A Midsummer Night’s Run
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Start Date/Time August 16, 2014 @ 6:30 pm
End Date/Time N/A
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Last year I was quite disappointed in how the race was organized on Toronto Island. I was glad that it was back to its original location. I ran 15 k last year and this past year I ran the 30 k.
What I love about this race are the pins, the atmosphere and the shuttle bus service. Also, seeing people dress up and in their costumes.
I like this event. I've run it a few times. And the medal this year was pretty nice. Glad the course went back to 'normal'. Well organized, and I'll be back for another year.
This was my second year running this race I ran the 15k again. I love tommy thompson park I hope every year we continue to run through there. (didn't like running on the islands last year)
Loved the idea of giving us aluminum water bottles at the end of the race which you can keep forever.
Medals looked very awesome too!!
I will do this race again next year its one of my fav races.
THANK YOU for bringing the race back to the mainland this year! (Last year was a logistical nightmare!!!!) Would not have run it again if you put it back on the island. THANK YOU for putting some metal back in the medal. Last year's were cheap looking/feeling. I have been running this since 2008 (passed on 2012 - Tough Mudder was in town) and I miss the beautiful silver medals you used to give out. THANK YOU for continuing to give out the distance pins - i am up to 165k! A good incentive to keep runners coming back. Word of advice: please have the kids who give the medals out take them out of the bags they come in - it's nicer to get your medal that way and it controls the garbage (there were mini ziplocks everywhere). Overall - better job this year than last, please try to keep it that way for next year!
I enjoyed the 15k route, it was very scenic. The volunteers were very enthusiastic with all their cheering. I liked the post-race stainless water bottle and the medal was really nice.
This was my first time running this race. I was a little nervous because of the bad reviews from last year, but I recognize that last year's problems were the result of moving the event to the island. This year, with a return to its original location, I thought the race was great. Our journey started out well: it was our first time taking transit to the site and the bus driver helpfully made an announcement to indicate where Midsummer Night's Run participants should disembark. The route itself was clearly marked, and well-manned with enthusiastic volunteers. I loved the long-sleeve shirt in the race kit, the water bottles handed out at the finish line, and the medal was by far one of the most beautiful that I've seen. There was plenty of gatorade, water, bananas, and muesli-pitas at the finish line, as well as the beer and barbecue tent for those wanting to buy real food. If it hadn't been so cold after the race, my partner and I would definitely have spent more time hanging out after the race, but since we were pretty damp and shivery we took advantage of the free shuttle back downtown and then made our way home from there. I would definitely do this race again.
This was my second time running this race.
THE GOOD: Organization, volunteers, medal (high quality as per usual), reusable water bottle filled with water at the finish line and tech long sleeve shirt was beautiful this year. This is one of the few races that does long sleeve shirts, which I prefer. The shuttles from the parking lot to the start and vice versa was great.
THE BAD: Not much to say here. Just that there was construction going on around the designated parking lot for runners. I'm glad I got there very early to plan an alternate route. A heads up on the construction would have been nice.
THE UGLY: The weather. Cannot be controlled and is no one's fault obviously. It was rainy and windy, but after the first kilometre, it's no longer an issue.
Thanks to the midsummer team! Great race for an amazing cause! I will be there next year for the 10th run!
First time running the 5k. A little late to the start line as construction made finding the parking lot an ordeal - that's not the fault of the organizers but I wish they had noted the closed major street in the last minute instructions so that we could plan our detour accordingly. Volunteers were plentiful, polite and friendly but often not informed, e.g. they didn't know where the start line was.
Race kit included the long-sleeved tech shirt and bib with timing chip. A nice touch was the free photo on race day, and the colourful stainless steel water bottle with hard pkastic lid that was handed out to each finisher. The medal was a spinner this year.
Will definitely run this next year.
It was a great night! It was nice to get back to the original site. The weather cooperated and the route was lovely. It is largely paved with a section of gravel/rougher terrain in Tommy Thompson Park. Views of the lake, the city skyline from the park and birds flying overhead. The volunteers were great. Bagcheck was organized and efficient and the shuttle buses were very handy.
Great race this year (30k). Last year's race had challenges with the last-minute relocation, but it seems that the organizers addressed all the concerns this year. The race returned to its regular location in the portlands area and Tommy Thompson park - a nice mix of stunning city views, trails, roads, and boardwalk.
Race organization was great. The 30k started on time, and all the distance markers were in place. Volunteers were awesome this year. Pace fairies were fun - I spent the entire race chasing a guy in a pink tutu and tights.
Lots of thoughtful details. Having shuttles to the parking lot and to the Novotel/Union Station was great, as the race start/end was at a park off Lakeshore/Carlaw in not the nicest area to be walking or traveling to transit late at night. Also nice for returning racers to collect Moretal pins - a good incentive to run again next year.
Post-race food was minimal but smart choices. A keeper aluminum water bottle (nice touch!), banana, and a Pita Break pita - which turned out to be a tasty high-protein snack with raisins and seeds in it. Much better than a dry bagel. An on site food truck and beer garden rounded things out for those looking for a full meal afterward.
This year's medal was gorgeous. A classy moon/sundial design with a spinner, and a great heft to recognize the achievement of a 30k (the same medal was also used for the 5k and 15k).
I would definitely run this race again next year. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting race: a summer race, a night race, to check up on training progress for a fall marathon or half-marathon, an opportunity to appreciate Toronto's lakefront scenery, or just a chance to be part of Shakespeare in motion.
Ran this race 2013 (15K) after finishing 3 races in a dragon boat regatta earlier that day. It was a hot day and I was surprised to have energy to run this race. I like the distance but I don't like where the race is. I had a drunk guy try to cut me off on the path. Way too many peeople along the paths so I was dodging people especially at the end of the race when we are running on the grass. I like running on the islands minus the people but its public place so can't do much about that.
I have signed up again this year going to run 30k :)
This was my first year running A Midsummer Nights Run (15km)... I had heard people talk very highly of it previously.
