Achilles St. Patrick’s Day

The 21st Annual Achilles St. Patrick’s Day 5K Run/Walk is a 5 kilometre run or walk through the heart of downtown Toronto. In 2020, the Run/Walk will take place on Sunday, March 15th beginning and ending at Steam Whistle Brewing, The Roundhouse, just south of the CN tower and the Rogers centre on Bremner Boulevard.  BACK again in 2020, there is now a limited cap field for a NEW 10k as well as a kids fun run.  2000 total participants max.

Become a part of our tradition by enjoying the first spring Sunday morning run followed by a wee bit of Irish merriment, a hot bowl of Irish chill, and an ice-cold Steam Whistle pilsner. Come decked out in your St. Patrick’s Day best or your running gear. Either way, you can’t help but have fun at this unique event.  All finishers receieve an event tshirt and finishers medal.

Achilles St. Patrick’s Day

Event Details

Location 255 Bremner Blvd.


Event Rating


Race Details

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Discipline Running
Start Date/Time March 15, 2020 @ 10:15 am
End Date/Time N/A
Address Toronto
Map View Map

Reviews Write a Review

stacy rouble
March 20th, 2019 4:03 pm

The Race was awesome for myself...a different type of race.... BIG complaint was pack pickup on the day of....Everyone was great however, very slow and disorganized....not enough people too small sizes of shirts etc.....took too long.....The line up was crazy for beer and chili and then to try to eat standing up holding everything while people trying to get around you was something else....did not like this aspect....It is not a race to go out for both of my mapping gear registered more then 5km...but it was a great time for all that was in my group. Everyone was friendly and nice

March 20th, 2019 2:31 am

Super disappointed!!! We could not find the race kit pick up location and volunteers lead us to 3 different places because they didn't know either. This years race pickup was extremely slow also - so my partner and I started the race 5 minutes late. Traffic was not routed properly on the race course. And the 5 minutes late start was not taken off our time, where as last year the chip time started when you crossed the starting line not the start time of the race. All in all not as good as last year. It is for a good cause so I'll be running again next year, but if things have not improved I'll be donating my money in another way....

Runner McRunrun
March 18th, 2019 9:53 pm

I have run hundreds of races, big and small, and this was the worst packet pickup I have ever encountered. Bibs were missing, the line was huge and it was an absolute mess. The race was a mass start and people did not stay to the right or pay attention to the fact they should not cluster in groups. Many people cut the course. Volunteers at intersections did not let people run through- runners were stopped and one elite runner and their escort were narrowly missed by cars because of the person at the intersection not paying attention. Ingredients were not posted for the chili and none of the volunteers know whatbwas in it, so due to a food allergy I was unable to eat anything. At least there was beer... I won't be back to run again.

Nick Arcieri
March 18th, 2019 3:36 pm

Could use some better signage although they only found that they were getting locomotive hall 2 days before the race.

Managed the flow of people fairly well, although the entrance/exit for the food & beer went through the same doors so it was a bit tight at times.

Good course, lots of Marshalls & police presence.

Packet pickup a couple of days before went smoothly.

Chili & beer were great as always but could use some more food at the finish line (bagels, bananas, etc.)

Dzovig Avedikian
March 17th, 2019 9:41 pm

I enjoyed the race, although my finish time was not to my expectation, as I am still suffering of Plantar Facities injury and was running terribly slow, but I loved the route, the Chilly, the Beer. Both the Volunteers and the Event Organizer was superb. Also, the Bag Check-in ladies were superb and very helpful. The only thing missing from the race some power bars, Bananas, etc.

I am looking forward to participating at next year's Race

March 14th, 2016 1:37 pm

Awesome race - Very well done. The volunteers are excellent. The warmup and race started right on time. Race is very well organized. This was my first Achilles 5K and it won't be my last.

March 14th, 2016 10:27 am

This was my first 5K and I loved it. The atmosphere was great, the volunteers cheering the runners on were awesome. Looking forward to next year!

