Note: All pictures (except of the race kit) were taken by my Mom – thanks Mom! P.S. Don’t steal them.
It is hard to believe that I had not raced in 3 long months and that I have only run 3 5K races this year. On Sunday, I ran in the B&O Yorkville 5K race, which will be my last 5K of the 2014 season. I had a lot of fun in the race and would recommend the race to others (who have $100 to blow on the race cost).
Race Kit Pick up
Really the only negative I have about the race is the race kit pick-up. The race kits were available at the New Balance store in Downtown Toronto and only available on Friday and Saturday. My parents live in Mississauga, so it was a bit of a trek out there – I would have preferred to have only had to do one trip to downtown and pick up my kit on Sunday, but that was not an option. It took us a long time to get to the store. When I got to the store, I had to wait about 5 minutes or so for my kit, even though there was no line. How they did the pick up was people checked your name off a list outside and then you went inside the store to wait for someone to bring the kit to you. It took a few minutes. I guess I am just spoiled with running up to a pick up and grabbing my stuff and running out.
I am assuming some people had difficulty with picking up their kits on Friday/Saturday (before 5pm) because they allowed people to pick up their bibs and timing chips on Sunday (but kits had to be picked up later).
You really cannot beat this race kit. The race costs $100 to enter. But in the kit, you got:
– B&O headphones worth over $100
– Two 50 gram bags of David’s Tea + 20 tea bags + a coupon for a free tea at their store
– Vega samples of protein shakes, bars and their recovery/pre-workout drinks
– New Balance T-shirt (one of the best t-shirts I have ever received from a race!)
– Various coupons
All of this was enclosed in a beautiful black box. It is a really nice kit!
Getting to the Race + Parking
Another unfortunate item for the Yorkville Run was that the race occurred on a Sunday. The TTC subway service doesn’t operate until 9am – which meant you were either taking the subway shuttle bus, driving or walking. Again, since we were coming from Mississauga, it was driving for us. Taking the subway would have been super easy because the station is right there. We did manage to find parking that was fairly close to the race site.
Before the Race
The race site was at Jesse Ketchum Public School – a fantastic venue for this size of a race (1000+ runners in both races). There were ample washrooms that were well-stocked with toilet paper, a large green soccer field that allowed for warm-ups, a small 200m running track and a bag check area. When we arrived, the 5K Canadian Road Race Championship was just finishing and the race volunteers were already handing out food. There were also lots of vendors on site, including New Balance, Vega, and David’s tea. There was also a great little playground for the pint size spectators.
For this race, I decided to not wear my garmin. I wasn’t planning on going “all out” for this race, and was running by feel – meaning I wanted to run a bit faster than normal, but if I felt out of it, or in pain – I would slow it right down. I would have been happy with any time in the 27:00-29:00 area because really, I wasn’t in 5K PB shape (I haven’t run speed work since May). I wore the race t-shirt (shocking) as there was a contest if you wore the shirt. Almost everyone had the shirt on. I wore my new Mizuno Wave Riders and black lululemon shorts.
Right before the race, they had a short warm up. Of course, Mr. Max decided to grab me yelling “come on Mommy!” and drag me to the warm up – which he participated in. He then wanted me to chase him – I called that a warm-up.
After the warm-up, we were brought to the start line. There was just over 700 participants in the race and since that is small, I wanted to be at the front. The race organizers did bring out signs to break us up into times – but they came out way too late and many people were shuffling around. I moved as close as I felt comfortable. The gun went off and so did we. Of course, rather than starting right away, I got stuck behind two ladies who thought this was the perfect time to take a selfie and text…..
Soon I broke free of the crowd and set on out running. The first 1K and a bit were straight down a Toronto street. I very rarely run in big cities, so it was different to run with huge buildings around me. The runners spread out quite quickly and once I was 100m out, I had plenty of room to run. The race was all on city roads -with the right lane dedicated to the race. They had police on all the intersections.
