My very first race was the 2014 Toronto Yonge Street 10K and I finished with a time of 50:13. I loved this race for two reasons: 1. it started a few hundred metres from my house and 2. it was mostly downhill. I finished the 2015 Yonge Street 10K with a time of 43:21; a 10K PB that would stand for 14 months. At some point in 2015, we all learned the Yonge Street 10K would be moved to a new location which meant the race would also be rebranded as we were no loner going to run down Yonge Street. The outcome was the Waterfront 10 and Saturday, June 25th, 2016 would be the 1st Edition of this race.
I’m currently training for the Erie Marathon, so this race was treated as a workout. I haven’t done many runs at 10K pace, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Based on the website I’ve been using to calculate my workouts and equivalent race times, I knew I had to finish this race in 41:00 or less. This is an average pace of 4:06 and I have not been doing many runs at this pace; let alone workouts.
I got up at 5:45am, walked my dogs, showered, ate some yogurt, and got ready. With the race taking place on a Saturday, I took advantage of the TTC opening just before 6am. I hopped on the subway around 6:25am and headed down to the start line. I met up with my buddies Dom and Daniel and we headed over to the Night Terrors Run meetup spot for a photo op. Before you knew it, we had to get into our corrals.
I’m used to running North on University Avenue when I participate in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront races, so it was actually refreshing to run South this time. The race starts at Queen and University and heads South to Brenner Blvd where you turn right and head towards Lakeshore Blvd. Once you’re on Lakeshore, it’s essentially an out and back. The course is mainly flat, but there is one very slight incline near the 8KM mark and a quick bank (I think left) before you head to the finish line. This was the first edition of the Waterfront 10K, so while the course is new, I run on Lakeshore often, so I knew what to expect regarding elevation changes.
My strategy was to hold on to the 40 minute pacers as long as I could. I saw quite a few familiar faces at the start line and all of them were very fast runners. I wasn’t feeling intimidated at all; however, standing amongst some seriously fast runners did give me pause. Two faces I was really happy to see were Dan Iserman and Brandon Teed. These guys are incredibly good runners and super supportive. After a few high-fives, we were off.
First 5K splits: 3:29, 4:08, 3:59, 3:56, 3:58
My speed work is based on my marathon finishing time, which means I’ll run 3:53/km for 800 metres, rest for 2 minutes, then repeat. I’ll do this for a number of repetitions and then I’m done. These workouts also consists of a warm up and cool down period. I don’t care what anyone says about a 10K race only being 10K; it’s STILL 10K of fast running!
I went out two steps behind he 40 minute pace bunnies and held my ground. I’ve run with packers before and they often rarely say a word; they may call out split times so other runners knew whether they were ahead or behind pace, but that’s about all you hear from them. Dave Clark and Dan Way, the 40 minute pacers, were awesome. They played off each other, joked around, and really made everyone feel relaxed even when we were moving pretty quick and some of us probably wanted to go hang out with the 45 minute pace bunnies.
At around the 3 kilometre mark, I moved ahead of the pacers and by the 5 kilometre mark, I was about 10-15 metres in front of them. I crossed the halfway point of the race in a time of 19:44, 16 seconds ahead of pace. It was also starting to get a little warm at this point and my legs were pretty warm.
Second 5K splits: 4:09, 4:06, 4:37, 4:16, 4:03
Like clockwork, as soon as we passed the halfway mark, I became my own worse enemy. I was starting to think it was a mistake to pull ahead of the pacers and decided to ease up a bit to conserve energy. By the midway point of the 7 kilometre mark, something got to me (not sure if it was the heat or speed). I had to walk for a few seconds to get some air. I tried to get myself back in pace again, but lost some time. I ended up walking a few steps midway through the 8 kilometre mark as well. When I tried to walk again midway through the 9 kilometre mark, Brandon was behind me yelling at me to go, so I did. The last kilometre was pretty fast, but I gave back too much on the 8th kilometre. Needless to say, when I looked at the clock, I was still very happy with the results.
Official Time: 40:04 (2:17 PB!)
The chute at the end of the race was very spacious and I hung out there for a bit greeting friends who were finishing or had already finished. I thanked Brandon for pushing me and congratulated a few others on their races. A few minutes later I saw Daniel and Dominic and we headed towards the Waterfront 10 Party Zone located close to Coronation Park.
We hung out for a bit to chat with all the amazing runners we knew (and there were tons!), grabbed our food, then headed home.
Now that some time has passed since I finished the race, I can say I absolutely loved it. The voluteers were all amazing and Canada Running Series knows how to put on a good show! Their races are always top notch! I am also a huge fan of their team and encountered many of them throughout the race and at the end.
I can’t wait for the 2nd edition!