Wednesday, September 06, 2006


So I've been browsing the Toronto Marathon website a lot lately and I saw that there was an early start available for the marathon. Last year, 146 people participated in the early start marathon compared to 1483 people for the one starting at 9 A.M.

I want to have the full marathon experience so I'd prefer doing the "normal" one but at the same time I got scared when reading this on their website:

"Due to time restrictions set by the City of Toronto, Public Transit, Police and Emergency service's. We require that all participants in the Marathon maintain a 12 minute per mile pace and may be asked to move on to the sidewalk and obey normal traffic laws if running slower than a 12 minute per mile pace. Those of you who can run faster.....please feel free to do so."

I usually have no problem maintaining a 10:45-11:15 min/mile pace in my long runs but since I injured my knee I've been running a little slower (11:50-11:55 min/mile) which is awfully close to their limit. I do not want to run on the sidewalk that would just not be fun... As anyone ever run an early start marathon? Is it a good way to experience my first marathon? Any feedback is appreciated.

I was looking at the course map because my dad told me he wanted to "follow" me during the marathon so I need to chose several spots where he could come and wave at me or re-fuel me with gatorade =) He's so sweet, I'm so happy he's coming to see me. Well, I was thinking that since we start at Mel Square and do a loop, he could just stay there and wait until the loop is done (about 1h). After that he could maybe take the subway or a bus to go near Yonge/Spadina then Yonge/Rosedale Valley Rd. and finally near the finish line at Queen's Park. I'm not sure if he'll be able to get around easily to these streets but it seems like the best places for him to wave at me!


Arcaner said...

Are you sure they have an early start this year? I think last year was the first time that offered it, but I don't think they're offering an early start this year.

For your dad, you're right that it's probably best that he stays at Mel lastman's square initially to see you start and do the loop. There's no bus running down Yonge st on marathon day so he'll have to take the subway. Make sure he gets a TTC day pass so he can have unlimited travel.
Your dad can actually see you several times if he gets off at the subway stops on Yonge. After mel Lastman, he can see you at Lawrence and then maybe at Davisville which is where the marathon turns west on Yonge st. After that he can go to Rosedale which is where the marathon crosses back across Yonge St. He would have about 15-20 minutes if you're running 10 min/miles to get between the stops. It may be a bit too optimistic to see you all these stops but definitely he should be able to see you at lawrence and one of either davisville or rosedale.
After that he can ride the subway all the way to either Queens park station or probably better is the museum station which is closer to the finish line.

yumke said...

Yeah, I agree with Arcaner. I don't think there is an early start this year. In any case, looking at last year's results, there were plenty of people who finished after the 5 hour mark. Do you have a time you're targeting?

I ran the half marathon course last year, which shares some of the same course (the second half). Your dad could wait for you at Mel Lastman (North York Centre station), then boot it down the Yonge line till you turn on Rosedale Valley road, then he could make his way to university. The last 3K is up University, so he could meet you near Union and then grab the subway up north to meet you again at the finish line at Queens Park.

Sonia said...

Thanks to both of you! That is really helpful information! I think it's best if he does all or some of the subway stops as Arcaner suggested. He will be happy to learn that he can do that =)

Yumke: I'm hoping to maintain a 10:15-10:25 pace, so I'd like to finish in 4:25-4:35. I think that aiming for 10 min/mile will just lead me to disappointment... But seriously if it goes really bad and I finish close to the 5h mark, I will be satisfied anyway and think: "oh well I'll do better next time" ;-).