Elke Blinick
March 13th, 2016 4:43 pm

Nice race because of the crowd. Flat course. Probably not for a PB, because of the crowd (unless you start front row and weather like today) Great way to start the running season.

March 13th, 2016 2:21 pm

I loved this race! It's a nice route and the vibe is super fun and inspiring. We didn't wait in the line after for beer and food, but I loved the cute bottle opener medal and thought the expo was very good. It's also really nice that Steam Whistle allows people to wait inside pre-race so everyone stays warm. Can't wait for next year.

Obstacle junkie
March 13th, 2016 1:51 pm

I did this race this year with friends, I have never run this one before but it was great weather (FORECAST) and i am a fair weather runner so last years cold was not for me.

Overall the vibe is okay but our group had some fast and slow runners and after waiting in line for so long afterwards we decided to bail on the chili and beer and go to a bar.

That was frustrating for a bunch of people, the line was longer than the race distance it seemed! The finisher medal was a beer opener, cute....but cheap. The goodie bag was, old magazine and a box of sugary cereal (lucky charms).

I hope my luck is better this Thursday on St Patricks Day!

Alice Sousa
May 29th, 2015 1:45 pm

This was my very first experience running in the Achilles 5K. I enjoyed every moment of being there,fun event! I will be back next year!

Yes, I would recommend this race to a friend.

Yes, I would consider attending this race/event next year.

May 29th, 2015 1:18 pm

This was my very first experience running in the Achilles 5K. I enjoyed every moment run festivities! This was a very well organized & fun event! I will be back next year!

Yes, I would recommend this race to a friend.

Yes, I would consider attending this race/event next year.

March 16th, 2015 6:39 pm

This was my very first experience running in the Achilles 5K. I enjoyed every moment of being there, from the warm-up to the post run festivities! This was a very well organized & fun event! I will be back next year!

March 16th, 2015 1:18 pm

Had a fantastic time! The beer was cold and the chili was hot all in all a great time!

A special thank you to the Organizers and Volunteers for making it a fantastic event

March 15th, 2015 9:46 pm

This is my second year running this race. It is one of the best. I will run it again next year!

Great Race
March 15th, 2015 8:06 pm

Race today was cold and very windy but still had my PR which I was very happy with. Very well organized. Lineups a bit long for chilli and beer but great race none the less.

March 15th, 2015 2:39 pm

Lots of fun! Great weather along the wind was a tad annoying. Would definitely do again!

January 25th, 2015 1:07 am

My husband and I have run this race for a few years now and just love it. The packet pick up is quick, you can stay warm in the roundhouse prior to the race and the lineup for the beer and chilli (veg chilli is delish) moves super fast. This year was my Dad's first 5k ever and he loved it! We will be back in March.

K. Runner
March 20th, 2014 6:20 pm

Very cold race! Big thanks to the volunteers who pointed out the icy spots in the road. Only disappointment was there was no plain water at the finish before 30-min was on the clock. Lots of coconut water and sports drink, but we only ran a 5k...plain water is enough and preferred by most.

A. Runner
March 17th, 2014 6:15 pm

Man was it cold. Good crowd, great warm up music. Race started on time and fast runners.
Bit of a line up to get warm, but the beer and friendly volunteers made it worth while.
Great start to the new year.
The short diversion on route due to ice was well advised.

March 17th, 2014 6:59 pm

1st time running this race.awesome race, great time, volunteers were very helpful and runners were so pumped great day can't wait for next year

Erin C.
March 17th, 2014 6:39 pm

This is my second year running the Achilles St. Patrick's Day race - I love the atmosphere at this event, super friendly and very Irish! Also, supporting a wonderful cause and organization.

The start line was a little chaotic, which is to be expected - because of the FREEZING temperatures (windchill's around -20°C this year) most people waited inside before lining up at the very last minute for the start. There is ample room to wait indoors at the Steam Whistle Brewery which is nice for a winter race. Before the race volunteers led everyone through a warm-up as well to keep warm.

