Yesterday, I ran the Toronto GoodLife marathon. This was my second ever. Full disclosure, I didn’t really train properly for it and I was on the tail-end of a flu. The training portion was entirely my fault but with the winter being a lousy one, I just wasn’t too inclined to run too often during the week. I usually managed to get a run on Sunday but sometimes we were too lazy and preferred going for breakfast over running long distance.

My commitment is to do one full marathon a year. Yesterday’s marathon was the last one I’m ever going to do with GoodLife. Putting aside the obvious fact that my lack of training definitely had a negative impact on my mental state, the race itself was a disaster.

So here are my pros and cons.

Pros:

  • I ran with a great group of friends
  • The weather was perfect
  • The volunteers, for the most part, were very friendly and encouraging
  • Adam wore a huge backpack with 3 litres of water
  • Due to the lack of water, I filled up from his spare water reservoir
  • Seeing Batman, Spiderman and Wonderwoman on the course

Cons:

  • Everything else
  • Towards the latter half of the marathon, water was severely lacking (translation, there were no water stations for at least 8km)
  • Porta-potties were lacking (we ended up stopping at Tim Horton’s for a bathroom break)
  • Only one gel station
  • We shared the route with weekend runners and bikers
  • We had to stop and ask for directions (signage was crap)

All in all, I was severely disappointed. According to the course material, there were supposed to be two gel stations and multiple water stations on certain parts of the route that had none. Luckily, I had Adam’s backpack to refill with otherwise I would have been a bigger disaster. It seems that the marathon portion of the race was an after thought. All the services seemed to be directed at the half marathon crew since they seemed to have lots of resource, including but not exclusive to marathon spirit.

There were parts of the race that were lonely because it seemed like we were the only ones there. We actually had to ask for directions… several times. I was looking over the reviews on My Next Race and the reviews are pretty much consistent with the same criticism year after year. It’s like the race director doesn’t care or isn’t interested. Imagine crossing the finish line and all you have to consume are oranges, pita and little dentist-style cups of water. There doesn’t seem to be any respect for the participants.

So I vow, I will train harder and better for my next marathon. I will never run GoodLife full again. Maybe the half but the full is dead to me. I have disowned it and have written it out of my will. As a matter of fact, I have filed a 42km restraining order against it. If it comes within that distance, I will have it arrested and charged with breaking the restraining order. I will then have it put in a cell without water or bathroom facilities.

So there!!!

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