Chilly Half-Marathon 2017 Race Report

It’s been a very quiet few months on my blog. I’m hoping this post is the start of a turnaround and revival!

The training season leading up to this race has been one of my worst. I declined to be an instructor leading to this clinic because I suspected I’d need time flexibility with everything else going on in my life. I really needed that flexibility because I was even busier than I expected! I missed a lot of runs because of work and other commitments. And I even missed some runs because I felt too tired, or the weather was lousy. Needless to say, I did not feel as prepared as I was in previous years.
The in addition to the poor mileage preparation, I gained almost 25 pounds since this same race in 2016. I knew that would dynamically hinder me too.
If I hadn’t registered for the Chilly Half-Marathon so long ago, I don’t think I would have trained this season at all, and certainly wouldn’t have
I was unsure how to dress for this race. The weather has been all over the place this season, from pretty cold, windy, and icy, to unseasonably warm in the double-digits! The forecast kept changing to from warm to pretty cold. A windchill of -10 decrees essentially determined my outfit for the race and number of layers.



Trying on my run gear the night before the race


Obligatory pre-race selfie with race director Kelly Arnott!


I drove five of us from Mississauga to to Burlington. I didn’t really want to drive, but I figured it’s good race karma.


Happy pre-race group selfie

I saw many familiar faces: From dailymile/blogosphere Nicole, Sam, and JP, and Patty was pacing and did another perfect 2:15. And there were lots of Mississauga friends from various groups: Nobel, John B, Brigita, Lax, Viet, Nagini, Fil, Danny, Danielle, and Lee. And Doug who ran with my clinic last spring, but moved and trains with Royal York now.

And the group I carpooled with: Jorge, John L, Claudia, and clinic leader Anita.

Many Mississauga runner’s before the Chilly Half-Marathon 2017 (thank you Danny for the photo)



I also ran into Bryan who I met during the Oakville Half in 2015. He said he’s trying to get his daughter hooked on fitness right after she’s back from university. He wishes he was more active in his youth because of his health problems now. Wow, that’s powerful!




With the really neat Chilly Half-Marathon ice sculpture! Thank you Danny for the photo!!

I was surprised to see not one, but TWO 2:45 half-marathon pacers! When I paced Oakville at 2:45 it was because I was recovering from an injury. And I paced Scotia last fall at 2:45 was because demand was too great for the higher paces. But I guess this is a regular thing now.


felt rather cold when the wind was blowing  during the run. At times I felt too warm, but not too often. I may have been wiser to go with a lighter shell rather than the fleece just for wind cutting.

There are two “out-and-back” sections of the Chilly Half-Marathon course. This lets you see everyone in front of you, as well as those behind you. There was one lady behind that caught my eye both times. She had some sort of stuffed animal, a bunny I think, pinned to the front of her shirt. It was riding in her bib like a kangaroo pouch. I thought that was cute.
Around the 6km mark, there were a couple of ladies on the side of the road cheering on runners. One had a great sign: “On scale of 1-10 you’re a 13.1!”
When I got to the 7km mark, I saw the leader heading back to the finish already! Wow! So fast! I was also impressed to see Canadian Olympic Marathoner Krista DuChene. She was the fastest woman, unsurprisingly.

I tried running just by feel, and resisted looking at my watch for pace. I was just using my watch for 10-and-1’s. I was pleasantly surprised my wonky ankle held it together. But, I got the “pins-and-needles” feeling I’ve been getting for years. I guess I need to warm up more next time.

Being just ahead of the 2:45 pacer was quite quiet and lonely in the late stretch. The crowd is pretty thin, and the course support becomes even more sparse. But, I stayed to what felt comfortable. I kept telling myself there was no where else I would want to be.

I didn’t start to struggle until about the 19km. The fatigue on my muscles was getting quite intense, especially in my arms which I thought was weird. I took a couple more walk breaks than I should have. I looked back one time and saw the 2:45 pacer. That encouraged me to keep pace. I wanted to beat my Scotia time at least!

I heard my name announced when I approached the finish line, and was happy to finish my 7th Chilly Half-Marathon in a row!


Date Event Goal Time Chip Time Gun Time
2017/03/05 Chilly Half-Marathon Finish 2:43:25.4 2:27:46.6
Chilly Half-Marathon finisher’s certificate


I was pretty tired and stiff after the race. I met up with another Mississauga runner and we stumbled our way back to the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. I found wall and sat down. I knew it would be hard to get up again. I was literally “not on my feet anymore.” In the recovery that followed I was pleasantly surprised I didn’t damage anything permanently. Just really sore.

After the race, literally on my butt


But, you know what makes post-race better? Cupcakes! One of the gentleman that carpooled up with me brought cupcakes and left them in the trunk of my car! Okay, karma replenished!

Cupcakes from Kelly’s Bake Shop in Burlington
Me, Kelly Arnott, and Anita enjoying cupcakes after the race



Chilly Half-Marathon 2017 medal and shirt


I’m already considering registering for next year’s Chilly Half-Marathon and continuing my streak to make it 8 years in a row. Race Director Kelly Arnott says it will be quite different thematically next year….


So, what’s next for me? I’m running the Around The Bay 5k at the end of March. I’ve never done the 5k before, but I’ve done the full 30k four times, a two-person relay, and three-person relay. So, I’ve run Around The Bay 4 and 5/6 times, and after the 5k that will make it 4 and 11/12 times!

And, I recently found out that I will be the 2:30 half-marathon pacer at the Mississauga Half-marathon in May. I guess I have to keep training and bring up my speed a bit!

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 Comments (5) 

  1. Chris says:

    Nice to see you back in action Paul.

  2. […] years. As a result, my running fitness is pretty poor by comparison (see my time from the recent Chilly Half-Marathon). And I’m heavier than I’ve been in a long time. But, does that mean I’m […]

  3. Robin says:

    Glad to see you still at it Paul!! Sometimes life gets in the way but as long as you maintain the connection you won’t have too far to come back. Will see you in Mississauga!!

  4. […] I mentioned in the Chilly Half-Marathon race report from a few weeks ago, I didn’t have the best training season. And after Chilly I […]


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