Around the Bay Road Race

Around the Bay Road Race

Event Details

Location York Blvd.


Event Rating


Race Details

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Discipline Running
Start Date/Time March 31, 2019 @ 9:45 am
End Date/Time N/A
Address Hamilton
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Reviews Write a Review

May 22nd, 2017 10:42 pm

Fun race. The second half is much better from a scenery point of view. Super expo, great volunteers, safe course, great finish line and warm waiting area for the start. Done this three times and will be back.

Jason Deveau
May 3rd, 2017 11:45 pm

Ran the last 15 last year, ran the first 15 this year.
Love the race.
Only gripe is the chips!
Relay hand off is awkward with cold hands - c'mon guys, have the chips embedded in the bibs!

Bernardine Thompson
March 28th, 2017 8:59 pm

This was my 5th year doing the 5K Around the Bay .. Do miss the Bay and Back however the new route along
York Blvd is flatter. Always have a wonderful time at this event. Especially enjoy meeting new and old friends at the
Expo. Do my best to register early, was a breeze picking up my race kit. Love chatting with Race Directors about upcoming races. Looking forward to next year.

Perpetual Kinetics
May 21st, 2016 10:37 am

My first race over 21.1 k, it was an awesome experience. Challenging course, and awesome in stadium finish.

April 8th, 2016 2:22 pm

This was my first year running Around the Bay. The course was scenic, the volunteers were amazing, and everything felt very well organized. There were lots of photographers around to take pre, during and post race pics, and there were plenty of water stations along the route. I LOVED that the race ended inside the stadium! It was nice to get warm after 3 hours in the cold! :)

Run Forest Run
April 6th, 2016 5:25 pm

2nd year of running the race, totally enjoyed the whole experience. Because the race is so early in the year it's great to end indoors. With so many different choices to run weekly I will only come back to the races that leave me feeling very positive, this one did just that. I will be back again in 2017!

Christine Gardner
April 4th, 2016 3:50 pm

Race kit pick up was excellent, well organized. We had to pick up 15 kits and had the opportunity to have them ready in advance. Had to make a stop at the help desk to make changes and that went very smoothly.

The corrals are becoming quite crowded. Perhaps adding another on a side street is an option.

Love the route. Nice and challenging! Look forward to the return of the "hill" Water station volunteers were great. If possible it would help to have the distance between the water and Gatorade tables increased. There was some congestion.

I would love to see the bag check be brought back.

Great day, well organized, great volunteers and support on the route!

Thank you to the organizing committee and volunteers!

J How
April 4th, 2016 8:31 am

This was my first ATB race, and over all it was fantastic! Even for a back of the pack runner like myself, I felt supported and strong throughout the duration of the run. Volunteers were amazing!!! And props to the organizers on this one. Alsom all those who stood out in the wind to encourage us in both Hamilton and Burlington deserve lots of praise.
The front end of the race was the most difficult for me, as running along the highway route there's so much concrete and industry, you feel almost a little detached form it all.
North Shore makes up for this by being incredibly scenic and cozy, even with the hills.
Finishing inside the arena is such a thrill!
Only request would be to have better spacing for the water stations. They felt a bit haphazard in their placement.
Great race!! :D

April 3rd, 2016 7:33 pm

Great race, tough course, great crowds! More water stations are needed.

April 3rd, 2016 7:04 pm

This was my first ATB 30K race. I have to say this race totally rocked. I found the aid stations to be aplenty and the atmosphere awesome. Given the cold conditions this year, I might suggest that it would have been nice to have the option of a hot chicken broth cup post-race. Just a suggestion. Otherwise great event

Heather Seabright
April 3rd, 2016 7:32 pm

A great organized race as always. Love the cheering sections and volunteers. Friendly people

April 3rd, 2016 5:04 pm

the race goes by the highway and at one point I was inhaling exhaust fumes that wasn't pleasant. It was my first time but I felt kind of lonely out there, there are a few people cheering you on but not many. For such a tough course and old course there should have been more support and water stations are far apart. Plus traffic kept cutting across the road. Parking is bad and the end hill downwards into the Stadium is kind of scarey.

