Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon!

Posted: October 30, 2014 in Robert Brouillette

On Sunday October 19th 2014, I ran the Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon on some flat streets through the city down to the out and back section on the Lakeshore Road, and gradual uphill to the finishing area surrounded by hundreds of cheering fans. The day started early with me waking up at 4:45 AM for a 8:45AM race start due to picking up a friend in the morning out-of-town and then the drive to Toronto from Cambridge. It was nice to have Craig Parker, a member of the Kitchener Running Room, to keep me company for the ride up and we were at the start line so early that I think we may have even been the first participants there. To kill time I walked around until I got my bib set up on my brand new Health & Performance (H&P) club singlet inspired by the Canada maple leaf made by New Balance and wearing my New Balance 1400v2 yellow shoes. It was so cold that morning (maybe 2 degrees) and it really got to me bad, I wasn’t dressed properly for the weather so I was shivering and felt so miserable. The 15 minutes leading up to the race I sat in my car for most of it before forcing myself outside to get the strides and some drills in. The marathon and half-marathon both started at the same time so there was a big Canadian elite field which included Eric Gillis (Olympic marathoner and last year’s top Canadian here), Rob Watson (World Champs marathoner), Kelly Weibe, Kip Kangogo, Lucas McAneney, Robert Winslow, and Kevin Coffey all for the marathon and David Freake and I for the HM on the men’s side. For women it was Lanni Marchant (World Champs marathoner, last year’s top Canadian here, and set Canadian record). Finally there is all the Kenyan’s and Ethiopians with super fast time out here to win the race overall with some pacers like Duncan Kasia, Gilbert Kiptoo, Paul Kimugul, Andrew Nixon, and Sami Jibril out to help out the top Canadian’s in the A, B, and C packs. Now back to the race morning, I didn’t get much of a warmup in other than running to my car and back to the start line. I was there all alone and wasn’t organized because I normally have one of my parents or a friend with me to help my pre-race process of holding onto my stuff, taking my warm up clothes from me, and so on. So I lost track of time and then I chugged my VEGA energizer sports drink too close to the start of the race and too quickly and that would later hurt me in the race. I got my spot on the start line in the second row behind some guy dressed in a silly Santa Claus costume, the gun went off without me even hearing the countdown, and I was off in a sprint to get myself a secure spot in front of all the amateurs.

The first couple kilometers I tucked in behind the Ethiopian marathon women as they had a half marathon split at the same pace I wanted to finish in, but they were running around 3:30/K and that felt too slow for me even early in the race so I left them and carried on ahead of them. Since I was running right in front of the lead marathon women I had a motorcycle filming the live feed stream to YouTube right beside me which gave me mixed emotions as it was cool to be seen in the video but at the same time made me nervous that a bunch of people were watch me. I know the camera’s weren’t there for me but it kind of gave me a bit of energy so my next few kilometers between 3:22-3:12 taking me through 7K with me hitting 5K in 16:54 (GPS time). At that point I got hit with a really bad cramp/stitch in the right side of my stomach that I’m blaming to my poor pre-race preparation of not keeping body warm enough, rushing sports drink, short warmup run, and stressing out scrambling to get organized before the race. The pain would stay for the next 2-3K with me swinging my left arm to keep moving and right hand pinching my side to decrease the soreness. The Ethiopian women passed me in a flash and I didn’t even bother trying to stay with them but once Lanni with her pacemakers came along I told myself I would have to stay with them no matter what. I hung right with them going through 10K in 34:17 (chip mat time), a minute slower than my 10K race time, but then I tried to kick away from them but every time I heard them coming up on me I would put in a quick little surge to create a gap. Eventually they came up on me and I had to let them pass and I would train them for rest of the race with the gap getting bigger and bigger. My pace really started to slow when I ran 3:38-3:43 in the last 5K s there were some small rolling hills and I was completely alone except the thousands of people 1 meter away from me but going in the opposite direction on the street still many kilometers behind me and haven’t made the turn around yet. I saw a few friendly faces along the sidelines which helped but it was too late my “A” race time and place was out the window and I just needed to finish with a PB at this point from my earlier HM time of 1:15:08 about a month ago. The last kilometer I actually got quietly snuck up on an older man who I’d race to the  finish with but I was not running fast at all by this point so he out sprinter me by a few seconds at the end. I can’t even tell my pace from my GPS watch because of the underground tunnel, bridge, and being in between big buildings in the city.

I crossed the line in 1:14:14 for 12th place overall, with the top women less than 15 seconds behind me so that was close. All in all behind all the negative stuff in this race I did run almost a 1 minute PB considering the conditions, surprisingly I did have fun, and will definitely keep coming back to this event and all the others in the Canada Running Series. Best of all I finally received a CRS age category medal which isn’t always easy with it having some of the strongest race in Canada with top competitive fields. One of these years I will run the marathon here and I’m super pumped for that. But for now I will settle down on this longer distance stuff and start from scratch in the 5K/10K starting in 2015. But before that happens I need to finish off my 2014 season with one last half-marathon to really give myself a true HM that I know I deserve at the Hamilton Road2Hope in 2 weeks. Then some local Cambridge 5K non-competitive race before I’m off to training in high altitude Kenya in 2 months for 3 months, and finally back to Canada in late March for the Around The Bay 5K. But all of that is still far away so for now I’ll keep training with my amazing Health and Performance club in Waterloo, staying in touch with the Conestoga Condors XC team (which I could maybe run for next fall after I’ve taken 1.5 year off from school) and keeping in the loop with the Ontario, Canadian, High School, College, and University XC championships are all going on in the next few weeks.

Until next time, thanks for tuning into my race report, and keep running. If you ever have any questions or comments please feel free to ask away!

#CantWontStop #TrainHardWinEasy #MakeExcellentHappen #ItsPossible #Runday #RunForLife #1Sport1Love #LongMayWeRun #TwendeMzungu 🙂

Race = Toronto Waterfront

Distance = Half-Marathon (21.1K)
Time = 1:14:14 (PB)
Pace = 3:31/K
Overall Place = 12th/10507
Age Group = 3rd/387

SportStats Results =
CRS Results =
CRS Recap =
TheStar Article =
CRM Article =
Event Website =
Race Series Website =
My Strava Activity =
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Robert Brouillette 😀


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