Event and Race Reviews
This is a growing collection of Race and Event Reviews. All of these reviews were written by our members and represent each author's experiences and opinions only.
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Another thing about this race (I did it last year and was a spectator this year) is that there was a bit of confusion at the point where the marathon route splits off from the half marathon route. There was signage, but some people are not very attentive while running, so they were confused as to where to go. A "corral" of sorts a little further back along the route would help to ensure that the marathoners stayed to the right (since they'd be turning right at Indian Rd.) and the half marathoners stayed to the left.
There are also the logistical problems of the faster marathoners (2:30-3:30) coming into the finish area around the same time as the less-fast half-marathoners. The last bit of the race is on a park path, which is only about 2-3 people wide. It doesn't open up until about 100m from the finish line.
I'm not a fan of point-to-point races because of the logistics of getting to/from the start/end before/after the race.
Having change tents at the finish was a nice touch! Would be nice if there had been more of a grassy/shady area to relax in post-race, though.
The route was great. The volunteers were great. We loved having our names printed on our race bibs so the spectators could encourage us by name.
The water stations were good -- good distance between them, but at several of them, someone should have told the volunteers that if you rinsed out the water containers with bleach, that you should actually take the bleach out before dumping the water in on top! That was just disgusting. Most of it was being thrown on the road. This happened at least twice.
The finish line area was spread out which was good for me because I hate being confined in the finish line area. It kind of reminded me of Disney, with lots of space to move around. The actual finish line could have been a bit more elaborate. It was hard to tell that it was actually the finish line until you were almost over it.
The shuttle buses -- well, we didn't take them because we ended up getting a ride, but what we saw was long line ups and you had to walk a long way to catch them, both at the start and at the finish line. They definitely could have used more buses, I heard.
Take the temperature at the start and deduct about 10°C for what it will be at the finish line. I heard it was cold last year at the finish line and it definitely was this year - cold and windy! The organizers can't do anything about that, so this isn't a criticism. Just a warning to be prepared.
The race expo -- well, you could barely call it that. After ATB, it seemed very small. The website says: The 2006 Mississauga Marathon Runners Expo will be even bigger and better with over 50 exhibitors on hand, new displays and some inspiring guest speakers on hand to motivate runners before their race.We planned to arrive earlier so we could spend some time shopping, but it was crowded into this small room, and there sure weren't many vendors. If there was 50 exhibitors, I would be VERY surprised! It was disappointing.
Finally, the biggest disappointment was the T-shirts. We knew that race kit pick up was until 6 p.m. We left here at 10 a.m. so we could get there and get our race shirt sizes. We arrived at noon and due to a mix up with the hotel rooms, never made it to the race kit pick up till almost 1 p.m. I talked to a girl who arrived at 12:45 p.m. and they must have got the last women's medium dri-fit shirts. When we got there, they were offering a super small women's shirt that an 70 or 80 lb person would fit (it was smaller than my 17 inch computer monitor!). They were offering a men's small dri-fit (still quite big) or a men's medium cotton shirt.
We had approximately 30 people who drove from the Trenton/Belleville area who were doing either their first half marathon or full marathon and they didn't get a shirt that would fit them. By the time some of them got there around 3 p.m. they were giving out kids sizes! So these people did not receive a t-shirt that would fit them to wear to proudly show their accomplishment.
What is the point of asking the size of t-shirt you want on the race registration, when they don't save that size for you? How can it be that someone decides in January they want to do a run in May, they register for the run and indicate the size of souvenir shirt they require, they get a training plan, they train their hearts out for four months and then someone comes and registers two days before the event, and gets the proper size t-shirt. And in dri-fit, not cotton!! This should not be happening. I felt sorry for the volunteers as this was not their fault, but they had to take the flack from the runners. It's bad enough to receive a shirt that is too big, but to receive a miniscule one that you have to give to someone's kid is just wrong.
There was a lot of new runners from our two groups who did not receive their t-shirts in sizes they can wear. It really is a shame. However, I just was re-reading their website, and I couldn't even find where they said what type of shirt we would get. The only mention of shirts is on the registration form where they ask the size.