Simon From Toronto

The 2022 Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon

October 16, 2022: The Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon

This is the one I’ve been waiting for.

2019 was basically my first year of running races (I’d only started running the year before), and I closed out the year with this half marathon – my first.

Then covid hit and everything went virtual – and its just not the same as running an in-person race.

Earlier this year I ran the half in Vancouver and enjoyed it – but was disappointed with the result. I thought that after running consistently for a couple of years I’d be running a half faster than before. But it was a different course, a different time of year, and my preparation had been different.


Crossing the finish line at the Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon

This one is more in my control. Same course. Home course. Prepped and ready.

These were the goals:

  1. Beat my previous time on the course: 2:03:01
  2. Beat 2 hours
  3. Beat 1:50:00

The Race

The race starts down by University and King Streets, with folks arranged into corrals of maybe 500 – 1000 people (just guessing).

I started about 4 corrals back. The first is for the people who are running to win, and the rest are based on how long we think it will take us to finish the race. I was in the 2hr-ish corral.

After the initial start there is the slow movement as each corral moves up to the start line and waits for their Go. I think we were released every 3 or 4 minutes?

And then the race begins. I started out next to a 2 hour pacer and wanted to get as far ahead of them as possible – without ‘blowing my load’ in the first couple of kilometres.

I ran the first at 5:44 – this is good, I often start out way too fast. I kept an eye on pace on my watch – it didn’t hurt that it was so crowded at the start.

The next km was 5:21, then 5:14, then 5:14 again, then 5:13, and so on. I basically maintained the low 5s until about the 8th, where I slowed down a bit, but ran the whole race on the good side of 6 min/km, with an overall pace of 5:41.

And it felt good too.

This is the longest I’ve been able to sustain this pace without gassing out at some point. It wasn’t until the 19th or 20th km that I started to feel fatigued.

I never saw that 2hr pacer again either, which was good – great even, though perhaps I wasn’t as far ahead of them as I thought.

The final result:

I finished the race with a time of 1:59:59, hilariously beating my second goal by 1 second. So 2 out of 3 goals beat – I’ll take it.

More importantly to me, the race felt good.  I felt good running it, I was pleased with my pace, I didn’t gas out at any point.  Quite a difference from the Vancouver half back in May.

Who knows, maybe next year is the year I go for the full marathon.


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