Once the race got going the course was well run, with volunteers standing along the route warning of any icy patches. The course went north around Clarence Square both out and back this year due to ice on South Clarence which was fine. The course change was noted in the announcements beforehand.

Police and volunteers made sure everyone stayed in the correct lanes, as well as directed traffic around the course on the shared roads, etc. The volunteers were very friendly and encouraging, letting everyone know once there was a km left to run, etc. The turnaround at 2.5k and entire course was very easy to follow, but also not boring for an out and back race. Most of the race was run on Wellington through the heart of downtown Toronto which is fairly flat and happened to be sheltered well from the wind due to the buildings. There is one minor hill in the race (bridge over the train tracks) which is fine and not too steep. I like the course and find it to be fun to run.

The finish line (same as start) is also well run and not too crowded (at least not at 30 mins. after race start). The finishers medals this year were green beer openers on a lanyard which was a nice touch! After the race a celebration takes place inside Steam Whistle, complete with live Irish music, free chilli and beer (for those who like that sort of thing). There was both veggie and beef chilli and I took the veggie and found it very nice. It was good to have something hot on such a cold day!

Awards are presented after the race as well although with the cold weather I missed the presentation as I had to catch the Go Train (I didn't bring a coat since I was running). The race awards overall winners, age group, Achilles athletes, as well as teams. Having teams compete at the race as well gives a nice touch since I saw a lot of running groups coming out together.

This race is friendly and a great event as both an early season race, as well as a St. Patrick's Day celebration. I would definitely recommend it and would love to run it again. It is a smaller race relatively with a cap of about 1500, but it all adds to the inviting atmosphere. Very well run by the race directors. Race is chip timed with bib tag timing and results come on Sportstats pretty quickly which is nice.

Packet pickup is several days before the race day (no race day pickup) which is obviously due to the size of the event and practical organization of volunteers. It was fine - the signage inside Leon's (where pickup was) was a little confusing at first since I was having trouble finding the next sign each time I'd get to one directing me in a certain direction, but once I found the table pickup was easy and fast.

The race kit includes a very nice technical t-shirt in green (really like this shirt), a couple magazines, water bottle, and free sample of Irish Spring body wash, in a fabric bag. Pretty standard, but was sufficient.

IN SHORT: The Achilles St. Patrick's Day race in Toronto is a fun 5k on a fast course with a friendly atmosphere. Very well run and would definitely recommend it to a friend.

- Erin C.

March 17th, 2014 9:16 am

Race kit sucked.
Shirt was ok.
Medal was a cheap bottle opener which was lame.
Weather was cold
Race was good.

March 16th, 2014 6:51 pm

Race kit was fine, a decent tech shirt and some magazines and samples. Race kit pickup was a little hard to find as it's way in the back of a Leon's store, but at least it (and the starting point) are fairly transit accessible - pretty much right at the foot of the SkyWalk. Lineups were fine for bag check or washroom if you showed up an hour before the race.

Ample space within Steam Whistle to stay warm before the race (much needed in this year's frigid temperatures), and a led warmup was fun and festive.

Since there are no start corrals (note that CRS uses corrals for its 5k in High Park, with the same number of runners), I took the time to look at last year's results to figure out where to seed myself for the start based on what I thought was a realistic time for me, but it seemed like I was the only one to do so. I spent my first km weaving up past walkers and slower runners before I could get up to pace. It would be great if there could be some direction to at least get the walkers to start at the back. I can't imagine they enjoy getting swarmed and jostled by runners who expect to actually be able to start their race at race pace.

Runners planning to pace themselves by GPS should be warned that the high rises on Wellington Street play havoc with GPS signal and you'll be running by feel or looking for the km markers to figure out how fast you're really going over the middle 3 km of this race. If you want to PR, you'd better have your 5k race pace dialed in so you can run it with your eyes closed. (And start at the front.)

The finishing "medal" was a green Steam Whistle bottle opener. Cute, if you're into it.

