I arrived at the Park about an hour before the start time. I mostly hung around the bag check area trying to find Jennie. Gave up as there were too many people there and got into the start corral. Managed to find Jennie and Lyndsay right before we started.
We ran 5/1's together for the first part of the race. It was fun having people to talk to and made the time go by. We split off around the 9km mark or so. I needed to slow down my pace a bit. I threw in my earphones and turned on my nano and continued on.
I had set my garmin for 8 repeats of 5/1's which wasn't really going to work for 21km. I ended up resetting it about an hour into the race and again about 10 minutes later. So I was kind of running blind for the last hour and a half. I had no idea how long I had been running or where my overall pace was at. I only had the route markers to tell me how far I'd run. It was kind of refreshing. I just ran at a pace that felt good, walked when I needed to and hoped for the best.
While I really enjoy the park setting of all of the TO Women's races, the narrow paths are a bit bothersome. Often got stuck behind other slower runners because the path wasn't wide enough to go by them.
I started struggling a bit around kilometre 13. Just felt very tired both mentally and physically. I ate a bunch of chomps and drank as much water as possible and struggled on.
Around 19km, I passed the chocolate station where volunteers were handing out cadbury thins. The thought of chocolate at that point was disgusting. I took one and managed to fold it up small enough to stuff into my fuel belt. Was much more enjoyable later in the day.
I was very happy to get to the last leg of this race. I saw Jennie near the end and she cheered me on to the finish and I managed to pick my pace up for the last bit and finish strong. My chip time was 2:40:27 so I met my goal of a 2:40 half and beat my PR by 3 minutes.Yay!
Overall, very happy to finish my third half marathon and three races in a month.
Things I liked about the Toronto Women's Half:
- Size - running a smaller race was nice after the 20,000 people at Sporting Life
- Finishers necklace - while I love a giant medal, I like being able to wear my necklace around.
- Park Setting
- Lots of inspiring women runners
- Running with friends
- The friendliest volunteers that I've encountered at any race
- More water stations. I think there were 5 stations. I think at least 2 more would be good. Thankfully ran with 4 bottles on my fuel belt.
- Narrow pathways that are open to the public