keep our warmth going!

There was a short countdown, and then we were off running. Kari and I gave each other a New Year’s kiss (over our scarves), and we began our race. Given the very cold temperatures, icy conditions, and darkness, we opted for a very slow run so we knew where our footing was at all times. The race course had dry areas, but there were many icy patches covered with recent snow. Unfortunately, we did see one racer have a really bad wipe out. She said she was ok, but it sure looked like her fall took the wind out of her.

The race course had various volunteers steering us along the course in the proper direction. As with most races, runner’s follow each other, and you assume you will get to the finish line. I’m just glad we aren’t lemmings and cliffs aren’t involved.  We did get to the finish line, however, many of us, got there a wee bit sooner than we thought we would. Unfortunately, one of the volunteers who was ushering us runners along told us to zig, when we should have zagged. This cut off our distance by about 1.5K. By the time we realized what was going on (as did the runners around us), we were near the end of the race. Crossing the finish line somewhere around 25 minutes. HA! We were starting to run a little faster in the back half so had we actually run a 5K, we would have finished around 35 minutes. Once we crossed the finish line and received our medal, there were several of us talking about the incident. I really don’t know how many this affected overall, but I would suspect a really good portion of the racers. Unless you really knew the course, and where to run, you most likely would have followed the runner in front of you.

IMG_2949

1st running medal of 2014

A few minutes passed after finishing, and we walked into the building to keep warm, received our New Year’s champagne, beer, sandwiches and soup. They had both meat or vegetarian options. I had the buffalo chicken sandwich which was pretty darn good. I didn’t have the soup, but someone beside me had it, and it smelled awesome. Once we got our food, we found a table to eat. There were more runner’s than table/chairs, so some ate standing, or sitting in the long hallway.

After the post race food, the after party was inside Danceology. We stayed for the 50/50 ticket draw, however, we left shortly after. I’m sure many runner’s had a great time as there was a cash bar, and a great DJ on hand to celebrate into the night.

Despite the shortened race course, we had a fun time. Would I do it again? Absolutely! Just wishing Mother Nature would be a little kinder on us next time!

How did you celebrate New Year’s? Did you Run?

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The Ugly Sweater Run Race Recap

Sometimes you just have to have a fun run.  So this week Living Social had a deal on The Ugly Sweater 5K for $22 bucks.  So why not dress in your favourite ugly sweater, and have a little fun while getting outdoors with a friend or two?  Also, while it may be a little early, Christmas is really just around the corner.  So before, I start shopping for gifts, I might as well get my legs in shape for walking the malls.  😉

This morning, we headed up to Downsview Park to participate in The Ugly Sweater Run. This run is a 5k out and back course, and a non-timed event.

Upon arriving, we had to pick up our race kit which included a hat, bib (with two beers on it as drink tickets) and a tattoo moustache.  We opted not to wear the moustache but enjoyed the hat with the groovy primary colours.  Plus it kept us warm. 🙂

Here we are prior to the start of the race donning our ‘Ugly Sweaters’.  Don’t we look stylish!

Pre Race - Ugly Sweater Run

Pre Race – Ugly Sweater Run

The weather was fantastic today with a bit of sun and around 8 degrees celsius. Perfect running weather.

I don’t really have much to report on the race itself, it’s a 5K after all. Downsview is pretty much an open park area; a relatively flat course, with a few gradual inclines along the way. There was a point at around the 3.5k mark where one could climb a hill to take a few scenic pictures, but this was not mandatory for participants. Most just walked around the hill and stayed on the paved path. There was a hot chocolate station and a picture op at one point with big blow up reindeers. Participants were also allowed to take their dogs on the course as well. Some even gave their pup an ugly sweater. Woof-Woof!

Here’s some of our highlights in pictures….

Start of the Race

Start of the Race

Holy Reindeer!

Holy Reindeer!

Hot Chocolate Station - Yum!

Hot Chocolate Station – Yum!

I loved these ladies.  Them there's some ugly sweaters!

I loved these ladies. Them there’s some ugly sweaters!

BEER!

BEER!

Ahhh...we're melting!  Actually no, no runners fell into any fires!  However the wind almost blew this on top of me!

Ahhh…we’re melting! Actually no, no runners fell into any fires! However the wind almost blew this on top of me!

Again, it was a fun run but I would be amiss if I didn’t mention that it was short by 600 metres from it’s 5K mark.  My Garmin was shut off at the finish (yes, I did remember this time to push the button-winning!) at the 4.44k mark.  All in all though, we did have a good time.  These fun runs in the midst of training for Dopey, help to keep me a little sane when I’m usually attached to my training plan and the seriousness that goes with it.

Happy Running!

Run For The Cure

Who did you Run for?

Sunday October 6th, 2013.  Toronto, Ontario.

Run for the Cure 3

Thousands of people made their way to downtown Toronto today to take part in one of the many Run For The Cure events being held across Canada.  It was a rainy day in our parts but nothing was going to stop the courageous runners and walkers of this annual event. Here I am making my way into the start corral.  Aside from the many Disney events I’ve run, this by far was one of the more crowded events I’ve been too.  (or so it seemed).  And for good reason, of course.  Way to go participants!  And thanks to all the volunteers and spectators.  Could not have done it without your support!

Zombies run too!

Sometimes I feel like I’ve been sleeping under a rock.  I see something in the news, or posted on facebook and I say to myself, “Whaaaattttt?  How intriguing, fun, crazy, and full of lunacy!”

Today was one of those days!

I saw this on Facebook :

Run For Your Lives 5K

A Zombie 5K obstacle course complete with Zombies chasing after runners.  If you are a zombie fan and a runner, who could ask for anything more?  (one exception: Jill, she could ask for Zombies running in Jeans as *more!) 🙂

If it wasn’t for the obstacle course portion, perhaps many runners would PB!  😉

According to the website, there are races all over in the U.S. and the one in Toronto.  If you are interested in something a little different that a 5K race, check it out!

I love the concept of this race.  Just looks like a good time all round.  I wish I could attend, however, I’m heading to NYC this weekend.  I’ve been promised a run in Central park is on the agenda.  Woot!

*So sorry Jill.  Yet again, I couldn’t resist throwing your name in there.  Comedy dictates, things are funnier in 3’s…..hmm! 😉