Let’s go TOR-ONTO Toronto!

At most races you have a mix of finishers. You have those who run well and you have those who just didn’t have their day.  That was not the case on October 18th in Toronto for CRC though.  We were a pure powerhouse.  Everyone ran well.  We were led by Kevin Gravina who ran a 2:45 (a 4min PR), followed by Wes Mather who came in at 2:56 (a 1.5min PR).  Then there was Chris Keenan & his brother in law (Ben Cronin) finishing together at 3:06:50 (that’s family love right there and over a 3min PR for Chris).  Shortly thereafter was me, trying to catch Chris & Ben and finishing in 3:08:30 (an 8.5min PR).  And last, but certainly not least, were Sean Buchsbaum and Molly Keenan.  They battled most of the course together and finished at 3:40:42 and 3:44:20, respectively.  Both earning themselves a new PR: Sean by 6 min and Molly by 15.  Rachel Kalinsky ran the half in 2:01.  The last couple halfs she’s run have been tough, so she really just wanted to feel good the whole time which she was successfully able to do.  She was also there to to cheer and coral the rest of us which was very much appreciated.

That’s the short of it, anyway, but how we got there is the real story…

Most of the group arrived in the great land of Canadia on Friday.  Some arrived early and some arrived late, but ultimately, we all met at the cabbagetown house we had rented and would call home for the next 3 days.  On Saturday morning, the group woke up with a whirlwind of emotion: excitement, anxiety, fear.  To get these pre-race jitters out, we did what we do best: went out for a shake out run.  The weather conditions were similar to what we would see on race day, so it was a good test for the capris/mittens/hats that haven’t gotten much use over the past 6 months.

After the run, we headed to the expo.  We picked up our numbers and a few race goodies, but the real souvenirs were purchased after the expo at Canada’s version of Walgreens where we picked up some sweet winter hats.  We also headed to the thrift store to pick up some suit jackets to keep us warm before the start.  See photoshoot on the website.   

Saturday evening was expectedly low-key.  We had a group pasta party followed by some strategy conversations.  First 10 with your legs, second 10 with your head, and the last 6 with your heart was our motto.  We watched some inspirational videos to get us pumped up (as if we needed it!) and then it was time for bed.

Let’s go TOR-ONTO Toronto!  It’s race day. As they say, the course was fast, flat, and festive.

With the marathon and the half marathoners together, there were a lot of people for the first half.  As the half marathoners turned off, the numbers thinned out.  The marathoners continued along the waterfront with a couple out and backs which was great because we could cheer each other on.

With the help of Rachel, we all gathered at the end of the finish line chute.  It was chilly, but the sun was shining and we had our Canadian winter hats and our post race foil blankets to keep us warm.  What was our first order of business?!  To look up how Kun and the other Baystate warriors did, obviously.  Chris took the lead on this one.  The suspense was building as he scrolled through the results.  When he announced the amazing time of 2:56 that Kun ran we all jumped for joy.  Well, not really jumped because that would have been hard to do after the 26 miles, but it was truly electrifying.  Congrats Kun and the rest of the Baystate runners!

Post race festivities included a British pub, a restaurant downtown we had all to ourselves, and Canada’s largest TV.  All in all the weekend was a success.  Congrats Runners!

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