Free beer and chili after the race are great if you're into them. (I'm not, but I knew what I was getting into.) Otherwise the only food and drink to be had seemed to be samples of Clif bars and Honeymaxx. Best to see the race for what it is - a St. Patrick's Day celebration for a good cause with a chip timed road race thrown in.

March 16th, 2014 4:00 pm

It a great race great beer and chilly everyone alway have a good time see you next year

March 16th, 2014 3:22 pm

Great race. Very cold day but sunny. I love running through downtown Toronto. Bag check was super easy. It was nice to be able to stay warm in the Steam Whistle brewery before the race. My only comment was that after the race the line to get in and get chili was too long so I went home.

Tal L
April 22nd, 2013 10:50 am

Had been thinking about doing this one for years, and I finally made it! Its a great end of winter/beginning of spring race. I'd agree with another poster re: calibre of runners: lots of walkers, and so get to the front of the line if you want to have a nice smooth run. Weather was blisteringly cold this year and there aren't a whole lot of places to hover indoors before the run. Line was way too long for beer and chili at the end, so I just went to starbucks. Motivation to run faster next year.

Big plus was seeing all of the Achilles runners out and participating in the race. That was really awesome and the reason I would return next year.

David Hiddleston
April 7th, 2013 11:00 pm

Great downtown venue for a nice flat 5K race. Great cause and always a good atmosphere surrounding this race (St Patrick's Day festivities no doubt). However considering the number of years this race has been going on I would have expected certain things to be a bit smoother - less lines up for the post race food, better signage and a more polished and accurate website.

With regards the final point I have to say I found it extremely frustrating to have been a captain of a team that brought 10 quality runners to the race (most were in the top 20) to then be DQed because we never had a woman in our team. What has this go to do with the website? Well there was no mention on the website about such a requirement or when I submitted my team. As such myself and most of my team members will be unlikely to return to this race anytime soon and especially because the race director never replied to my post race email about my frustrations regard the team event.

I also find it odd that as an individual you can signup early and save $5 but when signing up as a team all team members always have to pay the full $45.

Dan Way
April 7th, 2013 9:05 am

First time running this race in a few years. Good course. Accurate distance and timing (that's important!). Love the chili and beer after too (Thanks Steamwhistle). HOWEVER, I only ran this race bc my run club submitted a team and we thought we could win the 'team challenge'. Only after running the race did we learn our team was DSQ'ed because we didn't have a women on the team. The website said NOTHING about this and the race director did not reply to our email about it either. We were not impressed and thus will not likely run this race again. Races and race directors need to take fast runners seriously too even if we make a small percentage of the overall participant population. Races are competitions after all.

April 2nd, 2013 8:48 am

A fun event at a great location, but... I was shocked at being gouged for parking. Onsite was $25, to park. Slightly further away was $21 or $15. I don't know anyone who paid less than $15 to park, the subway only opens at 930 on a sunday so not really an option. And none of that money went to Achilles. Plus the line to get your beer and chili/stew was crazy long so most of my friends didn't bother waiting as you were cold by then and didn't really feel like beer at 1030am. Need to work on logistics.

March 22nd, 2013 8:24 pm

This is the only race I have been to so I don't have anything to compare to but I thought it was super fun and now I am addicted to these races. I was never the exercise type but my company sponsored this event and I thought it was a good cause so I ran. This year was my second time running in a race and I hope the other races are as fun as this one! I like the post race event, there was a free beer, free bowl of chili, live music, and some other free goodies :)

Gord W
March 19th, 2013 6:43 pm

First time doing the race!

Nice course - fun to run down the middle of the road in Toronto!
Volunteers on the course were AMAZING!! Really encouraging!
GREAT cause - I hope they raised a huge amount of money!
The beer and chili was really nice!
Entertainment in Steam Whistle was really good!

Not so great:
Lack of signs - I had no idea where I was supposed to be, or go before or after the race. So we stood watching a line up get longer until we finally decided - maybe they know something we don't! - and we joined. This eventually lead to beer and chili.

