I was up bright and early on Sunday to cheer on three family members who ran the half-marathon and 5K at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM) event.
About 25,000 people from 70 countries took part in the marathon, half-marathon, and 5K. The marathon and half-marathon started at 8:45 a.m., while the 5K started at 8 a.m. We’ve had a good stretch of warm and sunny days leading up to the event, and perfect weather on Sunday with temperature at 11C (or 55F) at the start of the race and high about 21C (70F) by mid-day. The annual event raised funds for over 180 local charities, and contributed millions to the local economy.
This was the 28th edition of the STWM event and it was once again well organized. For runners, the race course was clearly set with kilometre markers and water and Gatorade stations. For spectators, there were 12 Neighbourhood Cheering and
Entertainment sites along the race course. I saw many volunteers
with cow bells, bands playing music, and police re-directing traffic.
If you have been a spectator at a big international running race before, you know the energy that thousands of runners generate, and the inspiration to see runners crossing the Finish line. Running a race is definitely a physical and mental challenge where first time runners want to do well, and repeat runners want to beat their own personal record and create a new personal best.
As a supporter, you'd want to find a spot where you can easily spot your family or friend who is running. It is not that easy when there are hundreds of runners passing by in waves. Even if you are not a runner, if there is a race where you live, I'd encourage you to come out, feel the energy, and cheer on the participants.
I ran the 5K course in this event a few years ago and am familiar
with the race course. On Sunday, I walked up to the 200m mark before the
Finish line with my plastic clapping hands. There are actually three hands attached to a handle. The outer two hands are flexible while the centre hand is fixed so when you wave, the hands make loud
clapping noise and really get people's attention. I estimated my family members' run times, and found a spot with great visibility to locate them. I was there to see the first finisher of the 5K, and my family members soon after. I definitely got their attention with my loud cheering and hand clapping!
The Finish line and Friends & Family meeting zones were right by Toronto City Hall.
Runners had lots of post-race refreshments available to help them
recover from their hard work. Congrats to all STWM race finishers! My family members did very well. I’m so proud of their achievements.
I'm loving life at the moment as everyone in my family is healthy. Each one of us has a finisher's medal with good run time this year. I've got mine at the Island Girl 5K in September as posted here.
What fun activities did you enjoy this week? Please share below.