Race Recap: Famous Canadian Beer Run

On Sunday September 18th I had the pleasure of being part of the Brew Crew at the first official Famous Canadian Beer Run.

img_4302Hundreds of beer and running enthusiasts ran around Ontario Place for a 5K run-meets-craft beer and food festival. This was the first race of its kind in Toronto, pairing participants’ passion for running and love of a post-run cold one.

Being part of the “Brew Crew” didn’t require me to “pace” or anything serious – it was in fact the opposite or “serious”, my goal was to dress up and help runners have a blast and well at a themed run like this it was very easy to do.

img_4346This run route was awesome. The route ventured around and through Ontario Place, where we checked out the scenic lake and city skyline views while touring the east and west islands. We definitely went to places in Ontario I had never been, and some I haven’t seen for many years. In addition, we were also treated to a preview of the art installations which were set up as part of the in/future art experience taking place simultaneously.

Post-run participants kicked back, danced, and waited in line at the Craft Beer and Food Festival. As part of the race entry we were given free beer tickets for samples of the finest craft brews from Ontario brewers, as well as  gourmet food from the city’s top food trucks. These were also available for purchase (cash only). Live entertainment also took place at the Heritage Square post-race party.

The $50 run entry was a great value which included

  • Entry into post-run Craft Beer & Food Festival
  • 4 beer/beverage chips (good for two 8 oz. beers, or four 4 oz. beer samples)
  • Commemorative beer stein
  • Run t-shirt
  • Customized race bib
  • Race kit filled with samples

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The run did have a few logistical problems resulting from lack of volunteers and being a first time experience. The lines everywhere were very long. Registration had to be checked when entering Ontario Place as there were two types of tickets – the run – the festival – so they had to confirm everyone had paid. Once you were in the park we lined up again and this time it was to get our race kits. Had the bib numbers been emailed prior, or even a link to check them ourselves online, we would’ve saved time. More volunteers could’ve helped more things along here as well. As a result of these two lines the start of the race was delayed and all subsequent waves were pushed back. The wave starts were pretty relaxed and even with these lines people were in great spirits.

Now the other problem…the 5km run route was only 4.3km long. Obviously not great, but this was a run, not a race, and it wasn’t timed at all, BUT integrity is important and I think this is a big mistake, but one that can easily be fixed for next year.

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The run was promoted really well, had a great route, and a wonderful atmosphere and energy. Even with these two hiccups, the runners had great attitudes and very few people were getting upset. I’m sure if the run happens again they will be on top of these two mishaps and so I would highly suggest anyone who likes beer gets in on this event. Bring your friends, dress up, and have an awesome afternoon.

Road to 70.3: Week 14

My legs are fried! Last week seemed to be all about the bike – also because I did my long weekend ride on Monday, took Tuesday off for Mark’s birthday, and them crammed the rest of the workouts in the remaining 5 days – ouch. But I got them done!

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MONDAY: 90km. As we were still up at the cottage I took full advantage of the long ride out on the country roads. I did a couple out and backs to down town then a long straight (although hilly) segment out to a sunflower field I had seen. The photo doesn’t capture them that well be it was great to have this goal to ride to, and to get it done with very few cars, and on such a nice day.

TUESDAY: Today was Mark’s birthday, and after yesterday’s long ride it seemed appropriate to take a rest day. I spent the day running errands and Mark and I had dinner at a little place he had been wanting to revisit after a Tribe brunch. Balance is key.

WEDNESDAY: Today was our weekly Tribe run, plus I got in a 20km bike ride. It was really hot out and my only free time was key tourist time along the waterfront trail, so I kept my ride indoors. I also discovered I can access our condo’s common area wifi while on the bikes, so kept myself very entertained with some movies and old TV shows.

THURSDAY: Today was an epic brick plus bonus bike ride I had missed on Tuesday. In the morning I swan 1.5km and did a long and torturous 75 min run. The heat was awful and EVERY step of the way I had to consciously choose to not walk. It was a dreaded workout, but one that is so sweat when it’s done. I finished my day by teaching at YYoga, and sticking around for a spin class – I always like taking other teachers classes, and this one was great.

