On Sunday March 3rd, I kicked off my 2013 race season with a brisk – very very brisk – half marathon, The Chilly Half Marathon. As it’s so close to my hometown, I was fairly familiar with this race as a tune up event before the Around the Bay Road Race (end of March), and as one of my goals is to race more this year, I figured I’d sign up.
I was told the route was fast and flat, a better description would’ve been fast with rolling hills – about 16km of them actually. I checked the route and knew we were headed for 2 out-and-backs, wasn’t to sure of the distance of each, but being along the waterfront I wasn’t to concerned. It was nice to be near the water and also run through the residential area of Lakeshore Rd. The giant houses provided lots of look at, and apart from the rollers, it was quite a pleasant route.
Race Kit Pickup:
Kit pick-up was very easy. It was located at the The Waterfront Hotel in Downtown Burlington, parking was for a fee, but i didn’t pay (he he). The vendors were minimal, mainly the sponsors, but lots of samples and opportunity to grab last minute gear if needed. There was no line when I arrived and everything was very well marked.
I was surprised with the amount of swag included with this race. We received a sparkly chilli medal, jacket in either men’s or women’s sizing, and a chilli cowbell. There was fuel along the route provided by eload, free coffee prior to the race, and free post race chilly at a number of local restaurants.
How Did I Do?:
I wasn’t to sure how my first race of the season will be. I only raced three times last season and two were with a group. I’ve been training on my plan which will hopefully have me qualifying for Boston in November. I’ve bumped my 15:1s up to 20:1s and in training runs it has been going well. I was very cold before the race started. There wasn’t really an inside to hang out in and we were asked to be at the start line for 9:30 (races start 10:05). My goal for the race was to finish in 1:54min, and while I felt challenged by the pace I was happy to finish in 1:55:07. This is a personal best for me, beating my last PB in a half which was two years ago. The rollers were killer, but with my Around the Bay training I felt prepared physically, although maybe not mentally. I am happy with the start to my 2013 season.
The race is smaller than many in the GTA, so one of the benefits (and something Burlington did really well), was the connection made to the community. It seemed as though the entire downtown was involved in race day and the after party. Lots of fan support on route (most wear snow pants and ski jackets – brrr it was cold!). A few more musical acts would’ve helped to pass the time and liven things up. There was plenty of free parking and many portva-potties. Definitely a fun and chilly half.