Kit pick up - The restrictive pickup times for out of towners was a turn-off. I ended up heading downtown - from Durham Region - on Saturday. So here's the real problem. I spent $20 to park on Saturday to get my kit. (see "kit" later). I would rather have had that $20 go to Achilles.

Kit - I had heard these race kits were pretty legendary. The shirt is really nice! and the flyer I got was... a flyer. And the Running Room magazine... is the same one I already had... and a bib with chip. That was all that was in my kit. A little disappointing to hear that not all kits had the same stuff in them.

Race day parking - My fault... I live out of town. And I don't know the area, so I didn't want to be scouring the area for economical parking. So I parked where the email suggested - and paid $21. for parking. Again... too bad that money didn't go to Achilles.

Neither GOOD nor BAD:
My GPS went nuts - I guess the tall buildings really messed with it. That's nobody's fault. So my watch says I did 5.39k. I don't believe it. I set a PR for 5k, so there is NO chance I ran 5.39 in that time. But it's interestng to hear other people's thoughts on that!

I won't do this race again. It was REALLY GOOD in the good parts - but too many negatives. I will be looking for ANOTHER way to support Achilles. Now THAT'S an inspiring organization!!

March 18th, 2013 4:14 pm

2nd Time running.

Great cause, fun race, but some logistical problems.

No water.
I can handle no water station, its only 5k. But the fact that there was no water left when I finished was unacceptable.

I was not that slow (just under 30 mins) I placed around the 800th mark. When there are over 1500 runners, and you have less than 800 bottles of water, that is not right.

I get that Steamwhistle is tight location, but to make people wait over an hour for their "free beer" just reeks of poor planing. If that is the case, you should not advertise free beer and chili, you should advertise beer & chili you have to wait a long time for. I walked elsewhere with my group and paid $6 for a beer. My time is worth alot more than $6/hour.

GPS signal messed up for almost everyone I raced with. Varied between 5.5-7k. Thats GPS fault, not the race's. I mapped it at home and it was 5k +40m.

Race Kit was great, not sure what the person above was complaining about. Shirt, gloves, water bottle, 2 energy bars, full stick of deodorant, sample size of body wash, sample of burt's bees, and a bunch of coupons.

Rare that s $40 race has more than that in it's kit.

Unless the water & beer line wait issues are dealt with next year, I don't think I will be back.

Good cause, but there are lots of races for good causes that at least give you a cup of tap water.

March 18th, 2013 1:56 pm

I really had a lot of fun yesterday and sliced a huge amount of time off my PB (even though the course was apparently long), but there were some irritating aspects to the day.

Long lines for washrooms, and getting in to get our chili and beer were frustrating. We finished the race easily in the front half of the pack, but since we decided to mingle at the sponsors tents (and try to meet Bredan Brazier who actually ran the course!) the lineup was almost an hour when we joined it, which sucked.

Course was good, mostly flat and clearly marked. The volunteers along the course were amazing, so cheerful and encouraging despite the cold weather. I think the lack of a water station for 'environmental friendliness' was a bit of a cop-out, and the 'water station' at the finish was just some volunteers handing out bottles in the crowd.

Had a great day though supporting a great cause, it is always so inspiring to spend your race trying to keep up with a blind runner :) Volunteers were really fab at this event, as were the sponsors (thanks so much Vega for having Brendan there in person!)

Easy-To-Please Racer.
March 17th, 2013 11:32 pm

Packet Pick-Up: -was a bit hard to find store, located inside plaza
-only got a shirt, expected at more things in the swag bag considering amount of sponsors
-nice-looking shirt anyway

Race Day: -great volunteers, lots of spirit
-crowded inside Steamwhistle but manageable
-long line-up for washrooms pre-race
-on top of volunteers and maps, needed more signs to direct racers

Race: -out and back course, monotonous but doesn't matter once you get into the zone
-people complaining about distance but honestly isn't a huge problem, didn't notice at all, achieved PB anyway

Post-Race: -mediocre chili, beer and refreshments, nice to have food at end but could have been more palpable
-no finisher's medal and only decent age category winner medals

Overall: -supporting great cause for disabled athletes, their only fundraiser for year so glad there was great turn-out
-competitive environment, good runners

March 17th, 2013 6:27 pm

First time my wife and I did this race and we won't be back.

