Race Report – Sporting Life 10K 2016

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Photo credit: SportingLife10K.ca

The Sporting Life 10K is a race I try to do every year – the money raised goes to a wonderful charity Camp Ooch, which sends kids with cancer to camp. The race itself is a lot of fun as it goes through downtown Toronto making it a fast 10K. Even though the race took place a week after the Toronto Goodlife Half Marathon, I was still looking forward to running it.

Pre-Race: Packet pick up was at the Sporting Life Store on Yonge Street in North Toronto. It opened the Tuesday before the run and went all week to Saturday evening. Out of town runners were allowed to pick up their kits on race morning but only until 7:00AM. I liked the idea of having packet pick up open for several days. It made it very convenient for everyone to pick up their shirts and bibs.

Race day: Bag check opened at 6:00AM race morning and was divided by corrals. Each bag check station closed at different times to ensure the trucks would reach the finish area by the time the runners did. Everything was well marked and the volunteers were clear in letting runners know when the stations would be shutting down.

The view of the start line from the yellow corral at the Sporting Life 10K

The race was divided by several corrals, each with their own start time. The first corral started at 7:30AM, with the last corral leaving at 9:00AM. With more than 20,000 runners registered, the corrals took up several city blocks.

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2016 Sporting Life 10K route (Photo credit: Strava.com)

The race started on Yonge Street, north of Eglinton Avenue, headed south through the downtown core and finished on Fort York Boulevard. Runners then had a quick walk to the finish area in Coronation Park.

Because I was still recovering from the GoodLife Half Marathon the previous weekend, I was given instructions not to race. My coach explained that a week in between races was not sufficient for recovery and even though I felt great, my body was still recuperating. Racing that morning increased the possibility of a running related injury. No thank-you. So instead, I was told to run 8K at a slightly faster pace of 6:00-6:15 min/km and then to run at 5K pace for the final 2K. It sounded like a good plan to me!

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Running down Yonge Street at the Sporting Life 10K

Not racing is easier said than done, especially on a downhill course with runners zipping by. It was hard to resist the temptation of running faster. So I worked on maintaining good running form, practiced drinking water while running through water stops and even stopped for a picture or two.

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Just cruisin’ along for the Sporting Life 10K 🙂

Post-Race: Finishers’ medals were handed out shortly after the finish line while water and food were located a short walk away in Coronation Park – the finish area. I picked up my bag from the bag check area. I was a little surprised to see it was basically self-serve, runners walked in and picked up their belongings and then had a volunteer check that their bib matched the number on their bag. After that, I headed off in search of brunch with my friends.

Overall, it had been a great morning for a run! The weather was perfect and I was on target with my pacing for both segments of my run. And for a race of that size, I would have to say Sporting Life did an awesome job of organizing and executing the race!

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2016 Sporting Life 10K medal

Review: Against the Grain Urban Tavern

Against the Grain Urban Tavern - Leaside

“Want to go for brunch on Sunday??” I get or send that text message every week, typically sometime between Wednesday afternoon and Friday morning. Usually it’s to and from my friends Matt and Dawn. Brunch is one of those meals where you recap the week and make plans for the next so you have to be in good company either because you need someone to laugh with (hopefully not at) and occasionally a shoulder to cry on. Knowing I was in good company, it was time to send the all-important follow up, “Where do you want to eat?” That’s not a tricky question normally, except when one goes out for brunch every weekend and then where do you go avoid gastro-boredom?

Then I remembered the Against the Grain Urban Tavern, a restaurant in Leaside I had watched being built over the winter months. I suppose being stuck in traffic caused by the road construction on Laird Avenue could be looked at as a bad thing by local businesses, but on the other hand it’s free advertising because what else do people do when they’re stopped in their car, but look around. So why not? Let’s give this place a shot and see what they’ve got for brunch.  Continue reading “Review: Against the Grain Urban Tavern”

Race Report: 2013 DC Nike Women’s Half Marathon

(Photo credit: Run Nike Women's Series)
(Photo credit: Run Nike Women’s Series)

I can’t tell you how excited I was to get into the DC Nike Women’s Half! The Nike Half Marathon was a race that I had wanted to run for a while but it was out in San Francisco and I’m not a fan of hills or the cost of traveling to the west coast. So when Nike announced that it was organizing a race in Washington, DC, I figured it was perfect for me. I loved the idea of being a part of an inaugural race!  Continue reading “Race Report: 2013 DC Nike Women’s Half Marathon”

Race Report: Disney World Half Marathon 2013

Disney World Marathon Weekend 2013
Photo Credit: RunDisney.com

The Disney World Marathon in January is one of my favourite Run Disney events to do. This year, I had signed up for the Goofy Race and Half Challenge which involves running the half marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday.

I arrived at Disney World late Tuesday evening and spent the next few days hanging out with friends and relaxing before the race. Thursday morning, several of us headed over to the Health and Fitness Expo at the Wide World of Sports to pick up our bibs and do a bit of shopping. Continue reading “Race Report: Disney World Half Marathon 2013”

TIFF Review: The Paperboy

Photo credit: Millennium Films

Director: Lee Daniels
Writers: Lee Daniels, Peter Dexter
Starring: Zac Efron, Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, David Oyelowo, Macy Gray

In his follow up film to ‘Precious’, director Lee Daniels takes on Peter Dexter’s bestselling novel ‘The Paperboy’. I had a chance to attend the red carpet screening at TIFF where actors Zac Efron and David Oyelowo and director Lee Daniels were in attendance and did a Q&A with the audience after the film.  Continue reading “TIFF Review: The Paperboy”

TIFF Review: Passion

Photo credit: SBS Films

Writer & Director: Brian De Palma
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace, Paul Anderson, Karoline Herfurth

After a five-year absence, director Brian De Palma returns with an erotic thriller entitled ‘Passion’, a remake of the 2010 French film ‘Love Crime’. ‘Passion’ tells the story of two advertising execs working on a cell phone marketing campaign. Isabelle (Noomi Rapace) develops and ingenious idea only to have it stolen by her mentor and boss Christine (Rachel McAdams). Christine furthers humiliates Isabelle in front of her colleagues pushing her to seek revenge. Continue reading “TIFF Review: Passion”

Review: Carthay Circle Restaurant

Located in Disney’s California Adventure theme park on Buena Vista Street, Carthay Circle is the newest full service restaurant to open at Disneyland. The restaurant was designed as a replicate the famous Carthay Circle Theatre. The interior is decorated in ornate furniture with rich gold and brown coloring to reflect Hollywood’s Golden Age. Built on two stories, guests can enjoy drinks and snacks in the lounge on the main floor or a meal upstairs in the dining room.  Continue reading “Review: Carthay Circle Restaurant”