Marty Mako
April 3rd, 2016 3:25 pm

Every year I look forward to Around the Bay. I respect the history with it being the oldest road race in North America, and I love how the Hamilton community comes out to support and cheer on runners along the route. Plus, where else in Ontario do you get to finish a race inside a stadium like that? It's the closest I'll ever get to being in the Olympics. This was my 6th ATB and I hope to be back for many more. High fives to all the aid station volunteers. Standing out there in the cold for hours and hours... you guys deserve a raise!

April 3rd, 2016 3:16 pm

I adore this event This is my 7th Around the Bay and it holds a special place on my calendar. Distinctive course and distance, great finish area and excellent organization. The only suggestion I'd make is to put water stop volunteers on both sides of the course of possible (especially early in the race).

Charmaine Broughton
April 3rd, 2015 2:46 pm

First I would like to thank Mother Nature! After a long, cold Canadian winter of training outside... it felt fab to run under the warm sun, and nothing but blue skies. Outstanding ATB team, from: Atb organizers & director; volunteers (who handed out water/sports drinks - all while cheering!); ems; Hamilton police; residents of Hamilton who cheered like crazy on their drive-way...can't say enough about the day! Massive thank you to all involved. Fantastic expo too! See you for 30 glorious K's in 2016 :)

Tim Hutton
April 1st, 2015 6:55 am

The race was well organized and I was happy to take a half hour off my previous time. The sunny weather helped lift spirits and replenish depleted vitamin D from the long harsh winter. Sorry to the sad looking drivers caught at intersections. (No gleeful train engineers!)

March 31st, 2015 3:08 pm

I did the 5k, it was a blast. Nice day not too cold. Loved the ending in the stadium. That was a nice change from other runs.

March 31st, 2015 11:35 am

This was my very first ATB 30km experience and it did not disappoint! The sun was shining, weather was perfect for running, and being surrounded by 11,000 other runners was something else. I would definitely do this again.

Great crowds cheering you on, a good number of water stations throughout, and really special ending inside the stadium.

I had been warned of the hills and had made sure to train accordingly, but I was pleasantly surprised how easy they seemed on race day!

Hammertown Kid
March 31st, 2015 10:18 am

This was my very first Around the Bay 30k and had long been on my bucket list as it is a hometown race. It was a great race experience! The first third of the course along Burlington Street in Hamilton is pretty gritty. You get up close and personal with the industrial heart of the city. Once you get to Beach Blvd around the 10k point, the course starts getting nicer. Crossing the lift bridge is a nice experience and you can see the open lake from there. The remainder of the race along the North Shore in Burlington is very scenic with a few rolling hills. Be sure to save some energy for them! The final portion along York Blvd towards the finish line is a gentle descent into the coliseum.
The race is lined with spectators, volunteers, and water stations all along the route. Lots of fun and great spirit! Good expo and post-race attention. Be forewarned that it can be very busy for finding family and friends. Be sure to have a designated meeting place beforehand! If there is anything significant that could be improved it would be to provide a bag check for runners. (They didn't offer it this year.)
Looking forward to running this event again next year!!

event ATB 2015
March 31st, 2015 10:03 am

This was my first time running the ATB 5K

It would have be nice if they had corrals for runners and walkers at the end, its hard to make your finishing sprint with a group of walkers blocking you.
Although it is hard during the race it would be nice to have walkers and strollers to one side, so the runners dont have to weave so much.

The biggest disapointment was the tshirt I received. You never know what you are going to get but I at least expected a female race shirt. Getting a man's blue shirt was truly disappointing, although my brother was happy.

The medals were nice, goodies were great, volunteers were awsome a huge thanks to them!!!

I will definitely run it again next year to see what changes were made, if any and make my decision about more ATB races in the future then.

March 31st, 2015 9:43 am

My first ATB. It was great; the weather was amazing .. the experience was amazing as well. Would definitely do it again.

March 30th, 2015 2:56 pm

My first ATB. I absolutely loved it. It was well organized, a great value and a huge plus for me is the history behind it.