Things I enjoyed about the race: the 15km route offering (perfect distance for me), the free water bottles handed out at the end, the lovely long sleeved shirts, the people who dress-up, the scenery of the island, easy to sign up - etc. There were lots of wonderful aspects of the race this year.
Things that I didn't love so much (that being said, I would still sign up for the race again): the line-ups to get across to the island on the ferries (I was late for my race), the knowledge of the race staff (they led me to the wrong start line), the unorganized baggage pick up (it took a long time), the line up to get OFF the island when it was dark outside (waited for about 1 hr)
All in all, fun race !
This is my first time running the Midsummer's Night Run.
I anticipated that the ferry ride was going to be difficult and crowded, so that wasn't a big factor, but I didn't like the fact that the entire course was still open to the public. There were many instances where I had to run around bikers and other pedestrians, in fact just after the third or fourth water station I had to evade a couple of out of control kids and their screaming mother at one point. I also wasn't a big fan of the bag check at the end I jokingly exclaimed to my friend that getting my bag at the end of the race was more difficult than the race itself.
However I will say that the course itself is a nice course with a lot of variety, the weather was perfect, and the free water bottle at the end was nice. But unfortunately there were just too many little things that kind of overshadowed that.
Had a fairly negative experience the first time doing this but I understand that the race had to be relocated due to construction, so I will give it another chance only if it is back at the original course next year.
Positives: race shirt was nice, the island is pretty, having a post-race beer tent
Negatives: long ferry line-ups at the beginning, adding to stress about getting there in time and standing in the blazing heat for an hour, lots of people on the island constantly crossing the race course (especially kids darting in and out), the post-race area was packed by the time I got there ... The ferry line-ups were horrendous after the race. Did not want to wait in line for hours with screaming children. Ended up killing time at Shopsy's, line-up was still horrible, then walking to Ward's island to catch their ferry. Would go to this race again only if it's not on the Island -- the ferries just can't handle the capacity. Otherwise going to this race means you have to plan on being on the island for 8 hours.
This was my longest race to date (15k)and I had heard that it was a good race in past years so I decided to run it. I understand that this year was a change in location due to construction and was excited about the location on Toronto Island. I arrived at the ferry at the scheduled time as per the instuctions, but there was alost an hour wait to get across which didn't leave alot of time ahead of the race. I found the volunteers average for the most part and agree with previous comments that many were distracted and not paying attention. The route was great around the island, but we had to dodge families who were on the island enjoying the day. The course could have been marked better. I loved the medal and the water bottle at the end but then had to wait over an hour for the 2nd truck to arrive with my bag and at that point it's getting cool on the island and after running 15k I was sweaty so I was very cold waiting for my bag which had a long sleeved shirt. The wait for the ferry at the end was over 45 minnutes. I was exhausted from just waiting in line with 600+ people all trying to leave at the same time.I liked the running shirt I received, but unless some major changes are made for next years race (logistics) I would think twice before spending the money to sign up in 2014.
As events go, I was pretty excited by this one and then found myself feeling rather lost. I didn't see any signs at the ferry terminal so I wasn't sure if I was to just "walk in" or not. Once on the Island, it took a group of us to finally find a volunteer to point us in the right direction. Loved the crowds of spectators cheering us on! Boardwalk...never again...please. It was like running on a trampoline! I found several route volunteers sitting in the shade doing nothing as we ran past and others that were too busy playing catch to help us out. We had to figure out the route for ourselves. And then there was the ferry line up to get back to the mainland. Highlight was stopping by the MNR tent!
Poorly organized in marshaling, food/water quantity and route choices. Our 5k was over 6k, there was no food or water for some of the late-finishing 30k racers, and the on-course pedestrians were aplenty. I have heard that this race was better in previous years, but for 2013 I was not impressed. Great shirt and water bottle though!
I had a friend say the same!
sad!! and after she paid 10$ to split a water taxi b/c the ferry wait was 2hr plus
To add to my review above,
I was also frustrated with the ferry boats, delays, race kit pick up location and even the quality of volunteers, however, the race was relocated, but remember, an email was sent warning runners to arrive early and leave enough time.
It was a saturday afternoon and the weather was incredible. Did people actually anticipate that it wasn't going to be busy? Do runners really live in their own world? You can't reserve a separate boat for runners. Get there early and deal with it. It was frustrating, but we all decided to do it regardless.
And remember, the organizers did offer refunds to anyone who wanted their money back due to the relocation. So if you chose to participate, you knew what you were in for.
Having said that, I wouldn't run any race on centre island because it takes too long to get there and back, regardless, but I would give this race another chance at it's original course.
To the other 49 reviewers-where we at the same race? Most of the teenagers volunteering for community service hours were either sitting, texting, or socializing. I nearly got run over by 3 little ones one bicycles cause the volunteers (all 3) were not paying attention. Luckily I saw them coming-I felt the adult volunteers were fantastic. I felt it could have been more organized-I hung around the finish line for an hour waiting for my friends, before I clued in that I was in the wrong spot. Overall, it was a good race, but I will not participate if this happens next year. No fault of the race directors-but I had a hard time with the ferry. Too many people leaving at once. Back to their original location and count me in!
TR still angry
I did not enjoy this race. Starting with the lack of signage when you got off the ferry, I knew where I was going but my husband (and biggest supporter) had to wait for a later ferry and then no one could tell him where the start line was and only found us via text.
There was a few great young volunteers out there that deserve some real credit and I would like to thank them but they were few and far between. Most of them were uninterested and had to be asked repeatedly for directions. I was doing the 30K and came over the bridge in the dark and had to find my way through a grassy field yelling at volunteers for directions. Telling me to run to the next girl and vaguely pointing to someone wearing a black hoodie over her bright yellow shirt was not helpful. I could go on and on about the loose boards on the boardwalk, the baggage pick up, the dry bagel that I left for the birds, the banana that I never got, the long line-up for the ferry but it’s all been said. I did the 15K race last year and loved it and was very excited to be ready for my longest distance ever but I was so disappointed with this event that I would never consider doing it again no matter the venue.
3rd and last Midsummer Night's Run for me. Arrived at the Ferry Terminal at 330, didn't board a ferry until after 430, thankfully made it to the start line with time to spare.
