This past weekend I took part in my first ever Midsummer Night’s Run here in Toronto, which also happened to be my first evening run as well. I found out about this race when I attended the GoodLife Fitness Marathon expo back in May and I’ll be honest, I was tempted by the bling. They had some past medals on display at their booth that really caught my eye, so I’m not ashamed to say that I had this race on my mind for a little while before signing up.
I didn’t register right away because I was trying to decide what distance to run. Would I be ready for the 15K? Did I want to run a 15K before even doing a 10K? I thought about these questions for awhile, but finally near the end of the July I decided on the 5K. My half marathon training had gotten a little behind because of my ankle injury, so I didn’t want to push it. I decided I was going to have fun and try out this race that would be totally new to me.
This race is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, it’s in the evening, which can either be a good or a bad thing depending on when you like to race. Second, there are 3 distances to choose from – 5, 15, and 30K. Great for fun or if you’re training for longer races later in the season. Lastly, costumes are encouraged. Lots of people were dressed up for this race, which gave it a fun atmosphere (very helpful since this day ended up being grey and rainy). Seriously, do you know what it feels like to get passed by a guy in a Snow White costume? Well, I do now.
Overall my experience with this race was great. Kit pick up was super easy and in a well-known place and since my bf was coming along, pre-paying for a parking spot was a breeze as well. We were able to just pull into the lot and hop on the shuttle to the start line stress free. This is good because I tend to get nerves before a race, so I don’t like to run late or have logistical issues. To be honest, I think the most nerve-wracking part was actually waiting for the race to start. Although it was a shorter distance, I still wanted to make sure I ate proper foods throughout the day and had to make sure I wasn’t feeling fatigued before the race even started. Funny enough, I don’t think I ate enough food during the day because I was super hungry throughout the whole race. Interesting challenge running with an empty, growling stomach!
From what I could tell, this wasn’t a huge race. There were lots of people there, but definitely not as many as I’ve seen at other races. Somehow there still were long line ups at the porta-potties though! Good thing there was a Tim Hortons nearby so the bf could grab a coffee to keep warm and I could use the washroom which had a much shorter line up. Yes, you read that right… he had to warm up. This was a cool, rainy night unfortunately but the rain did end up stopping during the races which was nice. Funny thing was that I came dressed for a rainy run and ended up being overdressed and warm during the race. This is one thing that I consistently do every race – I overdress. I’m not sure why I haven’t gotten this yet. Mental note for the next race… just because I am cold at the start, does not mean I will be cold the whole darn time!
The course for the 5K is flat and fast, no doubt about that. Not much scenery on this course since it’s not long enough to go into any parks and it’s still in an area that is open to the public. It was Saturday evening, so at one point I was dodging around gals all dressed up in club outfits with huge high heels on. I even overheard some people talking about how we were all crazy for being out running. That made me laugh, because in that moment I preferred to be in my running gear working my butt off instead of in uncomfortable dress clothes. Funny how that works!
Even though I was incredibly hungry and overdressed, I paced myself really well for the whole race and ended up achieving my best 5K time ever –> 26:08!! I’m so happy about this result and it feels great to see progress in my running. I placed 60 out of 450 people, which may not seem high, but that’s the highest for me – so awesome! And yes, in the end, the bling did not disappoint (although it would have been nice if they had put the medal on us, but maybe they were protecting them from the rain). The medal is large, heavy, and has a spinning moon on it – super cool! We also received a free stainless steel water bottle at the end, which was a nice touch.
Would I do this race again? Yes! I had a lot of fun and I loved the goodies (technical long sleeved shirt, cool medal, water bottle), so I’d definitely be back. It would be nice to do one of the longer distances though, because I hear they offer pins to returning racers that show how many KMs you’ve ran at this race over the years. A good way to build race loyalty!
A big thank you to the organizers and all the cheerful volunteers for putting on a great event! Thank you for dealing with the cool, rainy evening to watch us crazy runners get out there. It’s definitely appreciated! Also, a big thank you to my bf, he’s been a major supporter and my one man cheer squad throughout this whole journey. :)
Do you have a favourite medal? What race was it from?