25 Apr Racing: Bigger and Flatter is Not Always Better
Wendy’s Half Marathon Race Notes: Bigger and Flatter is Not Always Better
I just had the opportunity to run the Banque Scotia Half Marathon in Montreal, Quebec on April 23/17. It was a well organized, big city race with over 2500 runners on the green space of Jean Drapeau Park in the middle of the St. Lawrence. The start line was easily accessed by subway and the race had everything you needed…a four corral start, lots of port-a-potties and aid stations, gels on route, cheering spectators and a good post race celebration area with expo.
With the exception of several kilometres of dirt road, the course was on asphal, closed to traffic, flat as a pancake, albeit circuitous, and somewhat boring as you did two loops around a very L–O–N–G Olympic aquatic basin.
Last spring I ran the Band on the Run Half in Huntsville, Ontario. This was a very small town race with only two hundred entrants but with a phenomenal volunteer presence and live rock bands along the route. I walked to the start line in less than five minutes. This course also had lots of twists and turns but you ran multiple BIG HILLS on the very scenic Canadian Shield of Muskoka. The licensed post race party down by the river featured some big name Canadian musicians and it seemed like the whole town came out to celebrate.
Which race did I prefer? Big or small? Flat or hilly? I can’t believe I am saying this but I did better on the hills. Running on the flat was hard on my legs and I had to push myself through the stiffness from 13K onward. I loved exploring the shops and galleries of Montreal’s Old Port but it’s hard to beat the party atmosphere of small town Ontario.
Congratulations Wendy! Thanks for sharing this with us. All the best with your running.
What is your experience with hills vs flat terrain races? Would enjoy hearing about from the rest of you…