I have no idea how fast I was going – I’m assuming I may have been in the 4:xx range. I turned the corner and was held back a bit by a bit of a headwind. I remember hearing other runner’s Garmins beeping and really had to hold back from asking for a time/looking at their watch. There were quite a few runners out on various training runs – and they were cheering us on. There were not many spectators out, except at the finishing chute.
I remember feeling really ok during KM 1 and 2 – too good. I figured I might be running in the 5:30’s or slower after the first KM because I had not run fast in so long. After KM 2 – we ran up University Avenue, which is just slightly up hill. It wasn’t too bad – but I know I slowed down. As I approached KM 3, I knew that I just had to get through KM 3 and 4 and I would be good. There was a water station just before KM 3. Rather than stopping/walking – I grabbed my cup and kept going. We ran past Queen’s Park (our Ontario Government buildings) and then up towards Bloor. I still felt really, really good. I was passing a number of people – although a few passed me as well.
After Bloor we hit the 1K to go mark and went a bit downhill. I definitely started running faster at this point and planned to go into my kick as soon as I made the last turn. I remember passing a Mom and daughter – the Mom was trying to get the daughter to keep running, telling her “keep going, can’t let these old people pass you”, haha. I rounded the final corner and then started to run as fast as I could. As I approached the finishing chute, I went faster. Then I saw the clock – which at the time, I swear said 25:17. Never seeing a 25:xx I booked it across the finish line, finishing in what I thought was 25:30
But apparently I was wrong – the 25 was actually a 26. According to Sports Stat my time was 26:30 Gun time, 26:17 chip time. 26:17 is 3 seconds off my PB. Darn!
Of course now I am kicking myself for not wearing my watch because a) I could have known my time for sure and b) if I knew how close I was, I would have kicked a bit sooner. But – regardless a time that close to my PB is pretty great. Also, unlike when I ran the 26:14, I didn’t feel awful. I ran 26:14 in Rattle me Bones (in the banana suit) and felt like I was going to barf for the last km. This time I felt really, really good. Sure – there were a few moments where I just wanted to slow down, but I think I can go faster. I also was not super winded at the end and I am pain free. That sounds good enough to me!
I’m sure that I will see the 25:xx number appear next year!
Once we finished the race, we were given our medals and a bottle of water. They had two sizes, a regular bottle and then a litre sized. I grabbed the litre! We were then directed back into the school’s park for after race refreshments. Let me tell you – best food ever! I am always jealous of other people’s races that have things like pancakes, fresh cookies, beer – but Yorkville Run had some pretty amazing food. They handed the food out at tables, but also had “waiters” (aka volunteers) handing out food. So, you could literally be lying down and people would bring you cinnamon buns.
Food that was handed out included:
Bagels WITH nutella
Puffed pastry filled with nutella
Rice Krispie Squares
Various spiral wraps
There may have been more food, as more was being made available as it showed up on site (I happened to get a cheesecake – they were gone really fast). The food was donated by local businesses. There seemed to be plenty of food available as they were giving it out to everyone. I usually bypass race food, and this race I actually was full after. Vega and David’s Tea were also handing out samples.
The whole school yard was available for people to sit and chill. It kind of had a nice neighbourhood block party vibe – as everyone was welcome. At 10:45 they started with awards/prizes, but by this time it was time for us to leave (5+ hour drive to Ottawa).
We also met the New Balance Shoe mascot – and of course Max wanted to take a picture….
The Yorkville Run was a pretty fantastic race. The 5K route leaves runners with excellent PB potential, the race kit and after race food is exceptional and the organizers are really nice. Elana, the main organizer of the run stated in the opening ceremonies that she has probably talked to every single runner over email/phone during the last few weeks. Yes, the price is steep ($100) but I do believe it is worth it. Everyone that I chatted with seemed to have a great time. I will consider running the race again for sure.
That is my race recap and review of the Yorkville Run – if you ran the race, I hope you had fun!
Now – time to get ready for Army Run Half Marathon!