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.
Back to Events Listing
Peterborough Half Marathon
I chose this race as my first race of the season when I discovered it in December. The price was right, I was looking for a race in the winter - a full or a half in January/February, but this was the earliest I could find a race within driving distance from Toronto. It was a good choice and here's why.
ENTRY FEE/REGISTRATION: Early registration was $35, which is becoming a rare thing these days, with half-marathons starting at 40-45 and up. I registered online, so tack on another $3. Still, a very good deal for a long-sleeve shirt and chip timing.
RACE KIT: Long sleeve red cotton shirt with nothing fancy on it, just a big logo on the front and the tiny logos on the back. Fine for me. I'm starting to feel a lot of respect for races that decided white is not a practical colour for sports apparel. Duuh, it took a while, but we're getting there! Also, no brochures and other silly swag.
COURSE/ROUTE: Mostly flat, snaking roads heading out of Peterborough towards the airport and along the Trent. Asphalt road, with nice soft shoulder (if you like running on softer surfaces) running past edge of city residential neighbourhood, past fields, farms and houses, the airport, turning around on a gravel road and heading back the same way. There were some deceiving inclines in the first half that make you think you will be running downhill, but not so. No big hills or anything, but the wind blew strong in the open fields. An easy course if the weather cooperates.
AID STATIONS/SUPPORT: Very well placed and staffed aid stations!! Kudos to the volunteers! Very vocal team shouting water or gatorade and you just told them which you wanted and it went smoothly! I am very grateful to them and the organizers for that. There were 2 portapotties on the course and at intersections and bends in the road there were volunteers to cheer on you and guide you in the right way (not that you'd get lost).
VENUE: The YMCA is a brand new facility, very nice, clean and about 200 metres from the start/finish line. One issue I had was that there were few washrooms around the entrance and gymnasium. I panicked when I heard there were 2 booths in the ladies washroom in the main lobby! Later I discovered 4 more in the change room, but if this race grows, they'd better open up more washrooms and post signs so people can use as many as possible. I can't say more about showers and other facilities, because I didn't use them.
As far as parking goes, it was a bit tight, the lot was full when we got there 1.5 hours before the start. By chance we found a spot, but it was a bit chaotic. More directions and a map to get to the Y would be great.
FOOD/POST-RACE PARTY: There was a slice of pizza and a cup of veggie chili with a bun waiting for each finisher. You had to show your bib to be marked and then you could pick up the apple, bun and candy packed in a brown bag. They also handed out water right at the finish line, which in my books is an absolute must, so I was very happy to see they were well organized in this respect.
SPECTATORS/TRAFFIC CONTROL: There were quite a few people around the start/finish line and then another bigger cluster near the airport, cheering. There were people along the route who were cheering on the runners, but not many. There was a big retriever-looking dog that barked and sang at the same time. Looked like a huge newfie dog. I never heard a dog make such a sound. That alone gets half a star