Race Recap: Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon 2014

Nothing says "I just finished a half marathon" like bananas and space blankets!

Nothing says “I just finished a half marathon” like bananas and space blankets!

Up until Saturday night, I hadn’t really thought too much about the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon. This was my fourth time running in this race and my third time running the half marathon distance. I wasn’t out to prove anything and a PB was certainly out of the question. In fact, based on my long runs leading up to Sunday’s race, I was on track to run my slowest half marathon ever. The bar was set nice and low.

I’m pleased to report that it was not in fact my worst time. I did exactly what I set out to do: I ran perfect 6 minute kilometres and finished the run in 2:06:51.

I didn’t check my pace or total time through the whole race. I just ran at a pace that felt good and maintained it throughout. I bopped along to some new music and watched the herd of 25,000 runners jog along. I saw the same people over and over. One girl in grey who’s watch must have been perfectly synced with mine because we stopped at the exact same time every ten minutes for our walk breaks.

Around 8K, I found myself next to the 2 hour pace bunny. I was thrilled! I actually had a moment where I thought I might be able to break my personal best of 1:59. It’s funny how the adrenaline of race day can make you semi-delusional. It was not to be. I kept pace with them till 15K, but fell back. It was too hard and like I said, I wasn’t out to prove anything. Why kill myself to shave off a few minutes? I decided I would just enjoy the run.

My husband Graham crossed the finish line about 5 minutes ahead of me, just missing his personal best by about 60 seconds. Originally we planned to run together but parted ways right before the start. He was going to try for a PB. I was not feeling as ambitious.

Afterward, we chatted about our race strategy. He told me he needs the pace bunny, and followed diligently behind the 2 hour pacer for the majority of the race. He focuses totally and completely on running as hard as he can, pushing himself the entire way. I employ the total opposite strategy. I try hard to focus on anything but running. I focus on my music. I read the race signs and high five volunteers. I scan the crowd in search of a race outfit I like. I find a runner who looks like they’re struggling and offer some words of encouragement.

As I jogged along, I also thought about running that same race three years ago. It was my first half marathon. In fact, I realized at the start line that I was wearing the same tights and long sleeve shirt that I wore in that race! (Kudos to Nike for making running gear that lasts!)

I also thought a lot about last year when I ran the full marathon distance in that race. At the point where the marathon runners go right and the half marathon runners go left, I was pretty happy to be almost done instead of halfway there!

My parents were our only in-person supporters and they took several pictures of my ugly race face as I crossed the finish line. It’s always nice to have some cheerleaders in the crowd.

Overall, it was another fine race. Shout-out to Canada Running Series for a fabulous event. I’ll be back again next year.

The last 100 metres are always the toughest. Check out my ugly race face and weird scissor hands!

The last 100 metres are always the toughest. Check out my ugly race face and weird scissor hands!



  1. aprilcunningham October 20, 2014 / 9:26 pm

    You talk about running this half like it’s no big deal. WAY TO GO, SISTER! You kick butt, as always!

    • Miranda October 20, 2014 / 9:27 pm

      I kind of mailed it in. 🙂 Next year, I’ll try for a PB. Congrats on your run on Sunday too. I just read your post. It was just as much of an accomplishment!

  2. Graham Markham October 21, 2014 / 6:25 am

    This is a very good race recap. It’s nice for the reader that you’re confident enough to write honestly about the pros and cons of how the race went, rather than glorifying it all or trying to make you look good. Kudos to you, Miranda.


    • Miranda October 21, 2014 / 9:56 am

      Thanks Graham! You are a very supportive reader and running partner 🙂

  3. Bubbles and Booyah October 21, 2014 / 9:54 am

    Hahaha I’m right there with you with the red face! Great job!! 🙂

    • Miranda October 21, 2014 / 9:55 am

      Haha. Definitely not my most flattering look. And did you see my weird scissor hands?! What is up with that. Note to self: make fists while running to avoid looking like an idiot!

  4. FLRunnerBoy October 21, 2014 / 11:45 am

    Way to get out there and get after it even though it wasn’t a goal race. Scissor-hands hahaha I would have never noticed. I did notice the face of one of the runners in picture to the far left … now that look screams dazed and confused haha lol 🙂

    • Miranda October 21, 2014 / 12:49 pm

      Really, no one ever looks good in race pics. And, if you do, you’re not trying hard enough!

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