Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon weekend is here and there are a few things every runner should have on their todo list before the races on Sunday morning.
Expo and Speaker Series
First up, make plans to get over to the Running, Health and Fitness Expo to pick up your race package and maybe do a bit of shopping. The race package contains your number bib (with a timing chip attached), as well as your participant shirt. The shirt is a nice one, designed by local artist Mango Peeler.
After you’ve got your bib and shirt, you may want to check out the Speakers Series to hear from a great line up of speakers including Canadian Olympian Lanni Marchant, Masters Runner and World Record holder Ed Whitlock, Running Room founder John Stanton and more. The schedule for the Speaker Series is here.
Apps and Course Guides
You’ll also want to download and setup the official STWM app on either your iOS or Android phone. The app has all the info you need for the weekend, including live tracking on race day for all events. Get your friends and family to grab the app to so they can track your progress as you race.
Knowing the course is super important. Have a good look at the RacePoint course map (complete with road closure information and other details like water and cheer stations). Once you’ve memorized all the turns, give my STWM Course Guide a read.
The half and full marathon share the first 20km of the route, so whether you are running 21.1km or the full 42.2km, the guide has lots of info on things like where the small hills are and what to watch out for on the streets (hint: streetcar tracks).
Carb-loading and Friendship Running
Carb-loading is key to a good marathon performance, especially in the latter stages of the race. This article from the Globe and Mail explains how to carb-load properly and points to a study that shows it really works. Spend Friday and Saturday eating all the carbs!
If you are at the Expo on Saturday morning, you can get in an easy 3km run at the Running Room International Friendship Run. Here’s your chance to meet all the Pace Bunnies and run with John Stanton of the Running Room and a few hundred of your fellow competitors.
This really is a worthwhile and fun run to help calm some of those nerves and shake out your legs 24 hours before your big run. Meet at the Expo site – more information including the 3km course map is here.
The More You Know
Saturday evening is when you’ll want to lay out your race day gear and make sure you have everything you need for your race on Sunday. Hopefully you already have the gels and sports drink you’ll need.
Take a minute to create a checklist that has everything you’ll need at the start line so you can double check that you’ve got it all when you head out the door on Sunday morning.
There’s some other last minute info at the STWM website on things like bag check, transportation to the 5km start line, and race etiquette. The more you know, the better. Read it all!
Sleep Well, Run Strong
You may not sleep well the night before your race. That’s to be expected. Research shows that the sleep you get the night before that is very important. So pack it in early on Friday night and get a good night’s sleep heading into Saturday.
Hopefully the Blue Jays game will be over early with another dominant win over Cleveland in Game One of the ALCS. Either way, take it easy on the alcohol and load up on nachos and other carbs instead.
Check the raceday forecast a million times and make sure you’re dressed for the weather. Right now it’s looking like it’ll be warmish for mid-October so shorts and a t-shirt are probably the right call. Expect some light rain here and there too. Pack a big garbage bag to stay warm and dry at the start.
Whatever happens this weekend, get out and take part in the festivities and run well on race day. Toronto will be out in force to cheer you along the way. Enjoy!