Surprised to pass a water station just a few minutes into the run.
Route seemed a little confusing, volunteers not really paying much attention, dodging people, dogs, bikes and strollers to make it around the course. I slowed my pace a little due to the heat, wanted to finish strong. Sprinted to the finish line to find only bananas and bagels...and pet food samples???
Made my way to bag check to discover bags haven't arrived yet...not sure the reason for the delay as I had been running for an hour and a half and the trucks didn't have far to drive to get to the finish line??
A kind EMS lent me their phone so I could call my family waiting at ferry terminal to let them know that I would not be there anytime soon due to baggage issue and long wait for ferries.
Oh well, long story short, all good things must come to an end and for me this was the end of me participating in the race. Thanks for the memories!
This was my first year doing the Midsummer (30k race), and I had mixed feelings. I’m glad I ran it this year, and I would do this race against if it returns to its original location on the Portlands, but I wouldn’t do it a second time if it stays on Toronto Island (without major logistical enhancements). I think the experience was probably better for those running the shorter race than for those of us in for the long haul.
The race is one of the cheapest in town for a fully supported race that gives a medal and race shirt, and I do feel the organizers did their best to deal with a last-minute relocation on a shoestring budget. However, there are many things they can learn from this experience to enhance for future years.
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE RACE: Midsummer Night’s Run is fairly unique among races that I’ve done in the GTA, in that it’s relatively inexpensive, has a cool theme, and provides a unique medal. I think I paid about $50 for the 30k by registering at the GoodLife Marathon Expo in May, and I got a free race hat and avoided the registration fee to boot. That’s the price of most Toronto-area 5k races. For the fee, you get a nice long-sleeve technical shirt (the design was decent this year, though I prefer last year’s more minimalist design, but the colours both years – green last year and red this year – were great), and a beautiful, heavy-duty medal with one of the most unique and interesting designs I’ve seen in Canadian medals. (Most Canadian medals I find are boring circles with a picture of runners, as compared to the US, where they have to compete harder for runners through silly yet fun things like medals and race themes).
The Shakespearean theme is fun and seasonal, with the added entertainment of seeing fellow runners and spectators – male and female – dressed as fairies and in other costumes. It’s also one of the few races in the city of Toronto between June and August, while the summer evening timeslot allows for cooler temperatures, especially down by the lake. It was about 28 degrees in the afternoon but the running weather on the island was perfect by 5:30 pm. There was lots of water and Gatorade on the course, even for the last 30k runners. It was also great to get post-race water in an aluminum bottle you can keep. I would have loved it even better if the bottle had a Midsummer logo on it, but it’s pretty nice as is.
Now for the opportunities for enhancement…
RECOMMENDATION 1: Start the 30k race at least half an hour before the 15k, not 15 minutes before. I got to the ferry dock 5 minutes late for the recommended arrival time of 4 pm. My race was set to start at 5:30, while the 15k would start at 5:45. I was stuck in line waiting for a ferry behind a couple thousand 15k runners and didn’t get onto the island until 5:29 – 1 minute before gun time. I had to run 1 km just to get to the start line 10 minutes late, and then I had to cut into my race time to use the bathroom on the course because I didn’t want to waste more time waiting in line behind the 15k ladies. I’m a slow runner as it is, so by starting late I basically ran most of the route on my own, aside from the fast 15k runners who passed me. By the final 2 km, it was pretty much dark out, and I was running through unlit wooded areas over tree roots, grass, and generally unmarked routes. Not fun. Even less fun were the seemingly thoughtful kids walking back home who thought they’d do me a favour by shining their flashlights in my eyes instead of on the trail. Cute, but dangerous! By the last km on Olympic Island, there were few volunteers to show how to get to the final gauntlet, and no road markings or lights on the grass where the trail was supposed to be. The well-lit party was happening off to the right, and there were a few volunteers running in that direction, but the finish line was straight ahead on an unmarked, unlit path, which was confusing. Even the pace bunny running near me had to shout for anyone within earshot to tell us where to go. Starting earlier would help solve this, as would more volunteers along the final gauntlet - especially as the sun went down!
RECOMMENDATION 2: More post-race food! Another side benefit of starting the 30k earlier would be that the runners who’ve spent the longest time running would actually have something left to eat and thus avoid passing out after running three quarters of a marathon. By the time I got to the post-race party, there were only plain dry bagels and water. Was there most post-race food earlier? Even a banana?? I had the option to buy food from the BBQ truck, but I’m glad I didn’t buy a meal ticket in advance, as they’d run out of the buns, coleslaw, potato salad, and beverages that were supposed to come with your meal. They were basically offering a hunk of charred meat with or without a slice of Wonder Bread for $5 instead of $10 for the plate. Again, not so much of an issue if the only other food options weren’t an hour-long ferry wait away.
RECOMMENDATION 3: Limit the number of high-school-credit volunteers. At least half of the volunteers for this race were wonderful, amazing, supportive, and generally awesome people who gave up a summer evening to shout at silly sweaty runners all night. In this category I would put all the adult volunteers, all the females, and some of the high school kids. But there was a subset of high school boys who were, well, high school boys. Even 20 minutes into the race I had to yell at two kids sitting in the grass to actually get them to serve their purpose of telling me which way to go at a crossroads. I had another volunteer at a water station who made some comment after I grabbed a cup from his buddy that I shouldn’t drink it because he’d done something to it (spat in it? Gross! I tossed it and went thirsty). I saw volunteers running away toward the party while us late runners were trying to figure out how to get to the finish line. And the volunteers at the post-race party were butting in line ahead of starving runners and complaining about their free meal while we went into hypoglycemic shock. These were the minority among the volunteers, but unfortunately they made all the other great ones look bad. Many other races set caps on the number of high school students they will take as volunteers, and they often make up the difference by recruiting from ESL schools that have similar volunteer requirements but often more mature students.
