This past Sunday I ran the Chilly Half-Marathon in Burlington. I didn’t plan to, that is, until the Monday prior to the race. I was bored and had been making a bad habit of casually ending my long runs a teeny bit before I was supposed to. I thought to myself, if I pay for that race, it will ensure that I actually complete the whole distance I’ve got coming up on my calendar. So there you have it!
I took advantage of the shuttle buses from the GO Station, which I have to say, I was a big fan of on the way there, and made my way downtown by 9 am to get myself sorted and check my bag. The Performing Arts Centre, where they had bag check and the awards ceremony was PACKED to the gills. So much so, that they kept asking everyone to go in the theatre or the fire department was going to lock the doors and not let any more runners in. Once I was all set and had visited the washroom, I checked my bag and headed into the theatre to hang out pre-race.
It was COLD waiting in the start corrals, so I noticed that the race appeared to start a minute or two late (rare for VRPro). I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. But as soon as we were off and running, the weather was actually really nice if you were dressed appropriately. I had decided to run this as a training run, so I was desperately trying to pull back the reigns. I was unsuccessful in my first kilometer or so but eventually got into a rhythm after the first turnaround by picking nearby people running at a close to 7:00/km pace so I could slow myself down and turn this into an LSD.
The course hadn’t changed since the last time I ran this race so I knew where I was going without paying much attention to the markings. It is a flat course which is awesome, but it is a little barren in spots in terms of spectators. Though I feel like VRPro situated volunteers solely to cheer every now and then, which was a noticeable difference from the last time I ran it.
The time flew by and I stuck to my plan not to race and I think it went really well. I crossed the finish line at 2:25:40 or so, which is certainly not the fastest but is a decent pace for a training run, which was the whole point. Where I was in the crowd, and the fact that there are a couple of turnaround points allowed me to see both the fastest runners, and the slowest, as well as the walkers. I thought it was really cool getting to see everyone.
While VR Pro‘s races are generally not in Toronto (so a little inconvenient for me at times), they really put on a great race logistically and their medals are always among some of the nicest I’ve seen. It didn’t hurt that this race entry came with a nice jacket for cooler weather running. I
I think the last time I ran this race, I said I would never run it again, but I did and I’m glad I did!