FRIDAY: Today started with some epic procrastination which required me to not get into the water (for 1.5km) until the afternoon and then decide it was to hot for an outdoor run, so for the first time in forever I ran for 60 minutes on the treadmill.

SATURDAY: So I think procrastination is becoming the theme of the week. I decided to not get up to swim prior to our Tribe run, so I did 13km, then swan 2km, then rode for 45min. As I had previously been riding indoors I hadn’t noticed that I had misplaced my outdoor cycling shoes (I have different clips for indoors). This was really disappointing as I got dressed, couldn’t find them, so took my bike down the 50 floors to our parking, only to not find my shoes there either (note they were actually in my car). So back upstairs I went, changed into human cycling clothes and hit the gym. To much indoors and to much procrastination.

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SUNDAY: YogaJam kicked of our Sunday as it does almost every week. The morning stretch is great and as I only teach 2 of the 10 classes, I typically get to enjoy being a participant which is always so much fun. On my way to yoga I found my cycling shoes – obviously great news. After the yoga class I delayed almost 2 hours before finally getting out to start my 80km ride. It was hot and crowded. After 42km around the Leslie Spit and Beaches, I had enough of the pedestrians along the water front and took my ride indoors. So much riding this week had really gotten my butt sore from the sitting and even a new episode of Sex and The City of my Ipad couldn’t shape the voices in my head telling me to take a break.

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This was a brutal week for delaying and procrastinating my workouts. Any and every reason I convinced myself to wait or do something different – but I got them done. It wasn’t until writing this post that i realized these themes and my mind games. It was hot, I’m tired, I’m sore, I’m busy – let me send just one more email. Each of these delays was my choice – the training got done, but certainly at the expense of my downtime and family time. This weeks goal – do the workout when I say I will.

We are heading on vacation soon, and I’m trying to figure out how to keep my training on track. Any tips? Leave them in the comments.

Missed a week of my training?

Week 13   Week 12  Week 11  Week Ten   Week Nine  Week Eight

Week Seven  Week Six  Week Five

Week Four   Week Three  Week Two  Week One

Yoga for Peace: Lolë White Tour

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Lolë White Tour here in Toronto at the Exhibition Place.

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The Lolë White Tour, is a series of yoga events in cities around the world organized by women’s active wear and lifestyle brand Lolë. I had previously heard of the event and have many ambassadors in my network, however I hadn’t previously experienced an event or even stepped foot in a store.

The event was very well organized. As with all of their yoga events, they request attendees wear white as a symbol of peace. Participants received “swag bags” as well as a yoga mat to keep. While most participants were in white there were a few randoms folks in bright neon or grey, or black – so, while I agree white pants do not look good on anyone – don’t let the colour of your wardrobe keep you from this fun evening.

lole 1A group of 3,000 yoga lovers gathered to experience a unique evening of pure serenity against the backdrop of the picturesque Arches of Toronto on Canada Boulevard. Think the Seawheeze sunset festival – without the half marathon run – or the flight to Vancouver. I arrived at 7:30, however with all the events taking place I would definitely suggest you arrive early to take full advantage of the “expo” prior to the yoga. Vendors at the Toronto event included Oikos, Elle Canada, Biotherm, Pure Leaf and Sporting Life each with a tent and fun activities and giveaways to explore prior to the class.

From 8:30pm – 10pm, a special yoga class led by renowned and long-time yoga teacher for the Tour, Elena Brower, among beloved Toronto teachers Lisa Messina (Drishti Yoga Centre) and Marla Meenakshi Joy (Downward Dog), to the soothing sound of singer and performer Ariana Zita on her piano took place. The instructors each took 20 minute segments taking us through flowy movements, standing balances with those beside us and eventually under the setting sun we found ourselves in savasana.

The event was a lot of fun and something I would certainly recommend for groups of gals looking for a fun night of fitness to attend next year. Do your best to war white and be sure to arrive early.

* Photos from Lolë