Monster Dash 5km

A couple of weeks ago, I realised that I am a dumbass.  In the mist of getting married, work and just general life craziness, I forgot to register for the Toronto Women’s Run 5/8km on October 27th.  Or I thought that I already had, but I hadn’t.

And I had sad face.

But then I found an alternate race.  In pretty much the same location.  On the same weekend.  And henceforth took part in the in the inaugural Monster Dash, raising money for Holland Bloorview Kid’s Rehabilitation Centre.

Race kit pick up was smooth and easy and the bag was full of goodies and cards for free stuff – I’m looking forward to my free South St. burger and Aroma beverage 🙂

I had a less than healthy weekend.  I had a stomach bug on Friday/Saturday (which made me actually glad that I missed the Toronto Women’s Run) and I decided to self medicate that with many doses of Halloween chocolate instead of actual food.  It was a last minute decision to actually do the race, but my stomach felt up to it, so I decided to give it a go.

Sunday evening, The Husband and I went over to the site, and I’m pretty sure that he was cursing me internally for making him come in his capacity of Stuff Holder when he could have been sitting at home on the couch.  It was cold.  And rainy.  And did I mention cold?

Watched the ‘Elite Athletes’ (aka the kids in the Spooky Mile and the other one where I can’t remember the name but they were super little and ran about 100m of adorableness) and then went inside to stay warm and dry until the start.

10km runners took off at 6:15 and we 5k-ers followed at 6:30.  The rain had slowed a little bit and once the gun went, the fun actually began.  I live in the area and was therefore super aware of where I was at all times (“this is where I take my dog to play” “this is where a guy in a power chair ran over my foot”) and usually that annoys me in a race because I’m fully aware of how much farther it is (which generally works against me), but this was handy because I knew the terrain well even in the dark.  While I knew that the Hill of Doom (as I call it on a daily basis) was going to be treacherous both down and up, I knew that the rest of the road was flat, fast and firm and that was where I was going to attempt to make up my time.

After I hit the turn around, the rain started to get heavier again and all I really wanted was to finish so that I could get warm again.  I couldn’t feel the toes on my right foot.  My hands were numb (because I had left my gloves with Stuff Holder).  And my yard of hair had come out of its bun and my pony tail was annoying me by simultaneously swinging and sticking to the back of my neck at the same time.  Life was hard.  So I ran faster, just so I could get home out of the weather.  I liked the out and back course though, even if the main highlight was seeing everyone’s costume as we passed each other.  Cartman was my favourite.  I was technically costume-less.  I don’t really do anything on Halloween, which means that I don’t have much laying around my house to throw on costume-wise, but I did put on my Zombies, Run shirt and if anyone had asked, I would have told them that I was Runner 5 and they really should be using this game.

I always have one grudge against races in the rain and it never has anything to do with the course or the way it runs or the impact it has on my run.  It’s the people who refuse to run through the puddles and insist on going around.  It slows down everyone and in the long run it didn’t matter because we are already wet and chances are you are going to run through an accidental puddle farther along anyway because its dark and they are sneaky.  Just run through them!  It’s only a 5km – the blister factor can’t be that bad!  At least then I get to feel bad ass by running straight though them when everyone else pussy foots around them.

Loved the last 500 metres behind Lyndhurst and Bloorview on the trails.  It was wet and muddy and dark and awesome.  Felt like high school cross country all over again and it was fun and I felt like I was flying (I probably wasn’t though).  Didn’t like the lady at the top of the hill though who kept saying “two minutes left!” because it really felt like a lot longer, and that is just mean to tease people like that when they are cold.

Crossed the line in 29:34, officially meeting my “No Over 30 Minutes in 2012” rule, which was surprising because of the conditions and Hill of Doom, but I was pushing pretty well on the flat bits so that was good.  I beat my made up nemeses for the race – the Tooth and Fairy as well as Girl in Superman Shirt, so yay me.

Since this is a new race, I’ll put my Pros and Cons of it here:

Pros:
– The Race Kit was sweet.  Free burger.  Free Coffee.  Free scone.  Free pizza.  25% discount at Saloman.
– The course was fast (mostly flat) and and challenging (Hill of Doom).
– Holland Bloorview let us inside – not only to use the bathrooms, but all the pre and post race stuff was there too.  We could stay warm and dry before and after the race.
– I liked my Glow Sticks 🙂

Cons:
– Weather, but unfortunately, the race organizers couldn’t control it.  Maybe one of them should have dressed up as Zeus?
– The pre race announcements were done on a mega phone.  I was in the middle of the crowd at the start and couldn’t hear anything except the noise that Charlie Brown hears when adults talk. Maybe get a sound system for next year?  Music stores rent them out really cheap for events.
– The volunteers were great, but I think for potential safety issues there should have been more of them – or at least they all should have had flashlights on them?  It was dark and if someone got hurt, it would have been tricky to find them.
– The finish.  Once we crossed the line, that was the most roundabout way to get into the post race area. It would have been fine in if it weren’t so cold, but it was freezing and walking across the parking lot would have been much quicker.  The cinnamon bun scone was yummy though.

I would definitely do this race again. Only if they order better weather though, because Frankenstorm isn’t very runner friendly.

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2 Responses to Monster Dash 5km

  1. Lisa says:

    Thanks for the great blog. I wanted to address some of your cons. In terms of weather, yes, unfortunately out of our control, and the Zeus costume was on back order. Announcer at start, great point, – we did get a sound system (2) one at the finish, one inside for awards, due to our budget, the megaphone was for the start, but something to consider next year. In terms of volunteers, we had over 130 registered, 56 showed up. This left us very short handed at the last minute, and would have been complicated to send out replacements unprepared into the dark. Next year we’ll triple it and hopefully avoid this happening again. Pumpkins were suppose to be lit up at every route marker, again, an oversight due to the lack of course volunteers. As for the round about way to the finish, at the request of the hospital, they had asked us to use the back spiral gardens to eliminate traffic through their front doors to accomodate their patience and we wanted to respect that request.
    The emails and lists have already begun to make 2013 even better, so we are loving the feedback. Thank you so much for yours!
    The Monster Crew

    • Lindsay says:

      No problem! It was a great event! They weren’t so much ‘cons’ so much as ‘this is something I’m sure will improve next time’

      I think that volunteer no shows were probably reflective of the weather problem – not maybe people want to stand in the rain in the dark – and there wasn’t much you could do about that. There were volunteers every where that really mattered, which was great. It was just in the back of my mind a couple times as a clumsy person of “I really shouldn’t fall down here because no one will see me and I’ll get eaten by bears”. Because bears are a likelihood in Sunnybrook Park 😉

      I did notice the pumpkins – didn’t realise until 4km that they were distance markers. I thought they were cute!

      Totally get wanting to respect Bloorviews request regarding going around and it makes sense now that I understand that – it was just super cold once we stopped moving! Once again, Zeus costume needed.

      Like I said, great race and I want to do it again next year – the Frankenstorm was just working against you, no matter how fitting the name is 🙂

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