RECOMMENDATION 4: Lights! Either put up some cheap string lights or solar lights along the darker parts of the course (in this case, it was the last 3-4 km, once you went off the paved path), or put stronger wording in the race instructions to bring your own running light. I often run at night in town and the meek suggestion that I might want to bring a flashlight didn’t seem that encouraging or relevant. The instructions should recommend that any runner who anticipates still being on the course after 8:30 pm is strongly encouraged to bring a headlamp or flashlight. Or, once again.. start the 30k race at 5 pm and problem solved!
But perhaps the Bard said it best: "The course of true [running] love never did run smooth!"
30 k on the island just does not work. There were a number of issues with this race. First off the ferry was very challenging both on and off the island because of the number of people. I don't know why there weren't any contingency plans in place if the City and race organizers had agreed on this route. The races should have been staggered more as many of us had to loop the 15 ker's a few times so lots of traffic on the course at the end when you're getting very tired. I was also almost sent for a fouth loop instead of to the finish but glad I realized as the marshalls just keep waving all runners in the same direction. I think the volunteers did a great job and I even biked past some still out on the course in the dark waiting for runners to finish. I appreciate the water bottle at the end but it would have been great if there was a refill truck which I have seen at other events and I believe can be provided by the City. All in all it wasn't a great race. I really hope they are able to move back to the East end next year.
Take any reviews from this year with a grain of salt - due to construction in the Cherry Beach area, the race was moved to the Toronto Islands. Here are some of the pros and cons from the 2012 edition:
- a really nice long sleeved technical shirt with a cool quote on the front
- ferry ticket provided
- amazing race medal
- personalized bib (always a nice touch)
- official area for race photos
- nice giveaways at the end of the race (water bottles, cereal)
- volunteers not positioned at each turn to guide runners (5 km race ended up being 6.25 km)
- related to this problem, too many obstacles to avoid on the course (people having picnics, children at Centreville, tandem and four person bikes, island dwellers - people who don't understand racing etiquette)
- kilometer markings were SOOOOO confusing (three different race markers, and none of them made sense)
- finish line was on Olympic Island with only one bridge available for the baggage truck to enter being used by the actual race course, which meant that 5K runners at bag pickup had to wait for the 15K runners to finish (an additional hour and a half to two hours wait) - I personally got to the island at 3:45 pm for a 5 pm race start time and didn't get back to the mainland until 8:10 pm
- minimal race kit (bib, shirt, ferry ticket)
If the race goes back to its usual occasion I'll consider doing it again just to find out for sure whether the change of location was the real problem, but we'll see.
I'm not sure why my original review was deleted, so I will try again before I just create my own blog and review this race myself.
From the perspective of a seasoned racer, this race was a total disaster.
From lack of conage, signage and volunteers who would stand at forks in the road and had to be prompted repeatedly to determine what direction to run in. This race was more like an obstacle course, where you had to dodge and weave pedestrians walking, cycling and pushing their baby strollers.
While I can appreciate that many of the volunteers were inexperienced, where were the zone directors and supervisors to steer the ship. Clearly, enough money was brought in to have paid experienced help.
I think as runners sometimes we are too nice and don't want to offend anyone, but I'm sorry, this was a mickey mouse event that I paid a premium for. There are lots of budget races in Toronto where you get what you pay for and my expectations are not that high, but I honestly would not run this race again if a free bib was given to me.
If I could give you no bananas I would, but I have to give you 1 to affect the rating system, so 1 you get!
This is the 2nd time I have run on the island (first being Longboat 10k 2012) and I will back in September for the Island Girl Half Marathon. The advantage: Those two runs start/ed early enough in the morning where the crowds haven't hit peak capacity (although getting back on the ferry was still a bit of a wait)
I wish this run was on it's original course. Being a night run, the island was TOO PACKED with people. It was quite aggravating having to dodge pedestrians, and those bike trollies.
I didn't run into any issues of not being sure where to go but more markers would have been nice. When I finished the 15k I went straight to baggage. Luckily my bag WAS there & I didn't have to wait too long. It was nice to have a quick cold beer afterwards. When I got to the ferry the line was already long. Stood waiting for at least 20 minutes and when two ferries showed up, managed to JUST get on the second one. Looking back at the massive line up of people waiting I felt so lucky to get there when I did.
It would have been nice during peak hours to have a few ferries with posted times dedicated solely to runners going there and back (and then if they weren't full they could have let other people on.)
Race start at 5:45, and I was home (drove from ferry to home in BWV) by 9:15pm. I lucked out with no bag check issues & fairly easy ferry wait.
-For the crowds, the island is not a good venue for a night run.
-too long for ferry
-race kit.. meh.
-bag pick up issues others had
-was skeptical about race judging by the website. They need to update their website, doesn't look very professional
-race kit pick up was frustrating, they couldn't find my bib. At least 10 times I told them and spelled out my last name (it's not that complex.) At one point I grabbed the box and started looking myself. The woman was insisting someone else must have picked it up for me even though I kept telling her that it wasn't possible. It was under an entirely different letter.
-surprise metal reusable water bottle, awesome
-icy cold brew, WIN!
-nice medal (holy geez, it's HUGE!)
-kinda' weird sponsor with the pet food but, what the hell, I took a sample for my cat.
-I was starving so that (not dry) bagel & banana hit the spot until I got home to my waiting dinner.
-the volunteers I had contact with on course were very nice & polite :)
I wouldn't run this again on the island, maybe back on it's original course. This was only my 5th race so I'm not really interested in repeating the same race until I've done more of them.
If you're a seasoned racer, then you would know that this race was a total disaster.
No conage, signage, volunteers who stand at forks in the road who you have repeatedly ask to determine what direction you are suppose to run.
Island was packed, so you were constantly zigging and zaggin to avoid pedestrians walking, cycling and pushing baby strollers.
For the weekend warrior who does not race much, they might have thought this was a great race, but for someone who has run many races, this was a mickey mouse event and you will never see my money again!
Worst organized race I've ever been a part of. Choice of location - terrible. Volunteers - mostly confused (they didn't even have enough common sense to have water first - Gatorade after (or vice versa) at the water stations, but they had it all mixed). I must have passed 20,000 people on my way to the finish line. I am not intending on coming back, unless they get their act together (and from what I hear - they've had enough time for that, but failed to do so).
