Event and Race Reviews
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Run for the Toad
Run for the Toad happens on the first Saturday of October at the Pinehurst Conservation area outside Paris, Ontario. This is a trail run and has distances of 25K and 50K. In 2005 they had a walking division in addition to the runners.
In 2005 they had to cap the run registration at 550. Last year the cap was 375. This race is growing and has the potential to get even bigger. The increasing numbers have not affected the quality of ANYTHING at the race, and it still feels almost like a family picnic!!
What is good about ths race? Well....
1. The Registration Fee is $60.00. About the same or less than the cost of a marathon. For this you get:
- a wonderful registration gift. The past three years it has been a Saucony bag -- one year it was a Tri bag. The event name and date are embroidered on the bag and it looks gorgeous! Oh, and a laminated luggage tag for Run for the Toad, that you can write your name on.
- a beautiful medal
- coffee, pop and Krispy Kreme donuts before the run (and after too --- there were thousands of donuts there!)
- a lunch of grilled chicken on a bun, vegetarian lasagna, salads, rolls, many different kinds of pies
- specially printed cups with the Toad Patrol Characters on them at the start/finish and at the aid stations
- a popcorn machine that pops fresh popcon the whole day
- aid stations that have chocolate bars, chips, bananas, oranges, peanuts plus water and gatorade
2. The race course -- In 2005 they changed the route and it was more challenging than previously but it is just SO beautiful!! It is a wonderful mixture of woods, grassy fields, hills, valleys. Each loop is 12.5 km. The start/finish is right beside a lake. If it is warm enough -- like it was this year -- you can jump in there and soak your tired legs.
3. Accommodations -- if you like to camp, you can camp right in the conservation area. Or you can stay in the hotel in Cambridge which is about a 20 minute drive away.
4. Door Prizes -- they had tons of door prizes. This was the first year I didn't win one.
5. Opening Ceremonies -- they have this opening ceremony where they march in the flags of Canada and U.S. They play both national anthems. (I missed most of it this year because I was in the washroom line up! ) They recognize "the contribution of the men and women serving in the Armed Forces domestically and abroad" by having a special military category with prizes. One of the girls from our running group who is in the military got a really nice framed certificate for coming 2nd, I think it was.
6. Entertainment for the Kids -- they have a tent set up with a big screen plasma T.V. showing Toad Patrol cartoons for the kids. They have a Pumpkin Carving contest.
7. Massage Therapists - 10 of them to make you feel better after the run.
8. The Whole Atmosphere -- You really have to be there to experience it. Everyone is so friendly. The volunteers, the organizers (George and Peggy Sarson) and the other runners. Nothing like being lapped by Ultra runners who are doing 50K and are encouraging you in your 25K attempt!!
If you want to check it out in more detail, go to www.runforthetoad.com. It is still 2005's info but it will give you all the info. And make sure you check out the photos (over 1000 of them) and video clips!!