The city really comes out to support this race and people cheering along the course really makes it.

The indoor finish line is a total plus and the atmosphere is awesome.

I am definitely heading next year!

First ATB
March 30th, 2015 11:33 am

Did the full 30K and it was a great experience. Extremely well run compared to other races that I have attended.
We are already thinking about adding it to our plans for 2016!
If you try hard enough, there is always something you can complain about. Any complaints about the ATB organization and event would simply be nitpicking. The organizers do a great job and everyone on the course and at the finish were fantastic. The kit pick up and Expo were very organized.
This is a great event.

March 29th, 2015 9:08 pm

First time doing atb 5k.
Should have supervised corrals. To many walkers up front. It was hard to weave in and out and around them.
Nice finisher medal and goodies. Needs kit pick up the morning of or longer hours fri and sat.

Brandon W
March 29th, 2015 8:11 pm

This review is for the 3x10k relay.

The packet pick up was smooth and simple. There were many great vendors who offered some free samples. 5 bucks for a previous year NB tech shirt was a great deal. Why did I only buy one???

Shuttle buses were perfect. I was very relieved to learn that we'd be able to stay on the buses while we waited for our team members instead of getting tossed out to freeze in the cold. Once my leg (2) was completed the buses back to the start were just a short walk away and took us back to within a block of the arena. Well done. Volunteers were awesome and there was plenty of water on the course.

Now the stuff I'm kind of confused about.

1. Why do relay teams have names? Nowhere did this come into play. I would have though that maybe they'd be printed on our bibs ... Seems pretty pointless to me. Kind of a head shaker but certainly not a deal breaker.

2. Why put the 10k runners in the last corral? Is the assumption that 10k'ers will not be as quick as the back of the pack 30k'ers or the 2x15'? Why not just sprinkle them into the mix??? There are many teams in the 10k relay looking to make a solid time. Why bury them in the back?

3. What's the point of the "RELAY" bib on our backs? Who's that for?

4. The mileage for each runner was kind of wonky, especially the 2nd one which was only 9.3 km. C'mon? Really? How can I look at my teammates and say I ran the same race?

Aside from those 3 things I can easily say I had a wonderful morning at this amazing race. I was so happy to be a part of it.

March 29th, 2015 5:03 pm

Ran the race today. First time ever. Had an excellent time. Great course and wonderful volunteers and loads of spectators on route. Shame there is no race pick up the morning of the race considering all the vendors were still in the venue. Great venue with plenty of bathrooms and but was a shame family didn't get to see us getting our medals

Runner x 26
March 29th, 2015 8:47 am

I keep doing this race although I don't know why....the price seems to go up and overall the value goes down, not surprised that it was not sold out for the first time in years this weekend. Here are some suggestions. Why not get rid of the shirt and try gloves or a toque, it's still cold out and how many shirts can someone really use?

I like the Expo and it seemed very full this year with more vendors than usual, maybe it can extend the hours to 6pm Saturday to allow late(r) arrivals from out of town? Do we also need that many magazines shoved in our faces, I counted four this time. Crazy. Registration was efficient and organized.

I like how we see alot of the same staff and crew every year, it's like a reunion sometimes as I have been coming here on and off for 20 years. Just like Boston I think the Bay Race could step it up a notch.

January 10th, 2015 8:48 pm

Excellent event. Good expo. Love the shirts and medals. Well organized finish with nice goodies. Corrals a good idea but not supervised well enough since a lot of 'non-qualified' runners were spotted in faster corrals. The 2015 edition will be my 5th time in a row. Well worth the 7 hours drive back right after the race even though exiting downtown is always a challenge.

Soo M
September 9th, 2014 5:48 pm

The 30K race was my second year participating in the event, and after over 130 years of holding this race, the proceedings works like clockwork. The expo was well organized, and I was elated to also receive a hat along with the customary shirt!

The event itself was exciting in atmosphere. As the previous year, the route was no less difficult. Hills were the same, but looked forward to seeing the grim reaper. Managed a selfie with him this year!

