Road Trip: Toronto Half Marathon, May ’12
I’m so far behind in uploading photos and telling stories that it’s ceased to be funny. Nonetheless, I trudge onward. Jess and I signed up to run the Goodlife Toronto Half Marathon. It was my first half marathon outside the US (though I had run the Detroit marathon a few years back, and that saw me leave the country briefly), and a chance to get back to Toronto, a city that I love. I also got to see my friend Sarah, who was making it her second-ever half marathon.
Jess and I headed over on Saturday, the day before the race, despite protests from both of the cats, who didn’t seem really interested in our leaving.
Despite his stand, we bundled into the car and hit the road. We stopped a couple of times along the way for food, coffee, and Canadian stamps, and eventually made it to Toronto.
This was the first time I had spent any time driving around in downtown Toronto; in trips past, I had stayed on the outskirts of the city and taken public transit, or driven around on the city’s edge. This time, though, driving made the most sense, so that’s what I did. The trip to the expo was rather uneventful, even if the expo itself was a little underwhelming. I’m also pretty sure I drove through an area I wasn’t supposed to go; however, there were no signs on the end where I started to tell me I shouldn’t go there, so … I went there.
After packet pick-up, Jess and I headed off to The Esplanada, which is probably the coolest street name ever (mostly because there is no Darrell Harden Freeway). Catching up with Sarah and meeting Jane (Sarah’s mom) was great; we also got to meet Jess’s friends Derek and Amy. She had grown up around Amy, so it was great to see her over in Toronto. As for dinner, well … pasta is pretty much always good.
The race was Sunday morning, and I ran gloriously; it was, by far, my best race of the year. I managed to post my second-fastest half marathon ever. The medals were nifty, generally square with an odd, wavy shape built into the overall build of the medal. Eh, you should just see it for yourself.
Post-race lunch was fantastic. I wish I could say I remember where we went, but … yeah, I totally don’t. Anyway, I managed to snag not only a great burger, but also some fantastic poutine. Poutine is my favorite Canadian dish. I do my best to get poutine every time I go to Canada. Poutine alone would be reason enough to run, to move to Canada, … to do lots of things.
That evening, Jess and I wandered around the neighborhood a little bit, mostly in search of food. We found food, but we also found the venerable Maple Leaf Gardens … which is now a Loblaws grocery store. It makes my heart ache a little that it’s a grocery store instead of a hockey rink, but I guess that’s better than having it torn down. While we were inside, Jess and I did find the spot that used to be centre ice.
All good things come to an end, and the trip ended that next day. Jess and I enjoyed a tasty breakfast at Fran’s Restaurant, then piled into the car to get home. No one was happier to see us than Wembley, who had eaten all of the kibble we left for him (and probably some of Gobo’s, too) and was desperately hungry … despite the fact that we left almost a week’s ration for each cat.
So much fail.
The trip to Toronto was a blast. Jess and I got to see good friends, and we posted great race times. We couldn’t have asked for much more.