Event and Race Reviews
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Around the Bay 30k
I'll disagree with the guest speaker part, I am a Stanton fan.
My 1st ATB, I only ran the relay and enjoyed it immensely. I would like to see things somewhat better at the 15k relay exchange, there was quite a bit of confusion as to where the relay exchange would take place - before or after the mat Perhaps another tent, or a larger ones to keep the racers warm when waiting for their partner, or even for those who ran the first leg. I saw a timer at the 10k mark, one at the 15k would be great too.
Those are minor things, I found the fans & volunteers to be very friendly & helpful. Enjoyed the day. Definitely a race I would do again!
I was impressed too. They corrected all the things that went wrong with last year's. I got food at the finish line this year!!!!
The only suggestion I can think of is a few more portapotties at the first couple of water stations would be good. There were long line ups for those.
Everything else was great. I agree with Jo-Jo. The Hamilton Police seemed happy to be out there - they were all pleasant and cheering us on. And a lot of them were very good looking as well!! Next year, I think we may do photos with the good looking cops!
I have to admit, after being a bit disappointed with the 2006 finish line and it's various issues, it's really nice to know that ATB has an RD who takes the feedback into consideration..
2006 - poor lighting on the entrance to Copps
2007 - very well lit with floodlights everywhere
2006 - no food for anyone finishing after what 3:20 or so?
2007 - a very proud 3:44 finisher got a great goody bag of food & drink and there was plenty more bags to be seen
I wonder if I write him about the hills this year... do you think he'll look to flattening them out (just a bit ) for 2008?
280307 eta: I e-mailed the race director today to compliment him on taking the feedback about food, finish line & lighting from 2006 into consideration & doing such a great job at making this a great event... Within 10 minutes - I got a response thanking me for my participation and hoping to see me in 2008...
Makes me love this event even more today than I did on Sunday..
I thought this race was well organized. Very helpful volunteers and a good race expo...the lay out made it very easy to navigate.
I only ran the back half of the course but I understand why many people en route to Boston like this as a last long run because of the hills.
One thing I did notice...the friendly police officers...this is a race they are obviously accustomed to marshalling...I heard many officers yelling out encouragement...and a couple even high fived runners...thank you Hamilton Police
Great race, great organization, great course (especially the last 10k) and as a veteran of the outdoor finishes, gotta love running into Copps.
One think I have noticed about this race compared to others is the number of serious runners it attracts. The top end of the field is quite deep - seems like everyone is going to Boston or running a spring marathon...
I think this is a great race. Unique distance, relays for people who choose not to do 30 K, lots of room for walkers to participate. The course is a good mix, with the 3 distinct sections of urban, beach, and rolling hills. The view across the harbour, from the bridge after the big hill really gives a good impression of how far you have traveled. That is rare in a race. All challenges considered it is well organized. Great fan support and all those regular characters! Put that together with all the history, and what's not to love. Then again, I've only done it in good weather.
My comments for the 2007 event:
I thought almost everything about this event was Grade A. Frequent and well-manned aid stations, great volunteers, good road closures / traffic control, nice turnout of spectators for a chillier than expected day, very interesting course in terms of elevation profile, second half of the race (through Burlington) is quite scenic, good post-race refreshments, "uniquely coloured" long sleeve tech shirt, nice indoor venue at the finish to stretch and convene.
I found the start situation a wee bit chaotic, but I think that's an easy thing for them to fix up in the future. I think the race attracts a lot of folks doing their first-ever "big" race, so a bit more direction in terms of signage or corrals might be in order. But really I didn't find it to be a major problem at all.
I liked the move to Copps this year. Running into the stadium was a little tricky because of the short, steep downhill (and going from bright sunshine to near darkness at the same time).
Benefits of the indoor finish were:
No cold walk back from the finish line to the convention centre.
LOTS of washrooms, so no issues pre/post race.
Seating area for people to meet up pre/post race.
As IG said, they ran out of food this year, which was a bummer for those of us who finished in over 3 hours.
The bag check was a bit of a nightmare. The lineup was sooooo long. Since it was being run by the Girl Guides, there was a cost of $2, which I thought could have been included in the fee, rather than making us pay it.
And there was no beer this year!
Just wanted to add my $0.02 after doing the race in 2006.
Great event!! The change this year to the finish inside Copps Coliseum was great (I hadn't done it before...but, it seemed great! - so, I assume it was better!)
Unfortunately, they ran out of food for people finishing past 3:00, but, they acknowledged that on their website within a couple of days, and promised to do better next year.
I will be back.
I ran this one in 2003 and 2004. This is quite an old and popular race in Hamilton (near Toronto, Ontario). The field recently has been around 3500-4500 runners, which is quite impressive considering the weather in early spring can be pretty tough around here.
The race starts in downtown Hamilton and heads toward and along Lake Ontario, into residential Burlington, and back to Hamilton for the finish. There is a steep hill at about the 27Km point that is quite legendary among local run clubs, but frankly it's pretty short and doesn't live up to the legend. What are killer are the 4 or 5 preceding kilometres through Burlington which are just non-stop rolling hills.
Although it is a 30 Km race, the overall organization and crowd support is more reminiscent of a nice mid-sized marathon. In 2004 the race kit included a great technical fabric T-shirt, and both medals I have from this race are cool. The crowd support is not bad considering the time of year.
I would recommend this race to anyone interested in testing themselves at an unusual distance over a challenging course.