Race Recap: Sporting Life 10K

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A few girlfriends and I ran the Sporting Life 10K this year on Sunday, May 11. This race is the second largest in Canada. Registration for the race is associated with Camp Oochigeas (“Camp Ooch”), a registered charity and residential camp for children with cancer.

The SL10K (and The Yonge Street 10K [TYS10K]) are known as the easiest 10k races to do in Toronto because of the downhill terrain on a lot of the course: south on Yonge Street. This was great news for me as I had a wedding and reception to attend the evening before! :|

THE RACE-KIT PICK-UP
Race kit pick up (for local folk) was at the Sporting Life Store (2665 Yonge Street) during the week before race day. This included our personalized race bib, a pretty awesome NIKE Dri Fit T-Shirt, and a coupon for 15% off purchases at the Sporting Life Store until race day. There were volunteers and signage everywhere and the whole process was very well organized.

THE COMMUTE
I was running a little late for the start time of my corral (blue corral / 3rd wave at 8:20AM) from Finch station. The subway doesn’t run until 9:30am on Sundays, so I followed other runners sporting the Camp Ooch shirt for the race and took the bus down to where the roads were closed off for the SL10K.

THE RACE
Prior to this race, my only other races in Toronto had been the Midsummer Night’s Run (15km) over the summer and the Midnite Run (5km) on NYE. Not needing bag check, I immediately joined the other runners I saw past the partitions heading towards the start line. I noticed that runners had different coloured bibs and can appreciate that it would be way too difficult for volunteers to reinforce the corral colours for over 27,000 runners. Save for having to dodge a few walkers fairly early in the race, this really didn’t end up being a problem for me anyway.

We also had to dodge a couple of pedestrians, but otherwise the race route is pretty tightly closed off for the race. The nice downhills and slight uphills were mostly in the first 5km of the course; the rest was level terrain. I ran from about 8:30am-9:30am and the weather was slightly cool and sunny. The buildings along Yonge provided much appreciated shade and there were few occasional stretches of sunlight we had to run under. There were water stations at the 4k and 7k marks which were very efficiently manned from what I could tell. There were also plenty of cheerers, which is always a great morale boost. :)

I finished my 10k at 1 hour and 2 minutes. That last km felt like a long one for me, lol. I was disappointed that I came so close to the <1 hour mark on what was a great race route with beautiful weather, but I’m happy that I finished with no problems after a wedding reception and about 3 hours of sleep. The overall average for the race was 1 hour and 3 minutes. Great job, runners! :D

THE FINISH
After crossing the finish line, runners were herded towards Coronation Park on Lakeshore Boulevard for medals, refreshments, bag pick-up, and post-race awards ceremony at the stage near one of the baseball diamonds. Reception was pretty wonky which made for meeting with family and friends a little difficult, but I managed to catch up with my friends Karen and Stella separately. We all ran at different times!

Overall, this was a great race and I thought it was really well prepared for, especially considering the sheer vastness of numbers the organizers had to accommodate. The volunteers were also friendly and well informed. From what I’ve heard, this was a completely different (and much better) experience from last year in terms of weather conditions and organization. My social media newsfeeds were also exploding with excited updates on #sl10k. I would definitely like to do this one again next year! :D

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