Sunday, 28 December 2014

Bang and Olufsen Yorkville 5K Race Recap

One of my best friends decided to start running at the beginning of 2014 and I was on a mission to get her started.  I told her the only way to really get committed to training is to register for a race. I promised I would find a race the perfect race and run it with her. As a first time runner, she agreed that a 5km distance was just right for her.

I had heard about the Yorkville 5K Race the first year I started running, but had never run it myself.  This year they was they were happy to announce that  the Canadian Masters Athletics was adding a masters championship component to their inaugural Canadian 5K Road Race Championship 

We were able to find some early registration codes and signed up the minute registration opened up in March.  It was one of the more expensive races I had ever signed up for, but the swag seemed to be very promising. 

The race was on Saturday September 7, 2014. Yes, I know, this race report is late, but it's been a hectic year. My girlfriend flew in from Montreal with her boyfriend just for this race. So, we made it into a fun weekend. I picked them up from the airport and whisked them right down to packet pickup. As it was her first race, I told her that there was no big expo that we would be attending, but a more intimate and personalized experience.

Packet pickup was at a New Balance store not too far from where the race was going to be taking place. We were greeted by volunteers with t-shirts with tuxedo prints and white gloves. We were asked our names which they wrote down on post-it-notes along with what we were wearing and asked to go into the store to look around while they retrieved our race kits.
Gen with her race kit
We walked around the store and soon after the volunteers found us and hand delivered each of our kits to us.  Gen's first reaction was "Awesome race kit, you can take us back to the airport now". I was not going to let her get away that quickly.

When we got home we were able to dissect out race kit. As you an see from the photos, it was worth the $100 registration fee. We were not disappointed.

All our goodies were neatly packaged in a pretty black box with all the stuff you see in the photos. The personalized bibs were a nice touch and lined up perfectly with or race shirts. 

I know that it is faux pas to wear the race shirt before you've completed the race, there was mention of prizes for those who decided to don their race shirts.  So I broke the rule just once as we are all about winning prizes. 

After a good nights rest, I headed down to the race with my run buddies. It was a nice small race and we would be able to watch the masters runners race first before we were to race. It's the nice thing about a 5km race, most masters runners would finished in 25minutes.

The Master's runners were running first at 9 am and the rest of us runners would follow. It was a gorgeous day for a race. I couldn't believe how nice it was.

Masters runners ready to go
The first runner came in at 14:34 which totally blew us all away. It was amazing to see all of the runners come it at lightening speeds.  I am more in awe of the last person who crossed the finish line at 25:13!!! and she's in the Female 65-69 age group. Needless to say, I was truly humbled.

When it was our time to go, we leisurely walked to the start line. It was a fairly small race with 738 participants in the race. We stayed near that back as this was where my friend felt most comfortable. We were there to support her and get her to the finish line.

As you can see from the race photos, we were just having a great time. She was able to run the first kilometre without stopping. I didn't know how she had been training, but she did tell us when we started the race that she wasn't sure how long she would be able to run without stopping. She was over the moon excited about getting this far. I think for her next race, we will have to come up with a definite race strategy.

Free Race photos, always a nice perk
We ended up slowing down our pace and settled with a walk and run pace. She actually walks super fast, my run buddy had to trot along to keep up.  I was not going to race this one as I had promised that I could stay with her the entire way.  The course took us through the core of downtown Toronto. It was a loop that took us around Queen's Park, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and back to where we had started.  There were a few cars on the road that were not happy with us as we heard some complaints from drivers. I knew the finish was near and told my friend to suck it up and give it all she had. We cheered and yelled and hollered at her right up to the finish line.

Crossing the finish line
I was so proud of her and a that I was able to share her first race with her. 
Showing off our medals
The post race party was held on the grounds of a beautiful school. We were treated with fried Nutella balls and many other goodies. The sun was shining and we just relaxed on the field and soaked it all up.

This was a perfect race for my girlfriend. It was a great distance for her as she was using the couch to 5k app and the number of participants were small. The swag was fantastic, but the price was steep at $100. With that being said, my girlfriend has signed up for this race next year. I will have to see how much I have left in my race budget. I just may cheer her from the sidelines.

Where was your first race? 
Did you run it with anyone?

What is your limit on race registration fees?

Have a great week 



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