Toronto Yonge Street 10K Race Recap

With the summer being dominated by my triathlon season, in the past it's been nice for us as a couple for me to support my wife in running races in the spring.  Two years ago, she ran the Yonge St 10K and the Sporting Life 10K which used to be the same event.  After mixing the two up last year, she found she preferred the Yonge St 10K and wanted to do it again this year.
April 2012 - Human Totem Pole waiting for Mama... the Lightning Kid is around 6 months old in this pic
When she found out that there was a stroller division this year, she asked me if we should do it as a family.  While Shark Boy hasn't been too keen on sitting in the Chariot during runs anymore, we thought we could make it work, and got excited at the prospect of running a 10K as a family.  I started doing more runs on my lunch hour (perfect timing since the run club just started at work) and we got one 'dry run' as a family 2 weeks before race day - 8 km, with the Chariot and everything.  What we learned is that managing the boys would be as big a challenge as pushing the stroller, or dragging our butts across the finish line.

I also put out a few feelers prior to race day to see who was doing the Yonge Street 10k.  There were people I met through my outing with Tribe Fitness, as well as some of my favourite local fitness bloggers (who I'd met last year at the May Tweet-Up) like The Athletarian, Eat Spin Run Repeat, Work It Wear It Eat It, Robyn Baldwin, ElleSeeFit and Darwinian Fail... so many awesome people in one place.  Krysten (a.k.a Darwinian Fail) let me know that she was meeting people at a Starbucks at 8:30.

The problem?  Our corral (the stroller division) wouldn't be starting till 9:20 and I knew trying to keep the boys still in a crowded area for a long time was a recipe for disaster.  We ended up at the starting area sometime after 9:00 and I'm sure everyone who wasn't right at the back was in their corral chomping at the bit.  So...  a missed social opportunity, but at least there was no Amber Alert situation right?

Before the Start
My wife preferred the Yonge Street 10k to the Sporting Life 10k due to better organization, and boy does it show.  The stroller division/purple corral started at 9:20 on the dot.  And I mean, on the dot - (a nerd alert shouldn't be necessary here,  but maybe it's your first time on this blog, so... NERD ALERT!) My watch syncs nightly to an atomic clock with the exact official time, and it had just ticked over to 9:20:00 when they said go.  That's how on the dot, I mean.

We really enjoyed the run.  We got a lot of positive attention for having two handsome little boys along for the ride and people got a real kick out of Shark Boy's singing as we rolled along.  We also got a few laughs for having to do parenting/management mid run e.g. "No Fighting you two!"  The smart thing we had done was pack a ton of snacks, because it's hard to whine or complain with a mouthful of goldfish crackers.

I skipped the port-a-potties at 4 km, but by 5 km, I was regretting that decision a little.  I told my wife I was going to use them at the 7 km water station and when it got within sight, I let her push the stroller and ran ahead so she wouldn't have to wait as long.  Here's where things went off the rails - I thought she'd wait by the port-a-potties or maybe the water station, she thought she'd give me a chance to run at my normal pace by going ahead and letting me catch up.

When I got out, I couldn't see them anywhere; I back tracked till I could see Dundas St, where I'd left them - no sign of them.  I ran back (or more accurately, forward) to the water/aid station and couldn't see them there either.  I hesitated, then ran forwards for a while, at a near sprint.  When the route turned West on Richmond, I described them to a volunteer who said they'd seen them, so I kept sprinting.  I sprinted for nearly a kilometre and I still hadn't seen them anywhere.  My cell phone was in the back of the stroller, but a medical volunteer (from the Ski Patrol) offered me his.  They'd gotten just past the 9 km mark, but we still had a chance to finish the race together!  I'd been running around with the 'Baby Stroller' bib on my back, but no baby stroller, so I was relieved to 'take the wheel' again, so to speak.

We finished the race in a pitiful 1:31:22, and the MapMyFitness tracker shows the 10k route (with a bunch of waiting around near the end):

Yet with all the back tracking I did, as far as I can tell, I did about 14km.

We were still all smiles to be together as a family, and Shark Boy got his wish to run across the finish line (in fact he did the last 500 m or so); holding his mother's hand.


We chowed down on all kinds of snacks and drink samples, and I think one of the highlights was meeting a group (including Mark Sawh and Steve Layton) who decided to run the race as superheroes while raising money for the Hospital For Sick Children.  Shark Boy was thrilled to meet his heroes, and the heroes seemed just as thrilled!

They were taking down the festivities as we left to catch the very last shuttle back to the starting area.  Once we were back on Yonge, we opened patio season (sort of - we were near an open window at least) with a pub lunch.  Fulfilling our promise of ice cream was surprisingly trickier, but that was also a treat.

When I got home, I found my toes felt bruised.  It took me a while to figure out, but with the race's net downhill, I had spent a good deal of the course putting on the brakes trying to keep the stroller from running away on us, thus jamming my toes into the front of the shoe repeatedly!

All in all, a great day, and the Canada Running Series should be congratulated for running a great event.  It left us thirsty for more family 10k runs!

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