Race Report – Toronto Waterfront 10km

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Yesterday was my 21st birthday! It was also the day that I ran my first 10km. The Toronto Waterfront 10km (often referred to as the Lululemon 10km, as Lululemon is the biggest and loudest sponsor)  is a pretty popular race in the Toronto region, with around 8000 runners and even more people complaining about closing down some of the busiest Toronto streets.

 

The reason for this race being so popular is obvious: it’s incredibly well organized, the swag is amazing, and the race is really beautiful. I’m going to talk a little bit about these things before I talk about my own experience, which is different from what I’ve done in previous race reports, as the experience of this race is really special and important to express.

 

Organization

This was a huge race but there were 0 issues. Packet pick-up was easy (easier for me as I had a friend pick mine up, but I went to the location of pickup on its last day so I got to see the environment. They were even selling ice-cream with pick-ups!). Bag-check was easy. The huge line for the port-a-pottys beforehand was relatively quick considering how many of us were waiting. While parking was difficult, they did offer shuttle buses back to the start, and you can’t blame a race on poor city parking anyway. The way the corrals and estimated finishing times were set up also allowed for a run where you never felt like you were packed amongst people slowing you down, and as the corrals were let out separately, there was less running through crowds than usual. The entertainment during the run was well done by Lululemon/Race organizers, but there were very few cheer stations or cheering people in general for the first 5km, but because of where the course was in Toronto, I doubt it would be easy to organize this.

 

Swag

I can’t remember how much this race cost but I think it was around $80 after taxes. While a little pricey for most other races, the swag that I received was well worth it. Here’s a few highlights:

  • A free special edition Lululemon shirt. I didn’t wear it to the race so I have no photos, but it’s a typical shaped black lulu shirt with a logo of the race on the arm. They left the tags for the shirt on, and the shirt would have cost $68! That’s almost the cost of the race! Considering how well made Lululemon shirts are, I’m sure almost everybody will continue to wear their shirts past race weekend.
  • 25% off of any Lululemon products by showing your bib at specific locations (up to 15 items per bib). I bought a pair of running shorts, a running hat, and a pair of shorts for a friend. While I get that this is a hugely smart tactic by Lululemon, as so many people (myself included) wouldn’t have made the purchase sans discount, it still paid off, and I managed to save over $50 just from this discount alone.
  • 30% off Nuun online-only discount code. I haven’t used it yet, but I might. The only downside to Nuun’s website is that you have to buy a minimum of 4 items.
  • Free Nuun tabs given out at the end of the race.
  • $10 off Promo Code for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October. I used this to officially sign up for my first Half Marathon in October!!!!!!! Very nervous and excited, and it feels so real now that I’ve signed up.
  • Sage wellness products given out at the end of the race.
  • Silver Lululemon bags given out at the end of the race.
  • There were other discount codes and small items like juice bottles given out with the race kit, which were all awesome, but typical of most races so I won’t comment on them.

 

The Race Route

I do remember noting that this route contained less actual waterfront than expected, considering that “Waterfront” is in it’s title. We did pass the water for a few KMs, though, so I guess it’s not a lie. This was my first time running through downtown Toronto, and it’s so much nicer than I imagined. Just being able to look up and see all of the buildings, and running towards and past the CN Tower is so beautiful. None of my races up to this point had nice scenery, so this was such a delightful change.

 

Now Let’s Talk About Me!

I did set a few goals for this race, but most of them were cushions for what I really wanted: A 60 minute finish time. I had more easily achievable goals behind that just in case I fell short, which were a 1:05 and a 1:07 finish time. My only 10km runs up until this race were between 1:04 and 1:07, so while I knew I could finish in a reasonable time, I wasn’t 100% confident in my 60 minute goal. My time was….

60 minutes and 27 seconds.

SO CLOSE TO SUB 60! But as my goal was just “60 minutes”, it still starts with that, so I guess it counts on some levels. One plus to this is that I have so much more confidence in finishing sub 60, or even sub 58 next time.

 

My Garmin was all over the place. It took 10 minutes just to load the GPS, and it was ready to go only minutes before I was off. The first few kilometers were having major issues, which is likely due to being surrounded by such tall buildings. Unless I really did take all of the long corners and turns, and the race was a bit long, this is what my Garmin thinks I ran the 10km in:

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So were this a training run, I could claim 58:22 as my time, but I guess I’ll stick with the race’s time. My 5km was finished in 29:56, which was right on track for that 60 minute finish, so I had pretty even splits.

I was very nervous about even finishing this race. I’d only run the distance 3 times before, none of which were easy. I really have no major complaints, though, and other than a long (but not too steep) upwards hill near the end, I felt fine physically. I never considered stopping altogether, and it was the best I’ve physically felt during a race.

 

My training near the end was a lot less structured due to some personal issues, which explains my lack of training recaps in the past month. I will be going on a trip to Paris and Iceland for the next few weeks, but when I return I’ll be in full training mode for the half marathon, so I’ll likely be giving lots of updates on that!

Now for the best part of the race… This corgi that I saw past the finish line!

 

Until next time!

Meghan

2 thoughts on “Race Report – Toronto Waterfront 10km

  1. Way to go on that 10k–that’s a great time! Sometimes I don’t mind just missing my goal–makes me go after it even harder the next time! Again, congrats, and happy birthday as well! x

    Like

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