They only allow for race kit pickup in the days before the event at unreasonable pickup hours (Thursday and Friday before 6pm). Unless you live in Toronto, its very difficult to get to the Running Room for pickup before 6pm on a weeknight.

Race distance, according to our GPS, was 5.5 - not sure how the organizers got that so wrong.

Didn't stay for the chili and beer due to the very long lineups.

We do agree with the comments above, walkers should be started a bit after the runners.

On the positive, the volunteers were great and the shirts were very nice.

March 17th, 2013 2:09 pm

Some good, some not so good.
First off the good.
Great cause, great volunteers , great sponsors.
Good value and nice chili and a beer after.

The not so good.
Email confirmation had the wrong address for runnin room store for kit pick-up. When my wife went to pick up the kits on Saturday she was told they were aware of the mistake. But no one thought of sending out an email correction?

Glad I didn't have to use the facilities. No where near enough porta potties.

Although my garmin was wacky I think the estimate of 300meters too long is about right. Or maybe I am just slow.

I do not understand people who are walking or running a 50 minute 5 k lining up at the front. What are you thinking?
Perhaps having corrals in 5 minute increments would be an idea

Not sure if I'll be back or not. Weaving my way past hundreds of people in the first half of the race is not much fun.

Erin B
March 17th, 2013 1:51 pm

This is a great little race!

Pre-race: The swag bag was pretty awesome (tshirt, gloves, water bottles AND snacks, hand cream etc). The open space between the roundhouse and the brewery makes for some excellent people watching whilst waiting for the race start. One of the sponsors had kitschy St Paddy's hats, beads, etc available, which made for extra fun. The portapotties were pretty lined up and I hear that the washrooms inside were nuts (it was pretty chilly today).

Race: The course itself is fine - a wee hill near that start and finish, but otherwise pretty flat. It's pretty crowded and what other folks have said about slow runners and walkers making it difficult to keep pace is true. It's also more than 5k (my gps had trouble on the course but I mapped it once I got home and it was 5.3k), but that's no big deal for me. Lots of energy and encouragement from the volunteers along the course.

Post-race: We finished ahead of much of the pack, so we got in for beer and chili in good time (5 min in line) and were able to snag a great spot on the floor to eat and listen to the fun live music. The line for those things looked much longer when we left, so folks finishing a few minutes later may have had a more frustrating experience. Similarly, we had no line to fetch our stuff from the bag check, which was amazing.

I'd say that they could use better signage as to what's happening where (we must have missed the water station at the end, cause we saw other folks with water but didn't manage to get any ourselves) and could easily have the halfway turnaround a smidge earlier to make it a proper 5k, but these are quibbles for me. We had a super time and we'll look forward to doing this race again next year.

February 13th, 2013 8:58 am

I was there to support the organization - Achilles Canada, not to chase something personal like a PB.

Love this race, LOVE being part of Achilles!

Laura Dixon
June 21st, 2012 3:19 pm

The start of this race is way to crowded and it was about 500m before I was even able to get up to my race pace. Otherwise it is a great event that has some fun aspects to it - the chilli and bear post race was great!!!

June 6th, 2012 9:02 pm

I really enjoyed the run and the after party. The beer and chili at the end are a great touch especially on St. Patty's day. As a relative new comer to 5k running, I honestly didn't notice the course was too long. I ran this event with a couple other runners and we all had the same positive feel about the race. I've since recommended this run to others and the appeal of a fun race day for a good cause is always something I enjoy.

cathy andrew
April 18th, 2012 10:43 pm

this is a great race, despite the line use the bathroom before you leave home!! And the chili was warm this year.
Great cause...Love to TRISH and Brian

Joanne Prince
March 29th, 2012 9:09 pm

There did not seem to be alot of organizers at the race to tell runners where to go. The lineup for the women's bathroom was very long, and it was only close to the race time when we were told there were porta-pottys at the start of the line. The grounds were very spread out, to really see where everything was. The chili and beer at the end was a great touch. It would have been great to see more organizer/volunteers pre-race to get questions answered.

