Sister Act: Toronto Yonge Street 10k Race Recap

Finishing the race at the same time!

Erin’s story:

I don’t really remember how it all began, but Jill suddenly became keen to run a race. Because I decided to include the Toronto Yonge Street 10k (the new/old race that emerged after the Sporting Life 10k debacle — which I still don’t really understand) because it fit in nicely with my planned marathon (now half-marathon) training. It was my first-ever race just a year ago and I remembered having a great experience — it’s an easy course with a great crowd — and suggested that Jill give this race a try. As you already know, by the time we lined up at the start line Jill already had 1 race under her belt, but that didn’t matter. It was time to race 10k. Down Yonge Street.

Jill slept over (yay sleepovers!) and we woke up to a REALLY cold day. This was a challenge because we didn’t want to check bags (I had a bit of a time crunch because I had a bridal shower immediately after the race), so we each grabbed old long-sleeve shirts to trash at the beginning of the race. After the race? I had no idea what to do.

These shirts weren’t enough. It was that cold. The shuttle was quick and easy, and we spent 20 minutes bouncing around trying to not freeze. Once we started running, it was fine. The tailwind and 4 degree weather was perfect.

The race plan? I wanted to run sub-55, but knew I probably couldn’t do it on my own. I let Jill set the pace (she had no idea about this) and adjusted accordingly if we fell too far off the 5:30 mark. This worked out great — we hit 1k right at 5:30, but fell bit behind at 2k. We coasted through, running fast, but strong. I felt good until about the 8k mark, when I started to fade. I made Jill yell encouraging things (the best one? “Matt is buying brunch after!” but once we turned the corner down Bathurst, I was the one with the energy and we kicked it up a notch for the final km.

This was a great race. I pushed harder than I ever had in a race before, we stayed on pace and it was great to have someone next to me I could push forward or lean on accordingly. We made a great time and I don’t think I cold have PRed without Jill by my side. Yay us!


Jill’s story:

I have to say running races is way more fun than I had anticipated. Plus running with Erin is the best! It’s an excuse for me to sleep over and Erin feeds me. Best big sister ever! We always have the “runners breakfast” which includes toast with peanut butter and honey and bananas. See running is totally the best.

Way back when Erin and I started this blog one of my new years goals was to run a real race. The Yonge Street 10k was a perfect place to start. Knowing this was a distance I could handle, plus the race is mostly downhill, and Erin had run this last year and planned to do so again this year, there was no reason for me not to sign up. And after my successful first real race in High Park (which was planned after signing up for the 10k) and a very solid run with the Pubruns crew the weekend before and having just climbed the CN Tower – I was still riding high on the “we could do anything!” mentality – I felt confident going into race day. Plus Erin and I decided to run the race together and under an hour. Easy! I was actually excited to run, for once.

But that Erin, she’s so clever. I knew we’d be much happier with a sub 55 time, but I didn’t know the tricks she had up her sleeve. Next time I know to push much harder. Running with Erin is when I feel my best, she usually guides me along and keeps me on pace. When we have run together it’s always been shorter than 10k, so I kept this in mind and that Erin knows best. I didn’t want to burn myself out early on, especially where I don’t really know what my running capabilities are just yet. My plan was to let Erin take the lead (as she usually does) and I would follow suite. I really didn’t want to think too much about anything, only that we’d be running together.

To even better prepare myself for the race I convinced Cecilley (my work friend) to run too. After talking about it all the time on our lunch hour mini workouts, it was rather easy. Now I had running buddy! Erin and I are very busy. If don’t have time to watch our shows together when would we ever run together? I needed backup support. It also helps that Cecilley and I not only work together, but live in the same neighbourhood too. Having Cecilley to run with made up for not having Erin around for pre-race training. This would be Cecilley’s first race too, and that made me happy. This race was very contagious (but really, who woulnd’t want to run down the middle of Yonge street?) because Jenn (my roommate) decided to run this race too. Jenn was insanely fast and finished 10th (10th!) with a time of 40:56. I both love her and hate her for this.

But I was very happy with the way Erin and I finished. We both pushed and helped each other along the way. When I felt slow Erin was there to help pick up my pace. There were moments when I felt I could have ran faster, but I stuck with Erin and used her as my guide. I had this worry of going to fast to quick, and needed to stay on track to save some juice to gun it at the end. The 7-8k stretch was the hardest for me. I stopped enjoying the run for this portion and wanted it to end.

Thank goodness it didn’t last too long because when that finish line came in sight, sprinting to the end together made the whole race totally worth it. Erin took off and I had to catch up! I know Erin went full speed ahead because sprinting is the best way to finish, not because she had an ulterior motive and secretly wanted to beat me. That would have been okay, I’m the middle sister, I’m used to this. Jokes! We both did good. Yay us, indeed!



The race: 10k in 54:57

The route:

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