I ran the 5K with my adult daughters on Toronto Island.
Despite my very deep personal connection with the proceeds of this event to the Rheumatology Clinic at SickKids (hence what will likely determine my future participation), this event I found to be quite disappointing.
The confusion and chaos on course can be laid at the feet of whoever instructed and positioned the marshals who, through no fault of their own, were not well instructed nor well informed. I should have known when my Garmin clocked 2K at the 1K marker that we'd gone off-course, but instead, I just continued to run with my daughter (who was busting it for a 5K PB) and figured one marker was off. "It's all right" I said to her "you're in 2K and your pace is strong."
Perhaps I also should have thought something was odd when we hit the first water station for the 5K inside of about 400m. Seems a rather premature position for a water station, unless it was really positioned for the 15K and 30K runners.
There were countless spots where runners could have gone 3 or 4 different ways and there were NO marshals. Zip. Nadda. The only way runners could figure out where to go is to hope they could see the back of another runner and trust they were on course.
Many times I yelled at marshal to ask "where are we going?" and ONLY then did they pipe up and wave their arms in a particular direction and speak up. I asked countless marshals what position they were at (meaning, what KM, since I still thinking of that 1K marker at the 2K mark), not a single person had a clue. To their credit, I did ask two young female marshals where the next water station was, and they were the only people on course who actually had the answer to anything I asked them. Kudos to you, ladies.
Listen, I don't need to be told I'm doing great or looking strong by a marshal, I do need to know where I'm going and where I am. I do expect them to know. All of them.
Never saw a single marshal trying to clear the run route from pedestrian/tram/bike/stroller/rollerblade/skateboard traffic. I had to do that myself to clear the way for my daughter, who was still busting it *trusting* she would be doing so for only 5K.
When we turned up the bridge, we were right smack in the middle of hoards of tourists heading in the opposite direction of our race. When we got about 50m up the bridge, ONLY then did some marshal say "runners to the left". Yeah, they heard about that from dozens of runners who were now back-tracking in order to get out of the onslaught of tourists to go through the barricade and go up the proper side of the bridge. What a mess. Would have been awesome for one of those marshals to actually speak up prior to approach to guide runners. It simply didn't happen.
After the bridge, and after the Garmin clocked 5K again we were met with a dearth of marshals with information or instruction. Nobody knew where the finish line was, except "right ahead" and "just over there".
My daughter, to her credit, kept the pace up for 5.5K, when she simply couldn't run another step at her pace (which was a PB over 5K, but not the 6.2K that was the course we ran).
After finishing, we went back to the 15K and 30K start area to cheer for another runner specifically, but also to cheer anybody on that passed. I mentioned to one of the senior volunteers there that the 5K route was a mess, and that it was 6.2K long. She assured me it was certified. Then she said "well the 15K and 30K are certified for sure." At that moment, one of the elite male 30K runners had returned to the start line, from the wrong direction, quite vocal with his dissatisfaction that there were no marks, no marshals and nobody had a clue where they were going. He was very upset, and I don't blame him. Not surprisingly, I never saw that runner finish. I'm sure many runners bailed mid-course because they didn't want to bust it for a course that was unreliable right out of the chute.
A marshal asked me how I was identifying 30K runners, and I had to explain to her the different bib colours. Sigh. Again, not their fault. Why are they not well informed?
I suspect many marshals took the brunt of a lot of frustration.
For these reasons, this event will never be a serious race event for me. I'll never be in the starting corral thinking this will be my PB. I've seen enough to treat it as a fun-run or training run at best. A lot of work needs to be done to earn the trust of the running community for this to be a serious event. Whether you're an elite runner, or a middle-of-the-pack runner or a first timer - most people show up to do something awesome, or at least really try to. It's why I stood for a short time on the finish line for the 5K group and yelled "Congratulations, you just ran 6.2K!" For those who thought their time was less than spectacular, thought they should know they ran 20% longer than they expected to. I actually saw a few tears when I said that. Yeah, folks are awesome. This event, however, needs more organizational oomph.
This was my third time and it was poorly organized this year. The last kilometer was barely marshalled and there were so many non-racers crossing in front of us as we were finishing up 30 k. The route also took us over the boardwalk three times which was dangerous: each time i saw people fall. I hope nobody was on that stretch when it got dark. The markers were off, as well which made it really difficult to pace. I will only do this again if it goes back to the spit.
The island course was beautiful, costumes were fun, and I enjoyed the run itself (though I could have done without the many families, bystanders, and bikes on the course). My experience was tarnished a bit by the ridiculous wait for checked bags (I stood for 40 minutes just waiting for the bag truck to arrive - and I am a solidly middle of the pack runner, so I was definitely not the first person there). Once I finally retrieved my bag I took my tired, hungry self and stood in the ferry line for the better part of an hour to get back to the mainland. I know that the change to the island was late in the game and the organisers were working with what they had, but all the same, I wouldn't do this run again on the island. After a long run like this I want quiet, a nice comfy chair, and food, not a lengthy wait in a line full of small cranky children heading home after a long day. I did enjoy the spirit, costumes and swag (metal reusable water bottles at the finish were a nice touch and I really like the shirts), so I'd consider doing this run again when it returns to the east end.
Due to construction this race was held on Toronto Island. I think it would have been better to cancel the race than try to put this event on at such a logistically challenged location. The ferry lineup to get there was in the thousands and no better returning. Anxious, hot, frustrated. The course was a challenge and the designer must have had a bad day. the first k they had us double back on each other. i was on the boardwalk with 6 k to go when someone ran on a board and it flipped up...it smacked me down like a pancake. There were others that also fell during the race on the boardwalk. Bruised and road rash only but I was at max pace to add insult. The boardwalk is not nailed or boarded down. No porta potties at all and a 45 min wait for the 15k folks to get bags from the truck which didn't show up. The open course got almost too funny with rental tandem bike trollies and rude pedestrians. On a good note. Best volunteers ever...medals were great even though my bib did not register my finish time. I think the word out among a lot is so negative I wonder if this will damage the race in future. All of us that went have plainly said this will be a miss on our running calendar for future.