Brian McLean, Race Director
March 21st, 2012 2:34 pm

Hi Everyone,

I love all the comments and we do are best from year to year to improved upon the comments. Our biggest issue this year was not even our fault. The lead police car did indeed make an error whiling leading the pack. And this is funny because 5 minutes before race time, I went over the route map with the driver. He was supposed to turn at Clarence Square South to pick-up Wellington St. and then on the way back you take Clarence Square North to pick-up Spadina Ave. to finish the race. As you know by now, most of the lead runners when North with the lead car and then took North back to the finish. We did have an outstanding Route Marshal who new what was happening here when he saw the lead police car heading North, he proceed to direct all the other runners to turn at Clarence Square South. The proper route is certified by OTFA and it has been for the last number of years. I feel bad for all those in the lead pack, but we did what we had to do to solve the problem for the main pack of runner. In the end, I have had no major complaints from the lead runners and most of them now understanding what happened. As for the long line-up for refreshments, this is something that we continue to do our best to solve, but if you think for a moment, the reason why there is a line-up is that you probably have 70% of all the runners fishing the 5K race within 15 minutes of each other and then everyone goes to get their Steam Whistle beer and chilli. Our dedicated volunteers can only do work so fast. As for the port-a-lets, we had more this year than previous years and again the problem here is all the runners try to use the washrooms inside Steam Whistle instead of the 6 port-a-lets at the Start/Finish Line at the intersection of Bremner and Lower Simcoe. Again , I thank everyone for your comments and we will do our best to improve upon them for 2013. Thank you, Brian

David Hiddleston
March 20th, 2012 10:58 pm

Yes Paul, what you say makes perfect sense and I actually went to gmap and established that by going the long way round the square as opposed to the short way when coming back added 56 metres. This to me sounds of the top place runners reckons it was 30 seconds too long so that is about right.

So two lessons to be learned here:
1. Race organizers should have been on top of this part of the course because it was an obvious place for confusion (and apparently the same problem has happened in previous years).
2. GPS watches cannot be trusted on this course because of the tall buildings on Wellington...evidenced by the fact my GPS said one of my Ks was a 3.09.....I am not that fast a runner!

Peter Speight
March 20th, 2012 3:36 pm

Overall the race was fun but a couple of big issues - the length of the course (an out and back measured long???), and the line to get in to the chilli/beer serving area post race. Lots of good competition as far as faster runners, but two big problems made for a bit of a downer. That said, beer at the end of a run is a nice plus.

March 20th, 2012 12:49 am

I think folks are over stating the distance issue a bit. Yes it was long by about 140m (not 300m or 400m as some are claiming. Might make you feel good to believe you could have ran 80+seconds faster, but let's be realistic). It came down to one error: the lead police vehicle followed an out and back course when in fact, the course was supposed to take the short route around Clarence square on the way back instead of returning around the long way. The problem was that everyone was heading to the south side of Wellington when they were making their way out when they should have remained on the north side after rounding the square. On the return trip, they were running on the north side when they should have been on the south. Sucks for those chasing a PB, but hopefully you're not peaking in mid March.

This race gets an extra banana just for having beer at the end.

Ben Scholes
March 19th, 2012 3:10 pm

I have done this race for the last 5 years. It is always a fun day and I have no trouble finding people to put in a large team. As a team captain I find there is lots of support in submitting lots of runners and making last minute changes. Also being able to raise money for our own charity is certainly of benefit. In those regards this is a great event.

