May 5, 2014

Mississauga Marathon 5k and Half-Marathon Race Reports

by pyrad
Categories: General Running and/or Fitness, Race Report
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I ran Mississauga Marathon Starbucks Hazel 5k and Recharge With Milk Half-Marathon last weekend. Yes, both. Why?? Because I can!

Originally, I planned to only do the 5k because I would then get the whole Mississauga set. Then I decided I was going to fundraise for the Trillium Health Partners Foundation, and the half-marathon got added.


Date Event Goal Time Chip Time Gun Time
2014/05/03 Mississauga Marathon 5k <27:14.3 27:20.3 28:16.6
2014/05/04 Mississauga Half-Marathon <2:17:39 2:18:21.1 2:21:59.0


The best thing for me in these races is that I exceeded my goal and raised $645 for the Trillium Health Partners Foundation. A huge thank you to all my donors!

I’m still accepting donations! Click here to donate!

Thank you to my donors who helped me exceed my fundraising goal!
Thank you to my donors who helped me exceed my fundraising goal!

Race Prep

As I said before, this wasn’t exactly the Dopey Challenge, but this back to back required some serious preparation and planning.

When I ran the Mississauga Half-Marathon two years ago, I fundraised for the Trillium Health Foundation, and the cape was a hassle. My mom made my cape then, and made me a new one for this year. I decided to iron-on the Trillium Health Partners Foundation logo to the back of the cape. Unfortunately, the nylon of the cape melted a bit with the iron and the colour bled through. Oops.

Home made cape with the Trillium Health Partners Logo
Home made cape with the Trillium Health Partners Logo


One tricky thing for these races was to make sure that I had the right chip for the correct shoe. I took the next image to make sure the correct bib, shoe, and chip would match the correct race.

Shoes, bibs, with chips. I needed a reference to be sure which shoe was for which race
Shoes, bibs, with chips. I needed a reference to be sure which shoe was for which race

There was a registration mix-up for the 5k where they switched my first and last name. So my last name appeared on the bib, and it was flipped in the Sportstats results. They’ve since corrected the Sportstats.

I set-up two flat runners to be ready for the races. Long before the race, I decided I was going to do the 5k as work, and the half-marathon for fun. That reflected in the outfit choice: Serious run gear for the 5k, and a comic book superhero character costume for the half.

I couldn’t decide whether to wear red or blue shorts as part of my ‘Superman’ costume, so I put a little poll on my facebook wall. Red won.

Two 'flat runners' before the race
Two ‘flat runners’ before the race


Mississauga Marathon Starbucks Hazel 5k

I set a variety of goals for the 5k, but my biggest was to set a new Personal Best and beat 27:14.

The evening of the 5k was quite variable for weather. It was raining on and off. Right before I got on the shuttle bus I decided to leave my jacked in the car instead of checking it. Unfortunately, I left my gloves in the coat pocket.

So, I got to the starting are with an hour to spare and it’s cold and rainy. I pride myself on always being prepared, but I had no coat, gloves, foil, or even garbage bag! At least I claimed a nice spot under a tree. It was so cold I could see my breath. And I think I called a few-dozen flies while waiting.

But, there were some runners from a Learn-to-Run clinic at the Square One Running Room who I’d been a guest speaker for. They had an extra garbage bag! I never thought I’d be so thankful for a garbage bag!!

I was able to get a few minutes of sprinting before the race in hopes of warming up enough before the race.

A few minutes before the race, I saw Mississauga’s Mayor Hazel McCallion taking photos with people. I snuck in and got a photo with her too. My facebook friend Justin had my favourite caption/comment: “Hazel: Stop taking pictures of me and start running“.

With Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion before the Mississauga Marathon Starbucks Hazel 5k
With Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion before the Mississauga Marathon Starbucks Hazel 5k

The start of the race was really crowded. There was no corral system at all, so there were walkers right at the front. It was quite a mess passing people and settling into a good rhythm. By about 2k in managed to get into a good groove. I was surprised I was moving along happily at about 5:20 min/km.

It was cold, windy, and rainy for the whole race. But, to borrow a line from a recent Disney blockbuster: “The cold never bothered me anyways.” The cold meant I could run at the highest intensity possible without worrying about overheating.

