May 17, 2012

Harry’s Spring Run Off 2012 Race Report

Date Event Goal Time Chip Time Gun Time
2012/04/08 Harry’s Spring Run Off <47:24.0 46:56.0 48:01.2

This race report is super-late, but I insist on having it because there are a few interesting things about this race I would like to share.

This was the second time I’ve run Harry’s Spring Run Off in High Park in Toronto. This is one of first races I’ve repeated. It’s interesting to have a new experience and and old experience at the same time. And of course, I wanted to beat last year’s time of 47:24.

When I ran this race in April 2011, I wore a coat, and I finished the race sweating like crazy because I got too warm. I had plans of running the race in just a t-shirt, but the forecast of 8ºC made me put on another layer. BIG MISTAKE! I overheated, again!

Even though it’s only 8km long, don’t let that fool you into thinking this is an easy course. High Park is unusually hilly. You finish at a similar elevation to where you start, but you go up and down a lot. A LOT! The most challenging part is right at the end. There’s a sign that says 800m to the finish, but then you have to look almost straight up.  It’s a long way up in the end. I think it’s similar elevation gain to Valley Inn Road for Around The Bay in Hamilton. And similarly well placed…

A lot of people complain about hills. But on a course that ends at the same elevation it starts, you will be running downhill as much as you will uphill. I really like downhill! However, there was SO MUCH downhill in this course I wasn’t sure how to handle it. One school of thought is that you should use downhills as recovery and go down slowly with minimal effort. Others say you should use hills to get massive speed. During short races I like to speed downhill. However, I discovered it’s almost impossible to speed downhill while landing on your forefoot. After the race, someone recommended something to me which seems counterintuitive. I spend a lot of time avoiding heel-striking but apparently it’s a good idea when trying to speed downhill. I’ll remember that!

The race was pretty unnerving because I spent A LOT of time looking at my watch to see pace and how much I was ahead of my old time. That was really annoying. Not fun at all. I made it a point to run the Mercedes-Benz Oakville 10k the next week “naked” meaning no tech.

Finishing Harry's Spring Run Off 2012

I was happy to beat my old time and shaved about 30 seconds off from the year before. But, the constant watch checking was annoying. 

My biggest reason for this race report was sharing this photo. I was craving a KFC Double Down, likely because I had  been seeing it in TV commercials for a while.

Enjoying a KFC Zinger Double-Down after running the Harry's Spring Run Off 8k

After I posted this picture on Facebook I got a lot of fun comments. My favourite was by Henry Lo who said: “OBVIOUSLY, you’re only allowed to consume this food wearing race bib and medal!”


Comments closed


  1. Hong says:

    The medal and shirt is our visa to eat whatever we want LOL.

  2. Henry says:

    LOL, I aim to please 😀

  3. […] addition to the 4 marathons, I also ran 2-30km races, 4 half-marathons, a 10-miler, 4-10k’s, an 8km and climbed the CN Tower again. I was a pacer for one half-marathon, 30k and marathon this year too […]

  4. […] of my favourites. Eating a KFC Double Down after finishing the Harry’s Spring Run Off 8k in 2012. Someone commented “Clearly, the only time you are allowed to eat this is when you […]