It would be nice to have shorter lines for refreshments after, especially with our large team of varying speeds we never get to do post race bevies together. Also I know several members of our team had trouble getting to the wash rooms while down there. As for the distance it seemed like a 5k to me but I am only going by my lungs and legs. If the distance is off it would be nice to have it correct for the future as one of the things I enjoy about this race is it draws some good talent which passes me just before i get to the 2k mark but is impressive to watch.

March 19th, 2012 1:55 pm

This was my first year during the 5k achilles race. I was part of a team which made it a lot more enjoyable.

A few concerns I have with the race

a) not enough washrooms
b) might be slightly more than 5k
c) route is nothing to write home about
d) long long long line for food at the end

A few positives about the event
a)great cause and reasonably priced
b) it comes a t a good time of year to test your fitness ( for those doing 10k, half or full marathon in the spring
c) weather held out- actually quite perfect running

Would I recommned it?
running as a team- yes
as your first 5k -no
looking for a 5k to run- there are pleny others.

peter donato
March 19th, 2012 8:20 am

Well I am posting another review after doing this awhile back, this race has so much potential but after yesterday I have to vent. 5.4 km' must be kidding! An out and back course, easy to adjust the distance....all the fast(er) runners meaning a few hundred were clearly ticked off at this.

HUGE lineups, again, for the post race beer and chilly, easily avoidable especially on a nice day and with no construction on site this year....imagine if the weather was cooler or raining, could have been ugly. So much potential I hear rumours another st patrick's day themed run is in the works for next year....

David Hiddleston
March 19th, 2012 12:34 am

This is about the 3rd or 4th times I have done this race and it always has a good buzz and feel about it. Attracts a few good runners so your are doing very well if you manage to get into the age group prizes (I didn't!).

Unfortunately the course distance seem to be off by, from checking a few people's garmins, at least 300 metres if not slightly more. This is a bit frustrating. I could of course say I just done a PB for the 5.3K distance but I signed up for a 5K. Sorry but no real excuse for this.

Also some confusion over the team event - I had been informed that there would 6 scoring runners out of at least 10 finishers but come the results they were counting all 10 finishers.

The venue for the post race activities is a bit small and if the weather had been bad this would have been an even bigger issue.

But all that said, this race is for a great cause and with all the St Paddy's Day green, the smiles of the runners and cool downtown it is fun and enjoyable event.

Rodrigo Gonzalez-Lara
March 18th, 2012 8:59 pm

I was really dessapointed racing this race because the distance was clearly way over 5k. Al least 300m longer. I was hoping to achieve my PB. It also got really crowded to get inside of the facilities vhere after race activities where developed. I will not do it again

March 18th, 2012 6:33 pm

This is my fifth time running this race (going back to when staged at the CNE), and fifth time is a charm, as I earned a PB! You're not interested in that however, you want to know about this race and whether you should run it, so here goes...

I've always done this race as part of a team, which adds a fun element to the day. That noted, there is inconsistency in the team scoring, and I wish the race director would settle on one format, and keep it stable year-over-year. Is it the top six times? Top ten? Top five? Clarity please!

Overall, this is a well-organized event even if my stomach is too knotted after a 5km (this is a crazy hard distance!) to partake in the post race chile and beer - it's a nice touch! I was also pleased with the tech shirt, as in past years it's been a cotton shirt (I haven't run this event in three years, so forgive me if this is old news).

I do find the post-race event is too crowded in the roundhouse, and the lineup to get in takes too long to process. Luckily today was a warm day.

The course is okay, not my favourite in terms of scenery or road conditions (although far better road conditions than the former Acura 10 Miler, now 15k race), although I do like the surge up the little Spadina hill and then going slightly downhill to the finish line.

The race supports a worthy cause, and always draws a big crowd, and fast competitors. I'll likely come back as part of a team (where my entry fee is subsidized or free), but don't think I would pay full pop for an individual entry.

Peter Donato
February 16th, 2012 12:02 pm

This is always a FUN late winter tune up run, but watch out the race brings plenty of fleet footed runners mixed with a tonne of charity types so get to the front of the stat line if you plan on winning! Probably the most fun after-race party with beer and chili, music and giveaways.

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