The bugs bothered me though. They were really thick! I had to actually be careful not to eat too many of them.

The foot-tingling injury still plagues me. I hoped that I warmed-up enough to beat it, but unfortunately not. I told myself I’d take a little walk break at 3k, but ran right by the sign, and even by where the 4k sign should have been.

Unfortunately, when I lost feeling in both feet, I took a 20 second walk break. After that I charged up the final hill and blasted across the finish line.

I finished in 27:20, six seconds slower than my personal best. *sigh*


Recharge With Milk Half-Marathon

After a rather restless night, I got geared up again for another, longer race. As I said, this one was for fun, and for charity.

It’s not often I can wake up in my own bed and head off to a race. I still had to get up around 5am, but at least I had all the comforts of home.

Feeling 'Super' before the Mississauga Half-Marathon
Feeling ‘Super’ before the Mississauga Half-Marathon

It was chilly at the start. Just the way I like it. There were a lot of people milling about, including a big Dailymile group, the #BurlingtonSkirtBrigade, and the “Squatters” from Brampton, and a lot of the ‘home team’ from the Square One Running Room.

The night before the race I chatted with my friend Iva who was doing her first full. She said she planned on going at 6:30 min/km pace. I decided that sounded pretty good for me so I volunteered to pace her until the course split around 15km. So, I found Iva and we started the race together.

Right after the start, I ‘ran’ into fellow blogger Nadiya of The Plant-Based Scientist. We’ve been exchanging emails and commenting on each others’ blogs for over a year, and we finally met unexpectedly about 500 meters into a race.

It turned out to be a really nice day. I was glad to do Iva’s pace and keep her company. I got a lot of “Go Superman” cheers. People loved the cape!

I was kinda sad when we saw Indian Road come up and we’d have to split up. She tempted me to do the full-course. I was feeling REALLY good at the time, but reluctantly stuck to my plan and stayed on the half-marathon course. Iva went on to finish under 5 hours! Congratulations Iva on your first marathon!!

After the split I really picked up the pace. I was probably below 6:00 min/km for the rest of the race. It was a little lonely by myself. I was tempted to put my headphones in, but so many people kept cheering “Go Superman” that I didn’t want to look like I wasn’t listening.

There’s a stretch called “Front Street” right before the lighthouse in Port Credit where the course turns north. There was a very strong north wind and I’m sure the cape looked epic. Unfortunately, after turning east, my cape kept getting tossed everywhere. Not so epic looking.

Also, after passing the lighthouse it was now the same course as the 5k the night before. And I think my legs realized that. My quads were done. I didn’t have any gusto left.

The final stretch to the finish line was challenging, but with so many people cheering “Go Superman” I HAD to push hard!

I finished in 2:18:21, which unfortunately was slower than Chilly. Maybe I went too slow for the first 15k? Maybe my legs were too tired from the very speedy 5k the night before? Maybe the cape was too much wind resistance?

Regardless, I want to run with a cape forever now. So much crowd support for ‘Superman’.


Still feeling ‘super’ after the race, so I took a #SuperSelfie

I didn’t set any records like I wanted, and I didn’t even really make my race goals, but I’m still really happy about how the races turned out.

I’m expecting more race photos, and I hope they’re epic! If I buy some I’ll definitely share them!

I want to say a huge thank you to the volunteers and spectators that made these races special. The volunteers were at the expo, and both race days, including the really rainy Saturday night. The gentleman who gave me my 5k medal goes to my gym, so that was nice. And the spectators, though sparse, were awesome. I particularly remember a guy who had an ElliptiGo who would sing the superman theme whenever he saw me.

It was also a pleasure to share these races with so many wonderful people. You all know who you are and I love sharing this journey of running and fitness with all of you!!

This year's Mississauga Medals and the 5k cotton shirt
This year’s Mississauga Medals and the 5k cotton shirt



End of Season

It’s been a long season with ups and downs, icy roads, cold weather: I’m both happy and sad that it’s over.

My next immediate goal is to get fitter looking in time for a friend’s wedding in late July. Vain? Yes, but I think it’s a good motivation.

I’m also registered for 3 half-marathons this fall, and I hope to put together a killer training routine for the summer to crush my previous PB’s.

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