in Running News and Events

The Marquis de Sade Half Marathon

It’s a “fun” run, they say.

The annual Marquis de Sade goes tomorrow (Sunday, November 29, 2015) starting from the High Park Running Room at 8:30 A.M.

This unofficial half marathon takes on some of the biggest and baddest hills that Toronto has to offer. We’re talking 18 significant hills over the 21.1km of the route.

Runners who complete this monster get a little red button as their reward. No medal. No chiptime or Sportstats listing. Just a small red pin-on button that says you finished whipped the Marquis de Sade.

And you get the personal satisfaction of knowing that you took on one of the toughest half marathons around.

Bring a map!

It’s a bit of an orienteering exercise in addition to being a race. The course isn’t really marked, and you can be sure that none of it is closed to traffic. Did I mention there are no aid stations along the route? You are on your own, armed only with a map, and whatever else you bring along to sustain you.

I’ll be running my second¬†Marquis de Sade¬†tomorrow and I’m gunning for a respectable time well under two hours. We’ll see what happens.

Join the fun

If you want to get in on the fun, be at the High Park Running Room before the start at 8:30 A.M. to sign in. Study the route, make a few maps and bring them along with you so you don’t get lost. There aren’t any bibs, and the race is not chip-timed. It’s up to you to sign in when you start and finish to record your time. Most of the run is on sidewalks and paved trail, but there is an off-road, trail section in High Park near the start.

While the course looks a bit ridiculous, don’t let that scare you off. It’s a fun, festive event that provides a late season test of what you’re made of.