Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

I thought it would be best to hitch a ride to Toronto with John and Charlene so that I could save some, which I needed for all the race registration fees I would be paying over the next month.   We discussed our race strategy during the drive and developed the idea of an Ontario Fall Marathon Challenge.  “I wonder how many other people would be interested in running 4-6 marathons without any weeks off?” I thought.  I couldn’t be the only one doing these types of crazy things, and I would soon find out I that indeed, I am not alone. 

Once we got to the expo and picked up our race kits, we bumped into first time marathoner Debbie Couture.  She was quite nervous about the race so John and I tried to lift her spirits and offer her some words of encouragement. 

We had a lovely dinner at John’s mom’s place in Ancaster, where we planned to sleep the night before the race.  She cooked a delicious pasta dinner for us.  I think this was the first time I drank a martini and a glass of wine the night before a race.  I was a little unsure about it but it all worked out well in the end. 

After an early 4:40am wake up, we got ready and drove to the start line in downtown Toronto.  We were all feeling good in the morning and ready to run a 3:20’ marathon.   We bumped into Greg Critchley before the start, and Dave Foster, a Team Diabetes Alumni from Rio as well. 

The race started off with excellent conditions and we were pacing wonderfully.  John was starting to feel some tightness in his hamstring, which he was a little worried about before the race.  By the time we got to the way mark, John had to make the tough decision to pull out in order to prevent a more serious injury to his leg.  I then caught up to a few fellow Muskoka 70.3 finishers, including the man who had chirped me about running a relay.  It was great to see some other people with as busy of a race schedule as I had. 

I slowly increased my pace to help prepare me for my goal race a few weeks later, The Toronto GoodLife Marathon.  I was feeling amazing and kept pushing myself harder, as I got closer to the finish.  With 2 km to go, I ran past the Reebok twins who were cheering me on from the sidelines.  I think the final kilometer was the fastest finish I’ve ever had.  The cheering while running towards the finish line was almost as exciting as the final stretch down Boylston Street in Boston. 

I finished with the best negative split ever, almost 14.5 minutes.  I met up with John and also bumped into the Olanskis and had a post race chat.  After finding Charlene, we headed back to John’s mom’s house to cleaned up and have a bite to eat.  My chip time: 3:07:39”.

© Brian Groot 2020