This was the first time the race was being held at Centre Island and it seemed pretty disorganized. (Thankfully it's not always held there) I decided to do this race based on recommendation and thought I would've had a better time. The route was not mapped out well enough with markers, just volunteers who didn't always point out where you were supposed to go. The 5k ended up being around 6.25k due to some mix up. The scenery was beautiful with the Toronto skyline and the greenery on the island though. Only real big downside was it took forever to get your bag out of bag check. When I crossed the finish line the truck wasn't there and I had to wait apx. 30 min. for it to arrive. After that had to wait another 30-45min. for the bags to be unloaded until they got to mine (keep in mind they had only unloaded half of it).
The finisher medal is gorgeous though and it's for a great cause!
Can't wait to do it next year on the actual route they tend to use.
I was disappointed with the messed-up 5k too, and I agree with all your comments. Bag check was also a problem, having to wait ages for the truck to arrive, followed by unloading chaos. At least everyone was good humored about about it! This meant that wasn't able to dry off and get changed until an hour and a twenty minutes after I finished. Not good. I get the impression that everything was timed and geared up for the 15k and 30k events, leaving the 5k feeling like an afterthought.
The runners were nice but getting onto the island was hell. 90 minutes of standing in the sun waiting to get onto the island.
The 30K trail was easy enough to follow in the daytime when you could see runners ahead of you - once it got dark it was impossible (many markers were moved, volunteers left before the race ended).
AND the worst part was trying to find the finish line. We were told to just go over the bridge and it was there - well there were 10 of us searching for over 20 minutes to find the end of the race! It was hidden behind the giant line ups to get off the island.
Very disappointing. Would love to race this again - but - NEVER ON THE ISLAND.
Very disappointed. The one thing most runners expect from a race and its director is that they get the distance correct. I ran the 5K and although the course was scenic it was 6.25km long according to my garmin. The 5K course was not well marked nor was it marshalled very well - I did not see a volunteer between the water station at the 400m mark (odd spot) and the next water spot which was about 3km later. None of the turns were marked until very late in the race and they didn't have any volunteers directing runners in middle portion of the race along the boardwalk. While the leaders had correct times (they followed the lead bike) the pack behind the leaders did not have this benefit and the 6 and a half minute differential between the second and third place runners clearly shows that something was wrong with how the course was marked. The course as mentioned was scenic but also crowded and in sections and not particularly safe as many planks on the boardwalk were loose (I heard of some runners falling) and you had to run up steps before the last bridge on the route. To top things off the line ups to get to and off the island via the ferry were huge. I had heard so many great things about this race which prompted me to try it but unfortunately it did not live up to expectations. I would not recommend this race if it remains on the island.
The 2013 midsummer night's run was relocated to Centre Island this year due to construction. The route was very scenic and running along the water made the weather more tolerable to run in. The race was organized well for the most part. The organizers warned us to come early, since the ferry to the island would be very busy. They constantly sent email updates to keep everyone in the loop. The only problem with this race was the baggage claim was not very organized. I was waiting a while before I could retrieve my bag and the system was inefficient.
The stainless steel water bottles filled with water at the end of the race was a nice touch and a great souvenir. Post race food consisted of bananas and bagels. Not much of a variety, but there was a BBQ going on, following the race.
The best souvenir of any race is the medal. This race, based on other reviews and other's I have talked to who have been running this race for years, always say that this race is known for their medals. And it did not disappoint. The medal is fantastic! The best medal I own thus far. That alone would motivate me to come back!
Running a great scenic course, meeting wonderful new runners, supporting an incredible cause (sick kids hospital), a bbq and a wonderful medal-not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon/evening.
To the midsummer team and organizers: Thank you for an excellent run! I'll be back next year!
And apparently "no banana" does not equal a zero to impact the average rating...so as an addendum to the above...
Regardless of the challenges presented on the Island this year...there has been one consistent problem with this event over the 4 times I've run it, and that is the lack of training and attentiveness of the course marshals. Many of the logistical problems could've been alleviated had they spent more time paying attention to the event taking place in front of them (when you're in a chase pack and no longer have escort bikes - we shouldn't have to ask which way to turn where they're stationed), and if actually positioned themselves at key turn points as opposed to retreating to nearby shade and directional ambiguities would have been eliminated. In fact the best marshal of the day was the 15k champ (thanks Predrag!) who made his way back on course to steer the 30k frontrunners in the correct direction over the last bridge.
I shudder to think how many folks either cut or lengthened the course (the 5k was a 6k+ disaster as, from what I can tell the first two folks were SO far in front that the 3rd place went off course because of no adequate markers or marshals - causing a Pied Piper effect). Even one of the pacers on his own site admitted he showed up late and took a 1.5k shortcut. Wonder how many folks followed him as well...
The Island itself was another variable that, while the challenges were expected, made for a less than enjoyable event thanks to many instances of being almost run down by tandem bikes and packs of tourists who think that a dozen bodies in full stride can actually stop on a dime and avoid them without causing harm to at least one of the parties involved. There was a lot of racer traffic on the 2nd and 3rd passes but that was planned for due to the nature of the paths. Again - I get the concept of not having an exclusive use permit, but if the organizers truly presented three backup plans to the City I struggle to see how this was the BEST option.
Every year something makes me say "never again". This year was the worst yet...but unfortunately...with their perfect timing leading up to the Scotia events I reckon my memories, like many others, will probably and foolishly forgive and forget over the next 12 months, just in time for our next disappointment.
