Run for the Toad 50k

I had been looking forward to this race for a couple years, since it is such a well-known and popular trail race in Ontario.  I had no idea when I registered back in March, that I would be fresh off of running 100 miles.  I was comforted to meet a few other runners, such as Ken Moon, who not only ran Haliburton, but also the 24-hour indoor race in Ottawa only a week before Run for the Toad.   

Going into the race, I knew I would not be running any fast times, I would be happy to finish.  I figured I could just chat with some of the regulars and try and let the miles pass, without thinking of how tired my legs were.

It was a cool October morning start for the race.  Good temperatures for running, but as the race progressed, the rain started coming down, making the course a very slippery mess in many parts.  Since I was running fairly slowly, I started to get quite cold in the rain.  I pushed my way through, using all that character I had built earlier in the summer.

The course was a nice blend of single-track, grass, asphalt and gravel.  Only when it got wet and muddy, did some parts become quite challenging (relatively speaking). 

As I ran and talked to a few different runners, I soon realized that this race has become a popular token trail race for many road-running regulars.  It was interesting to see the very different cultures of serious (road) marathon runners mix with the pretty easy-going/hardcore community of ultra-runners (I consider myself somewhere in between).    

I finished in 5-hours, 13-minutes and 40-seconds. 

I was happy to be done, and to be able to warm up a bit in the post-race tent.  Run for the Toad did an excellent job feeding everyone and thanks to Tim Horton’s for supplying fresh coffee to keep us warm. 

I ate my post-race meal in the company of some of the regular OUS runners, who were starting to feel more like my running family, after such a great season together. 

I knew I wasn’t going to be anywhere close to winning any awards, but I figured I better stick around for the draw prizes.  I t was a good thing I stayed because my name was pulled out of the hat for a brand new pair of Montrail running shoes!  That seemed to make the whole experience a little more worthwhile. 

While walking back to my car, with barely functioning legs, I somehow managed to get lost.  I was shivering a fair bit by the time I finally found my car.   Even with the heat cranked in my car, it took awhile for me to start to warm up. 

The details are a little fuzzy, but I’m pretty sure I passed out for a nice long sleep once I got home that day.  I will hopefully return someday with fresher legs and a more positive spirit to tackle the Run for the Toad. 

© Brian Groot 2020