March 6, 2015

Chilly Half-Marathon (and Frosty 5k) Race Report

by pyrad
Categories: Race Report
Tags: , ,
Comments: 4 Comments


I had a great run(s) last weekend! I successfully paced the Chilly Half-Marathon around 2:20, and then I ran the Frosty 5k.

Marathon Photos got some great pictures of me during the run. I think I’m going to buy the whole package and post it eventually.

How did I do both? I got lost and did the course again :p

That’s not entirely untrue, but the full story is a bit longer: A friend that I run with really liked the Frosty 5k medal when she saw it on Facebook. She arranged with the race director Kelly Arnott to run the 5k after the half. After I heard about it, I decided I wanted to do that too! After all,I was supposed to run 26km last weekend as part of my marathon training schedule. Ryad, the same Ryad from the Yukon Arctic Marathon featured here, also got wind of this plan and joined in. It seemed like a good idea at the time!

Date Event Goal Time Chip Time Gun Time
2015/03/01 Chilly Half-Marathon 2:20:00 2:19:52.2  2:22:48.9
2015/03/01 Frosty 5k Finish  35:46  3:09:27.5



I suppose this is the best place to share photos and stories about the pre-race carb-load dinner my group had. On the Friday before the race, my half-marathon clinic and friends celebrated the end of the clinic and did the ritual “carb-loading”.

Anita, Athena, Ryad, Manish and John at the Carb Loading Dinner
Anita, Athena, Ryad, Manish and John at the Carb Loading Dinner

Phil, Andrew, and Bob at the Carb-Loading Dinner
Phil, Andrew, and Bob at the Carb-Loading Dinner

Tracy, Kathy and myself at the carb-loading dinner
Tracy, Kathy and myself at the carb-loading dinner

"Cracked lasagna" dish - BEFORE
“Cracked lasagna” dish – BEFORE

Cracked Lasagna Dish - AFTER
Cracked Lasagna Dish – AFTER

Chocolate explosion cake
Chocolate explosion cake

I want to highlight that I ate that whole “cracked lasagna” and “chocolate explosion cake.”



We carpooled to Burlington and got there bright and early around 8am. In addition to the runners, my first running coach Andrew Mikhail came to cheer us on (THANKS ANDREW!!). Getting to Burlington early meant we got a nice spot to wait at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre (PAC) to sit and stretch. It was also a great place to see everyone coming in. It was a pleasure to see Sam, Nicole, JP, and many other usual faces before the race.

Photo from Kathy Pereira's Facebook
Photo from Kathy Pereira’s Facebook

Obiligatory photo with the "Chilly" before the Chilly half-marathon
Obiligatory photo with the “Chilly” before the Chilly half-marathon

As I left the Burlington PAC to head to the start area, I considered leaving my light jacket in the car. It felt chilly but I decided to keep it on.

I made my way to the corrals shortly before the race started and a pace group started to form around my pace sign and bunny ears.



The race started really crowded as usual. I couldn’t get below 7:00 min/km for the first 500m or so. Somehow I still passed the first kilometer sign around 6:25, so almost on pace.

My pace group started to form shortly after that. It was mostly older women. I distinctly remember two ladies, both named Kim.

For the first 5k, my biggest concern was that my feet hurt. I noticed my shoes were a little lose right after the start, but I wasn’t going to have an opportunity to tighten them for the next 2.5 hours. I got that “pins and needles” feeling I sometimes get. This wouldn’t have happened if I had a done a longer warm-up. The discomfort went away about 6k into the race and I didn’t think about it again.

Around 5k I noticed I was almost 60 seconds ahead of my where my paceband said I should have been, so I slowed down a bit. By 7k I was less than 20 seconds ahead which was better.

I felt really strong throughout the run. I was constantly checking my watch to make sure I was close to my required walk-adjusted race pace of 6:19 min/km. As you might imagine, GPS isn’t exact, nor am I as a runner, especially with small rolling hills and navigating around slower runners. I was below 6:00 min/km a few times, especially when passing people. I suppose I couldn’t stay exactly on pace the whole time.

It was a blast seeing Canadian Olympian Reid Coolsaet leading the way back to the start. He was almost flying!

Around the 13km turnaround, I was about 60 seconds ahead of my paceband again. I think the little boosts of speed I had when passing slower runners was adding up. Someone in the pace group also noted that I sped up a touch during uphills, which seems counter-intuitive unless you consider that I was subconsciously treating the hills like hill training.

Before 13km I lost much of the pace group, but around 16km the group got much bigger! I think I started collecting runners in the last stretch. I was expecting to pass the “march of death” near the end that usually happens when people are undertrained and go out too fast, but there weren’t many this year. Around 18km I was about 40 seconds ahead of pace and was purposely slowing down.

The group’s last walk break was just before the 20km marker. I told the group to go with anything they had left and sprint to the finish. What followed was an almost painfully slow 1km to make sure I finished as close to my time as possible. This may be one of the only times when another is glad to see people passing them.

I’m pretty damn happy with my chip time of 2:19:52.2. Only 7.8 seconds faster than my scheduled pace time! In the finish chute, I had a funny moment when one of the volunteers tried putting the medal on my head over my ears. They kinda of get in the way, lol. And I got to chat briefly with some of the people I helped along the race course.

5km ‘Race’

This next bit is where it gets particularly interesting. I had to go do another run after the half! Our #1 spectator Andrew Mikhail met me after the finish and I switched bibs to the 5k bib. I should have also arranged to change hats… I felt strange and got strange looks because I was still wearing my 2:20 pacer bunny ears.

I walked down to the Lakeshore where I think the 5k is supposed to start and started running 2.5k East back along the route. The police officer on the course directed me to the sidewalk, which I thought was fair considering I was 2.5 hours late for the 5k. On my way out Athena and Ryad were already on their way back in from their extra 5k, and they told me that the turnaround sign was already gone, so just keep an eye on the Garmin and turn back around 2.5km.

Running out wasn’t so bad, but after turning around I stared feeling really stiff. I also felt kinda bad passing all these people walking and struggling to finish the half. There was no fan support anymore on the course, so I felt doubly bad for them.

The finish line announcer gave me a funny look when I crossed for the second time. Athena had gotten our 5k medals so I got it from her and we left the chute without further fanfare.



After the race, I enjoyed the obligatory Chilly, and also had Deep Fried Pickles and Poutine.

Posin' with ma chilly!
Posin’ with ma chilly!

Medals, Poutine and Deep Fried Pickles
Medals, Poutine and Deep Fried Pickles

Bibs, medals and my pacer sign
Bibs, medals and my pacer sign

I was pleasantly surprised how well I did. I felt really strong during the half. This was especially nice considering the injury I had less than a month before!!

I was also surprised how much my body hurt in the days that followed. In particular, my core and especially my hip flexors. I suppose that tells me where I need to focus more time and energy on during strength training in the upcoming months.

Five years of Chilly Half-Marathon
Five years of Chilly Half-Marathon

Onwards to Around The Bay in a few weeks!

Comments closed


  1. Mark Young says:

    How long of a warm-up did you do before the race?

  2. […] started the month by pacing a race, which went really well. I was pretty wrecked after the race, especially my hip flexors. Then, I […]

  3. […] clinic through this BRUTAL winter and I was happy with how I felt pacing our goal race, the Chilly Half-Marathon. After that I went on a 2+ week cruise of Asia, where I didn’t run much, but did exercise a […]