This is my first 15 km race on the island. I was pretty pleased with the event. Too many people. Watch out for cyclists and random people visiting the island. The course is too large to close it off from the public. Got there at 540 pm. So, get there early. Literally ran from the ferry to the start of the race. On a positive note, they did a good job handing water out. But more water stations at the end to meet demand. The bagels were a bit dry. Thank goodness for bananas. The race kit wasn't very good: technical long sleeve tee, race bib, island ferry ticket. That's it! I liked the atmosphere of the race. The scenery was excellent. It was pretty hot for start and then, terribly cold after the race. I was not a huge fan of bag check-in and check-out lines. A lot of people mean a long wait for boarding the ferry. I took a water taxi $10/per person and $5/child. Not much to do afterwards so I went home. I don't understand why cat food was being handed out. If I had a cat that would be great but I much rather have a protein bar sample. I was one of the lucky ones who got a water bottle at the end. Awesome medals. Well deserved. Good music. Good crowd. If they have it next year, I will dress up as a fairy or a mortal.
This run was stupendous! There were great views of Lake Ontario and the CN tower. The atmosphere was very Midsummer Nighty, and with it being on Toronto island there was no traffic or city noise. (It's not always on the island, keep in mind.) Just don't eat 6 bagels after the race like I did. Not a good idea.
That Girl Pearl
Awsome run. Every year it gets better and better. Came in from Montreal just to run with the fairies! let us float, let us guide all the runners and walker through an incredible journey. Loved it.
Let's do it again next year!
aka That Girl Pearl
Course was scenic, loved the grass and the boardwalk but hard to get into the groove with so many people, strollers, four person bikes, dogs !!!!
The ferry sucked - no planning whatsoever,,, had we not arrived ridiculously early we would likely have missed the race completely. No provision made at all for the racers - which was really not good at all.
Usually love this race but NOT on the island again - PLEASE!!
Excellent race, well organized great volunteers
Lots of fun, great scenery, dry bagels, very challenging to pick up kit and even find Ted Rogers School! Why on earth would a business management school call floor 1 #7 and floor 2 #8?????
Great medal as always. Would prefer not a red shirt! Sizing much better than last year. See you next year!
Very disappointed. The route was not clearly marked. Some of the volunteers were awsome, majority useless
I did the 5km and eventhough the race length was
in question, everything about the race was great!!!!
I would recommend this race. I miss the old route around the Leslie Spit.
I did the 5 KM route this and found it challenging. Well organized this year (as usual). The volunteers were very helpful as were the organizers.
Great everything!!!!! Bonus extras were the water bottle and the finisher's medal.
Amazing 6k race.
Bagels were dry
Shreddues were cool
i did not like the run at all, the volunteers were not helpful it was actually 6.25 kilometers. the only good part about it was that it was on center island where all the rides are.I should of had a PB.
I found this race difficult.
First: It was not 5k it was 6.5k
Second: It was not well mapped out. There were not enough markers for the 5k. In past races I have been in each km was marked.
Third: There were too many people (bystanders) on the course
What was done well: Center Island was a very beautiful place to run!
My first 15K, and it was a great choice.
The course is unique, and very scenic. You get to run out the Leslie Spit, look back over the city at sunset and out to the lighthouse & back. The start and end of the course are a little boring (industrial portlands), but the middle makes up for it.
- Well staffed water stations (and middle of August means you need hydration & done properly. Volunteers with cups AND jugs to refill your own bottles. Nice.
- Lots of volunteers & course marshalls making sure everyone stayed on course at tricky points
- Great race shirt, and a cool little expo at kit pickup
- A Beer Garden for after the run, Nice touch. Beer and good food!
- LOTS of porta pottys and plenty of space for warmups before the race
- Parking & shuttle buses working well
- Uncongested start & finish
- Cool metal water bottle (full of cold water) at finish. Another nice touch.
Great race. Will be back again this year for sure.
This was my first race every and I have done it 3 times and plan on doing it every year going forward. It is a great fun race, alway have a great time with other runners... Come and enjoy a great time
I love this run in general.But this year's addition of the 5k walk was not very well thought out. It got really messy at times in the sense that when the 30 k runners hit the Leslie Spit , they had to stumble over slow walkers,all in large groups. I did notice some trying to make space for the runners to pass, but many of them were blatently rude and nasty. I can't tell you how ridiculous it got at one of the water stations where the runners couldn't even get to the water because all these 'walkers' (must have been about 40 of them) stopped like a herd of cattle all around the water station. I had to stop and wait for quite some time to manage to get some water, and so did so many other runners. It was horrible trying to meander around the big groups of walkers. Hopefully this year they'll try and organize it that way that the runners don't meet the walkers throughout the race. Or at least someone get them all together and give them a lesson in race etiquette, please.
This is a great race venue. Not many races have a post-run beer tent, but this one does. Great shirts and collectible race pins.
The only problem I had running the 30km was the feeling that I was getting lost in the park with all the turns in Ashbridges bay... The race just needed a few more markers/signage around the 24km~27km.
This was my first time participating in this event. It was expensive! I liked that I was able to get my size in a t-shirt. The finisher's medal was really nice - I was surprised to see that everyone that participated got the same medal - whether they walked 5km or ran 30km. I believe the medals should have been reserved for those who ran the 15k or 30k distances - that may have saved some money so that race wasn't so expensive. The course was okay - some really beautiful spots but some really horrible ones, too. It had so many turns and switchbacks that it was hard to maintain momentum at places. There were a few inclines and there was a point towards the end where it got incredibly smelly - so much so that those with weak stomachs would have had to fight off vomiting. The course also had varying terrain - from road to trail to stones. Each km was marked and I liked that we were given a split for the 1/2 marathon distance. The marshals were alright - friendly and positive. The last part of the race got confusing because it wound through a park - there were two points were I had to ask the marshals which way I had to go. After racing 28kms one doesn't want to be bothered or stressed about going the wrong way. If the timing of this race falls in line with my training schedule next year and there are no other races on the same date, I might do it again. Otherwise I will look for another one.
Overall the race was okay compared to others I have participated in. One thing that bothered me the most was the pace marshall's. I was initially with the 1:30 continuous group and found that they were slow so I sped up to the 1:25 continuous and was within 10 feet of the marshall at all times. At around the 5 or 6 km marker, the 1:30 run/walk pace marshall passed us and was ahead of the 1:25 group for a few km's until we passed him.
This concerned me b/c initially I felt this would be great as I could use the pace to beat my personal best, however with the leap frogging I began to question my pace, endurance, ability and even if the timing would be correct????
