Bucket List Races
Do you have a bucket list of things you hope to do one day? Do you go after them and check them off a list? I have an idea of the things I’d like to do, some things I write down and other things are just kept quietly in my head.
Running a Nike run has been something I’ve wanted to do for years, however, I hadn’t given it a ton of thought or planned for it as it has always been held in San Francisco. It simply was a “one day” goal. The draw of course is the Tiffany necklace given to you as the medal when you cross the finish line.
So when I heard Nike was doing a world tour and the Canadian city was Toronto, I knew I had to apply to get in. In order to get in to the race you have to apply and get selected through a lottery (random draw).
I had a busy spring race schedule but the run in Toronto was a 15K (not the 21K I expected for San Francisco) so it fell nicely into my training plans for the Niagara Ultra. It was Easter Sunday when the emails went out to notify us if we had been selected. I got the email! Throughout the day it was being posted all over social media others who also managed to get in.
A friend of mine was also selected so we traveled to Toronto together, sharing a hotel. I had booked the hotel and selected it based on where I thought the Ferry pick up/drop off would be. I am not familiar with Toronto too much so this was a bit of a guess. Turns out we could not have had a better spot. We stayed at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel and it was perfect.
We had to be at the ferry for 6:30am. The race didn’t start until 9:30am and we didn’t get through the start line until 9:51am! Neither of us had ever experienced such a long wait before the start before. The race was held on the Toronto Islands and Nike needed to get over 10,000 runners to the Islands before the start (not including all the volunteers and spectators). Clearly ferry times had to be staggered. There was a lot of complaining on social media, but truly I just felt blessed to be able to participate and take in the experience. They had an amazing “party” arranged, lots of music and photo props for capturing memories. Unfortunately, the weather did not co-operate and what could have been spectacular was overshadowed with just wanting to start the run.
By the time we were in our start corals the rain was really coming down and I was pretty chilled, we’re talking shivering-goose bumps-and-teeth-chattering chilled. I think it was because we sat around waiting for hours to start. Nike anticipated this and offered heat blankets to those who wanted them (unfortunately we didn’t grab one). There were a number of waves being sent out every 5 minutes or so. We were in the front of Wave 4.
When we finally crossed over the start line, I embraced the rain and took in everything around me. It was a beautiful spot, with unimaginable views. Spectators were still out cheering us on and the music on the route was incredible. The rain stopped and then the humidity hit.
I was running my first Ultra the following weekend so my friend and I had already decided to treat this run as a fun run (not worry about the time).
I took time to capture a number of photos and enjoy the views (although we did really well with our time 🙂 ).
Coming in at the end we pushed it for a strong finish. The experience was amazing and the race memorable. I am truly thankful to have been able to participate in this worldwide event.
So what’s on your bucket list? A favourite destination? A must experience event? I still have two more that I’m figuring out when and how to accomplish. Run Dopey at Disney (5K, 10K, 21K and finish with 42.2K over 4 days) and back to back marathons (1 week apart).