Post run, the trail into the Copps Colosseum again was a smooth transition from completing the run, collecting the medal, and then the post race snacks. Ample area to stretch as well, while keeping warm.

Overall a great historic event - and must do for an Ontario distance runner! Older than Boston!

May 1st, 2014 1:42 pm

Very well organized race, I loved that we got to finish inside of the arena, very professional feel. The signs were very creative and a lot of fun. Being steeped in so much history I would recommend to anyone that they run it at least once. Spectators were friendly and volunteers were great. My only issue that will keep me from running again is the air quality in Hamilton itself which there is nothing they can do about it. You can definitely feel the difference when you go from Burlington to Hamilton. My shoes which had already had countless kms on them but still looked like new before the race were black by the end of this one. Glad I did it once, and on such a historic year, but not likely to do it again.

April 20th, 2014 7:32 am

A decent race, and one you just have to do at some point because of its history. Running through 'industrial Hamilton' at the beginning is very unappealing, however running through Burlington in the back half was beautiful (very nice homes around the golf course). Ending at First Ontario Centre didn't meet the hype as it was pretty quiet in there. The finishing medals are first class, but personalized bibs would have been nice (like I've had in most other races).

April 9th, 2014 11:10 pm

Look, if you're anywhere near the Greater Toronto/Hamilton area and you have the capacity to run beyond a half marathon, you need to do this race at some point in your life. It's a bucket list race. And if you're training for a spring marathon, it's an excellent test with enough time to recover before your 42.2 (though if you're doing an early spring marathon like Boston, don't exhaust yourself on this race). One of the biggest road races of this distance in the area, it's well-organized and has great crowd support as well as the fun of getting to finish in an arena with your face on the big screen. Lots of pacers, which is great - I can't speak for the faster or slower goal times, but there seemed to be pacers for every goal time in 5 minute increments around the 3 hour mark.

The new course changes this year make it a more challenging race - hills in the first third, HILLS in the last third. Go out too fast and you'll suffer. Don't do hill training and you'll suffer. But to be fair, it's a 30k with some big uphills in the late stages. Even if you train well and run smart you're probably going to suffer. But at least everyone around you is too, and you have people to cheer you up the hills.

The shirts are some of the best race shirts you'll get and go great on cool training days when it's time to break out the long sleeves.

Different colored medals are a nice touch (bronze for most, myself included; silver for <2:30 women and <2:15 men; gold for <2:15 women and <2:00 men). Be aware that these medals are based on GUN time, not chip time. If you expect to run this race faster than 2:45, make sure to apply for corral seeding when you register, so you aren't starting at the back - you can't change your corral on the day. If you want a silver or gold medal, take the difference between gun time and chip time into account when you pace yourself.

I'm withholding one banana because the lack of bag check and race day kit pickup is a real drag for anyone who comes from out of town and doesn't have a car. I had to throw myself on the mercy of fellow runners who live closer to Hamilton and have cars to get my bib for me and give me a place to stash my stuff (not needing to stash stuff is pretty unrealistic for a long race at this time of year). Please at least reinstate bag check for next year and consider a race day kit pickup for out of towners.

Melba L.
April 3rd, 2014 11:43 pm

I liked this race better than I thought I would. I almost didn't run this due to the logistics of the race - traveling to Hamilton to pick up the kit, and then no bag check this year (a hassle if you don't have a car and aren't traveling with anyone, and don't want to catch hypothermia! - luckily there was a Goodlife gym in the same building where I could lock my stuff up).

I'm a fan of hills, so I really enjoyed the course. There were quite a few, including highway ramps in the first half, and then a bunch of rolling hills in the back third. By the last (steepest) hill, most of the people around me were walking uphill - which was a bit annoying because they didn't leave any room for those of us who actually kept running.

As a slower runner, I enjoyed that there were so many people on the course at all levels of skill. The only other 30k I did was Midsummer, and I basically ran most of that course alone and found the post-race amenities were gone after the 5k and 15k runners had gotten there first. On the other hand at ATB it seemed like the 30k was a real focus for the organizers and I was constantly surrounded by other runners and felt well-supported throughout.

