Race Report Contributor: Yvonne Mery (through the RunK2J Race Report Form)
Event Name/Date/Location: Around The Bay, March 27, 2022. Hamilton
My Race Experience: I opted to take the Run Ottawa Bus package which was awesome, I encourage more people to do this. I met the bus Saturday at 7:15am, 1km from my house. The hotel included was right next to the start and the finish, way less stress than some of the larger races I have done. In fact, I left my hotel at 9am for the 9:30am start time.
The weather was not what I was hoping for, windy and cold and it wasn’t going to warm up. I had difficulty trying to decide what to wear, I opted for the Gortex jacket and this was a good idea. The first part of the course went well, especially with the tale wind, it wasn’t the most scenic part of Hamilton. The scenery improved and the wind blew harder, I tried to draft as much as I could. I didn’t worry about my pace but kept a constant effort, this was a B race for me since I am running Boston soon. I was well informed about “the Hill”, it was challenging but I didn’t let it defeat me. The last 3km I knew I had a chance of getting under 2h30 so I pushed harder and made my goal, I loved the indoor finish at the FirstOntario Centre. I learned afterwards that I should have received a silver medal but they gave me a bronze. I emailed the organizers and they explained that they ran out of silver medals but they will mail one to me once they get more in stock. I was happy with my run and it has boosted my confidence going into Boston.
Overall the organization, aside from lack of water stations was great and I give this run two thumbs up.
Would you do this event again? Why? : I probably won’t run it again, I ran it because I have a daughter studying at McMaster. She will graduate this year so I will most likely move on to another race.
Would you recommend this event? Why? : I do recommend this race.
It’s a great race if you are preparing for Boston or if you are wanting to increase your race distance beyond the half marathon. It’s easy to get to the start and the finish indoors is awesome, especially when it’s cold outside. The ATB long sleeve t-shirt is nice and one that I will actually wear.
Closing thoughts. Any hints for others planning to do this race? Where to stay? Things to bring? What to wear? : Bring all of your running gear, like I did. Stay close to the start/finish. Take the Run Ottawa Bus. If they don’t add more water stations next year bring your own fuel belt.
Around-The-Bay RunK2J Summary InfoStats:
- Venue Rating: 4 – Great
- Course: 4 – Great
- Weather : It was windy and cold. I knew it would be windy running around The Bay in March but this more than surpassed my expectations, there was a head wind for 23km of the 30kms.
- Aid stations: 1 – Need to Improve
- Aid stations Content: We were emailed a week prior to the race stating that there were only be 2 water stations due to lack of volunteers as a result of Covid-19. However, a few days before race day they decided to add a 3rd water station; at 7km, 14km, and 21km. This was not enough, the water was freezing cold and in fact it had ice in it due to the cold windchill, it was hard to take more than a few sips. Running a half marathon and then another 9km without any water was less than satisfactory. Apparently they normally have 8 water stations.
Judy & Harold: Weather is always a huge factor, and it was chilly and windy here on Ottawa as well! This is a classic race, dubbed ‘Older Than Boston’. Should be on every marathoner’s bucket list to do at least once. Congratulations to Yvonne, Dan, Dave (Hammer) Daze for the in-person racing. Pat (Virtual-Hammer), and Stefan for completing the ‘Virtual’ edition.