Thursday, July 5, 2012

Toronto Spartan Sprint – Spectator Recap

My husband and a couple of friends ran the Spartan Sprint a week or two ago. This was the husband’s second Spartan Race and he also ran Warrior Dash last year. Seemed a bit too hard core for me, so I tagged along to take pictures and hold stuff.
They were all in the 2:30 heat and we arrived about an hour early. We had to park about 5 km away from the actual race site and take a shuttle bus over. Getting there wasn’t too big of a deal thankfully – we only had to wait about 15 – 20 minutes. We were warned though by people coming in from the earlier waves that bag check was a disaster so leave everything in the car. We left most of our stuff and I ended up carrying a back pack with water bottles and towels.
Lots of people

Race kit pick up was onsite and everyone got their timing chips as they entered. No race bibs – they were told to write their numbers on their arms and either on their cheeks or forehead.
Before. Everyone is clean.

As a spectator, there was a $15 charge. Pretty steep if you ask me and I had gone back and forth a lot deciding whether or not to come. I did get a $5 voucher for merchandise but I couldn’t find the merchandise tent so that was pretty useless.
At 2:30, the Spartans were off.
Husband is in the light blue shirt

I knew I wouldn’t be able to see much, so went over to catch some of the end of the race. It had started to rain at this point. Waited out in the rain for about 40 minutes or so. It was kind of fun though talking to the other spectators.

Here he comes.

Notice that the mud is up to his chest.

Climbing over the wall.

My husband finished first out of his four friends. The course was supposed to be 5km but ended up being closer to 7.
They were supposed to pick up their shirts at the end of the race but seems that the shirts get held up at the border so they didn’t have the right sizes. The shirt is supposed to be mailed out so we’ll see if it ever arrives (I’m kind of doubtful).
After - covered in mud.

The line ups to wash off were pretty ridiculous so they decided to skip it and we headed to the shuttle bus line up. AN HOUR LATER – we got on a bus. Bit ridiculous especially since it was pouring rain.
My husband had a great time but was a bit disappointed in some of the organizational issues of the race. Since I’ve done more races than him, he asked for my opinion on Spartan Race. Here’s my list of things that need serious improvement:
  • Shuttle bus situation needed big improvements. Took way too long to get back to the parking lot.
  • $15 spectator fee was pretty lame. I don’t think I would pay it again. At the same time though, it was good that I went and took photos because….
  • Not having bibs ended up not being great. The race photos came out this week and because no one was wearing a bib and they were covered in mud, there’s a ton of pics in the “lost and found pile”. I looked for pics of all 4 guys and could find one photo that was labelled with their bib number and it was of two girls so not the right person. We’ve done some hunting through the pics and found a couple, but wearing bibs would probably have helped matters. Or writing their number on their forehead but who wants to do that? The only pics they have are the ones I took.
  • There was no post race food included. You could purchase tickets for fries and hot dogs, but the runners didn’t get anything, not even a banana. I’ve never done a race that didn’t have something for the runners.
  • Whole issue with the shirts. I hope my husband gets his eventually but who knows.
  • Husband got an e-mail saying results are ready! Yay! However – here’s a bit from the e-mail: “For some participants you will find the Letters TBA by you name, some of the Data stored on the timing box suffered damage there was a small electrical fire (!!!!) by the finish line, we have sent the drive off to see if we can extract the information in the meantime we will keep you posted.” So far, no data so husband’s time is TBA. Sucks. I did check my water when he came in so we think his time was about 48 minutes.
Things that were good:
  • Nice medal
  • Everyone had a lot of fun.
  • I can use the “I paid $15 to stand in the rain for 4 hours” line against my husband to come to the rest of my races for the year!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

GTAA Runway Run

Last Saturday, I ran the GTAA Runway 5K. I signed up for it with two of my co-workers. It was a first race for both of them.

As the name implies, the run took place out on the Runway by the planes.
There were quite a few people and lots of families out (there was also a 2K walk).
The race started a bit late and it was super hot.
Being on a runway, the course was completely flat. It was an out and back and honestly, a bit boring. I need scenery. I so like the map from my Garmin:

I had a goal of 35 minutes in mind and I managed to come in at 34:57 so super happy with that. My previous 5K PR was 36:23 so I met my spring goal of setting new PR’s for half marathon, 10K and 5K. Yay!
I’m super proud of my co-worker David. He quite smoking last August (after smoking for many many years), started running in March and ran his first 5K in 30 minutes.
Overall, I enjoyed the Runway Run but I don’t think I’ll be doing it again. I’d rather save my money for longer races.
Things I liked:
  • Flat course!
  • Lots of food at the finish area
  • Great shirt and medal

Things I didn’t like:
  • No water on course and it was super hot
  • Started late
  • Flat course= bit dull.