Volunteers at this race were great. The race expo was decent, as was the post-race food (cookies, crackers, bread, juice - with lots left for slower runners; plus food trucks to purchase something more substantial), race gear, and medals. Not showstopping like some of the US races, but better than most events in Canada. I would probably run it again, although the logistics for me might make me think twice.

Best features: finishing in Copps Coliseum, wide range of scenery (mansions, bridges, factories, conservation areas), solid organization, great timing - preparation for a spring marathon when there are few other races offered, wide field of runners for a longer course means you're never running alone!

Could be improved: please bring back bag check!

April 3rd, 2014 10:44 am

The new route is not as flat in the first 10k as it was, but I actually enjoyed it more. As always, the spectators around the race were just great! And I don't think the ATB Team can claim credit but the day itself was the nicest day for a long run in a very long while! I have run this one the past 3 years and will be back next year, too. There is a really fantastic atmosphere and it is well organized. Expo is good too.
The only real complaint, and it is the same every year, is not the race itself: the exit strategy is not really the safest. I always worry what would happen in an emergency. There really should be more than one way out.

April 2nd, 2014 1:25 pm

While the oldest road race in North America is well-organized, historic event, I found the pre-race "help" desk to be less than helpful, or courteous. I had not applied for a seeding in a start line corral, which is something I've never had to do in almost 30 years of registering for races. When I discovered that I was unseeded and would have to start at the back of the pack, I went to the "Help" desk. In an unfriendly and uncourteous manner I was told that I was out of luck and that there was nothing that they could do to fix it. It's a small thing, but these kinds of small things make big impressions. Even if they couldn't fix it, couldn't they have told me that politely? I walked away wondering why there were there at all, if that was their idea of "help".

Fifi B
April 2nd, 2014 10:07 am

I registered for the 5k this year, my first race ever! I thought it was a great race, lots of fun, well organized... EXCEPT for the people walking. When I originally got up to the start line, I noticed barricades half way through the group. Because I was nervous, I headed towards the back, but then assumed that the people behind the barricades were the walkers. So I moved up front. Unfortunately, the walkers were everywhere, sometimes 5 wide in groups. For the first bit of the race I had to run on the sidewalk until I was able to get around/past everyone walking. If suggestions are appreciated, I would love to see the 5k walkers start last, and not at the same time as the runners. Being the "oldest" I had just expected as much. Once I got over that, I had a great time and plan to do a relay next year... MAYBE even the 30k ;)

April 1st, 2014 12:11 pm

ATB is definitely one of the best road races in Canada. I was supposed to do the 30k, but due to injury, I had to sell that entry and do a 3-person relay.
Some highlights included:
The medal and shirt were awesome as usual; and the hat commemorating 120 years was a nice bonus this year.
The organization was also awesome. The organization to the relay points was well done.
The expo is probably one of the best in Canada and is most like the expos found in the major races in the States.
The transfer of the 30k bib to another runner and the 3-person relay to myself was easy and painless.

Kudos to the race prep team and volunteers for another great race! I look forward to coming back next year!

David Veeneman
April 1st, 2014 7:16 am

This is my 7th running of the Around the Bay. I love this race for its history and the challenge it presents. Well organized and a great finish into 'Copps'. The shirt is the best around - no comparison. Looking forward to next year already!

Love 2 run
March 31st, 2014 6:56 pm

This is a hometown race for me, and every year it makes me proud to live here.
There is excellent fan support along the course, a well organized start (corrals were a welcome addition in 2013) a large expo, and one of the best finishes around.
This year featured a change in the first 10km of the course, with the addition of 3 hills (highway overpasses), passing through the steel mills of Hamilton. Air quality was less than perfect for that stretch, but fewer corners to turn made for smooth uninterrupted running.
I agree a bag check would be helpful, and hopefully the organizers can figure something out for next year.
This is a race I've run 6 times, and hope to race in many more.

March 31st, 2014 12:37 pm

Lets start with the good! Although, none of my comments I don't think are BAD per-say. ATB is an awesome race. I've come back time and time again (3rd year racing), and use it as a good ramp up to Boston.