In the future, I would want to see better coordination of the marshall's in that they stick to their pace and do not leap frog.
I had a great time at this race. Friendly volunteers, well organized bag check, fast efficient shuttle service, great post race food. Nice course too. Oh, and a very nice medal. The water bottle at the end was a great touch too. Looking forward to doing it again next year!
Great race! This was my first time running it and it was awesome! A nice route with loads of marshals, enough water stations and first aid roaming the course on bicycles! This event was very well organized including the staggered start of the races so the 15km and 30km runners finished at the same time! Wonderful atmosphere, great food and drink after the race and enough shuttle buses so there was no waiting around. I will definitely do this race again!
Ran the 30k- Overall a great race for a smallish event. Well organized, nice route, tons of volunteers, great atmosphere. Great food and drink afterwards. A nice touch at the finish with the stainless steel bottles :)
The 5k was terribly disorganized. I was the only person on one of the shuttles from the finish line to the 5k start. The bus driver asked ME where she was going. Good thing I had a map! I was dropped off to find....nothing. A table then later appeared, and some water and Gatorade. The portable toilets were located about 300m away, hidden in the trees. There was no starting line. There was just a part of the path blocked by a person on a bike. Everyone ended up with the same starting time- as there was no timing mat. The race was delayed by 15 minutes as a late bus was being sent, with late-comer runners (no reason was given why they were so late). When the race started, 300 people were all trying to get through a 5 foot starting area. There was a horrible bottle-neck when the race started, and a lady to my left fell down the small hill at the race start. While it was nice to see families, some direction should be given to parents to try and keep track of little ones. Several were having a great time darting in and out of runners, causing a hazard. Runners were not instructed to stay to the right if they were slow, and some ran 3 or 4 abreast. Since we were on the public trail- this caused a problem for other citizens out for a stroll. The volunteers were pleasant. The refillable water bottle at the end of the race was very nice. The metal is the nicest one that I own! The pre-paid parking was fantastic, I was so happy to have a spot to leave my car. I would do this race again, as I think that they will learn from this race. I have learned from this race!
What a great night! Well organized, great route. You even arranged for great weather.
People along the route should have accurate information as to how far along the race you are.....more educated staff needed...amazing medal....amazing spirit, fairies are fun. More signage and information needed too, one more water station would be great. Pretty pleased.
Great night, great run! First year doing this run and definitely would do it again. Running by the beach was very motivating as the route was right by the beaches. I wish there was a chip mat at the beginning of the race so there was a start time for everyone. Hopefully there will be one next year. Other than that, great stuff at the end of the race. Also, seeing children and their happy faces definitely made it more encouraging!
I ran the 5k race for the first time this year. It was an awesome run. I loved the costumes and location!!!! Would definitely recommend this run to others and would come back for the run next year.
I ran the 30k last year and had an amazing time! I found the race to incredibly well-organized, including shuttle transportation to and from the host hotel. Race kit pick up was quick and easy. The route was scenic and relatively flat. The overall atmosphere is quite fun, with lots of people dressed up in costumes. The medal is one of my favourites. The shirt included in the race kit is very nice (though the long sleeves are a little warm for that time of year), and you had a choice of colours (either black or white). I like that it takes place on a Saturday night - because then us out-of-towners can enjoy a night out (or resting) before heading back home on Sunday. I like that they gave away re-usable water bottles at the finish, rather than relying on plastic water bottles. And last but not least, the bbq and beer tent at the finish line are AWESOME! I would highly recommend this race and I have already signed up for 2013.
This event has a very nice local feel to it. Nice t-shirt and medals. Flat route but not much in terms of crowd support. There was a food area where you could purchase additional food afterwards which was nice. I really like the timing of this race as it is a perfect setup for a fall half or full marathon.
This was a fun race! It starts at sunset.. so added challenge to run near dark. Fun because a lot of it runs through the beaches in the summertime! Fun AFTER PARTY too, which so many races lack, in my opinion! It's all about the beer and fun after the race, too, I think :)
There was FOOD too, that you could buy so everyone didn't run home in hunger.
This was my first Mid-Summer Run, the enthusiasm among runners and volunteers was great. There could have been more water stations considering the heat. The pre and post run atmosphere was warm and inviting, like RunStock. (: Award Ceremony should have been in the beer area, and more food choices (hot) would have been cool. I give it a 7/10.
My first year doing this race was a very positive experience. The one waterstop was out of water but the next one made up for it. I was very impressed that even the last runner (my good friend) got a warm reception at the finish line including a medal, water bottle, and food. Overall it was a very positive race experience. The costumes were great, the volunteers were great, and the race experience was great.
Best organized event I’ve been to. The route was interesting and the shuttles were great, didn’t have to wait for one. I plan to do it again next year. I had a great time.
Number of runners and I found the route to be about 500 metres to 700 metres short of 30K. The race was fairly organized otherwise and I thought they did a fabulous job with the shuttle bus. I loved the souvenir water bottle and the big finishing medal at the end. Unfortunately, runners who finished towards the latter part of the race didn’t get water bottles as organizers ran out and there were no water or beverage provided at the finish area. It would have been nice to provide extra liquids (water, juice, gatorade etc.) at the finish area.
New p/u location for kit is very convenient. The volunteers were all very enthusiastic. Excellent race.
Wow! What an amazing experience! This was my first race and I have to say that EVERYTHING was so well organized. Incredible vibe! Great people. Really looking forward to next year. Thanks!
Ran the 15k last night…Great run, great route, amazing volunteers. Loved the swag, nice to get a real water bottle and eliminate all the race from the disposable bottles/cups given at most races.
Looking forward to coming out next year!!!
Well organized event. The route was amazing, the shuttle buses were convenient and the race kit pick ups were done quickly. I would like to say a big thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who allow events like this to happen! Without you guys, these events would not be so great! This was my first 15km race and the medal is amazing!
loved the route , and the shuttles were organized .Also the race kit pick up was great. It would be nice to have a few bands along the race route, steel band, or something.
Also i feel more bicycle paramedics checking on people .Loved the metal, and it was great.