Sunday, October 19, 2008

Race Report: Toronto Marathon (Spectator Perspective)

Today I was a spectator for the Toronto Marathon, and it was fun, although I wish I could have been out there today. It was a gorgeous day for a race, with a high of only 13oC(55F), sunny and no real wind. Hubs was running the full marathon.

The Toronto Marathon is always 3 weeks after the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon (Scotia), and although it has been around longer, it is the smaller of the two. There are few reasons (some fact, some speculation on my part) for this:


1) Scotia is a flatter course, Toronto has only huge hill called "Hog's Hollow"

2) Scotia has more entertainment. There wasn't even music at the start/finish lines at Toronto. Definately something the organizers need to improve for next time.

3) There is a not huge money pot for the winners- hence few elites (read: few blazing Kenyans).


I usually run the half in Toronto and Hubs runs the full, but this year, having Niagara next weekend, I decided not to run the half (which killed me - Toronto is one of my favourite half courses). I have always thought that Scotia is the better of the two for a full marathon, but after today, I think next year I will run Toronto as my full and Scotia will be a half. Here are some reasons why:


1) The temperature is always cooler for Toronto. This year Scotia was 23C (73F)and humid, Toronto was 13C (55F)and perfect.

2) The course is more scenic. Running down Young street is exciting with Toronto cityscape in the background. There is a waterfront portion that is much nicer than than running under the Gardiner (a raised highway for American readers) or the Leslie Spit.

3) There is no stampede of half marathoners at the beginning. They start an hour earlier, so you can find your pace right away without weaving. Toronto also starts North of downtown so your Garmin can actually get a satellite signal right away and hence, keep your pace in check.


I planned on cheering Hubs on at three points during the race (8K, 19K and 34K). I didn't make the 8K point quick enough as the traffic from road closures was crazy. I should have taken the subway. I got to the 19K point when the 3:00 marathoners were running by and found a point where there were no spectators and started clapping, and shouting cliches madly. "2K to halfway, Looking strong bib #---, 19K straight ahead, Awesome Pace" Hubs was planning for around a 4:30ish marathon, so I knew I would be a while, but it was fun. Cheering is work though, and my hands are sore (LOL). Make sure you thank those spectators, even if you can only muster a nod. It was interesting studying people's gaits as they ran by. For some, it seemed like a physical impossibility that they were last fast for seemingly strange gaits, but it was obviously working for them.


Anyway when Hubs ran by I almost missed him. I would be a terrible race photographer, fumbling and getting all excited instead of taking the picture. I managed to snap his picture at 34K. He was looking strong for late in the race.









Hubs finished his 19th marathon in 4:26-- . Not a PR, but he is not looking to kill any of them. He is planning on running Niagara next weekend and Hamilton marathon the following. Crazy Maniac, like someone else I know. He is looking at requesting his Marathon Maniac bib. He is well qualified, running 5 marathons in 5 weeks in the spring, and 3 marathons in 3 weeks in the fall (actually 5 but not 5 in a row).


I found the marathon to be inspirational for next week. One important reoccurring lesson for me: don't go out too fast!! Repeat, don't go out too fast!!


Thanks for reading!

20 comments:

BeachRunner said...

Ummm, did you say his 19th marathon, going to do five in a row? Three in a row? Holy craptastic! CONGRATS to hubs. What an ironman. And nice job on the pic.

Melanie said...

too bad i didn't know you were going to be there! what a great day they had for running today! Congrats to hubs, that's crazy! LOL

Blyfinn said...

I always found it amazing how cheering for the runners can seem like it's tiring. It always gets me excited to run my next race though.

Julianne said...

Wow 19th?? And 5 in 5 weeks? Yeah, he's nuts. HAHA. I didn't know he ran so much? That's awesome that you two will do the Niagra together! :-)

Lily on the Road said...

Congrats Hubs!

Isn't fun to be a spectator? I did that last weekend and really enjoyed it!

D10 said...

Wow, your husband must be addicted. 19 marathons and 5 in 5 weeks, that is truly amazing. Good for him. Way to cheer on all the runners.

Marlene said...

I had many of the same observations as you yesterday, and so did my hubby (who ran the 1/2). What a great day and like you, I wished I was running too!

I'm sure this gave you a great mental boost for next weekend!

And wowee, your hubs IS a maniac! But good for him!

Maybe I'll see you in Hamilton on the 2nd. :D

robison52 said...

Way to support your husband!! He's fortunate to have such a Number One fan in you. Your race plan for next year sounds like a winner. Those volunteers are fantastic, I always say "thank you so much" when handed a cup of fluids. Someday soon I should be a volunteer too as paying the support forward.

AddictedToEndorphins said...

Very well oraganized spectator report!!!

You're going to KICK Niagras bum next week!:)

Marcy said...

Ummmm yeah he definitely should get his MM membership LOL! Dang!!!! That's awesome though. Wow!

Meg said...

Cool report! I may have to consider Toronto for next fall!

Jess said...

Congrats to your hubs onhis 19th marathon! Wow, that's amazing.

Ted said...

GREAT report !!! Toronto Marathon was my first marathon I'd ever watched as a spectator. That was 25 years ago (1983). Congrats to your Hub for his 19th marathon. I cannot imagine doing 5 in five weeks. He is the next Dean Karnazes.

bill carter said...

I've done the Toronto Waterfront 3 times and really enjoy its flattness. On the other hand, I really enjoy Toronto (it is porbably my favorite city) and am now thinking maybe I should do the Toronto Non-Waterfront next year.

Thanks for the great post and congrats to hubby on the great time.

Laura said...

Marci, if I end up coming for Toronto, I totally want to meet your husband - he is such an inspiration! And you rest up :)

Nitmos said...

Congratulations to the hubs! That is some maniacal marathoning right there! And good luck to you for next week!!!

Saface Macdonald said...

Wow, 19th? That is IMPRESSIVE!

Great spectator report. I have heard both good and bad things about Toronto. Maybe next year the half will be in the stars! Or the full if I am dreaming LOL!

*aron* said...

awesome job spectating and congrats to the hubby!!! its fun to be on the other side of the race and definitely gets you pumped up :)

Melanie said...

...watching the snow fall, keeping my fingers crossed for good weather for you this weekend!!! :)

Meg said...

Great report, I loved all the pictures! Nice job on the PR!