Exceptional organization, and execution, by the amazing staff that host this epic race. Great expo vendors. Corral starts. Stadium finish line (really cool - its hard not to bust in after 30k in an epic fashion). Pre & Post race seating indoors. Cool medals. Post Race Food.

The new route is challenging (hilly) and semi-scenic (in the later half).

You hit some hills in the first third of the race, and more so in the last third of the race. So, tuning up your hill repeats in training is a definite MUST. You need some serious leg strength to show those guys who is boss nearer the end.

Theres a nice, gradual, downhill to finish off the last 3.5km - nice way to finish off the race. However, the course is a quarter of a km too long (even if you run the tangents). For anyone trying to qualify for a silver or gold medal, keep that in mind in regards to your pacing.

I find ATB one of those Love/Hate races, although, the accomplished feeling is always very great post-race.

Train, and you will enjoy every good and hard moment of this run.

March 31st, 2014 10:07 am

This was our third time running the Around the Bay and we will be back again next year! There were large crowds but, everything was very well organized and the weather was beautiful!!!! My only complaint was on packet pick up day. I wish they had the second staircase open so you didn't have to walk through the busy expo again. Overall though we love this race

March 31st, 2014 8:14 am

I have run this race twice now and it has been a very well organized race with an amazing route and atmosphere.

An Olive
March 30th, 2014 9:37 pm

Hillier than anyone leads you to believe! It is well organized and well run (pun intended). The runners are friendly. And the fans are cheerful! The race bunny was absolutely topnotch (thank you Running Room). All in all, it is a good race. Not overly scenic unless you like industrial scenery! But the course is good.. however, did I mention the hills?!

March 30th, 2014 11:05 am

I finally got to check this famous race off my bucket list, what a tough winter to do this! I won't complain about the terrible conditions in southern ontario this winter, fortunately I like treadmill running so I did a fair bit including some long runs.

Overall I was under-impressed with this race that keeps screaming tradition, "older than Boston", famous route, etc.'s cool in many respects but I write this soon after I finished and had to walk a long way to get my bag, in my car!

I can't believe with all the room inside there was no organized bag check, there's one in Boston this year despite the security concerns. I mean, it's Hamilton, right? Do the oranizers really believe that not having a bag check will be more secure as I saw alot of runners just hiding their bags under some of the stadium seating. ANY one with bad intentions could easily have slipped into this building so what are we being protected from?

It seems like I am not the only one complaining about this, 90% of the crowd here have driven this morning to park.....what are we supposed to do with our car keys? etc.

Overall....glad I did this but way, way, way over rated frankly. $90 for this was over priced.

August 25th, 2013 12:59 am

I would do this race if they actually offered a race kit pickup option that works for carless Toronto downtownies or those who don't live near Hamilton. Sorry, but not everyone owns a car or can spend 4 hours round trip to make a GO train trip just to pick up a race bib.

Given that this is the only pre-spring 30k in this area that might otherwise draw runners from a wider catchment than many races, and given the large contingent of runners who come from downtown Toronto and from the far reaches of the GTA who can't justify staying in hotel the night befor, the organizers should seriously consider offering either race-day pickup or an alternate pickup location (eg, at a Running Room in Toronto). Until that happens, I won't be doing this race. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

June 23rd, 2013 9:17 pm

Was able to make it out for this race for the first time, Great season opener. Only did the 3rd leg(10km) but had a great time. Will be back to conquer the full 30 next year. Everyone needs to experience that finish line at least once!

June 15th, 2013 6:02 pm

This was my first year running in the ATB. I did the 30km and I LOVED it! I had a blast and will definitely return next year. The fans, the km marker inspiration quotes, the medal and the shirt were awesome! I must agree with others about the anti climatic finish though. I expected to receive my medal by having it placed over my head with my proud family there to see and take pics. Other than that, great event!

Ken G
April 9th, 2013 11:40 pm

This is a fine race, but please lose the "older than Boston" thing. This statement is a prime example of the Hamilton inferiority complex. You don't have to slag another race to make yours sound better, the Around the Bay can stand on its own. Besides, it's like apples and oranges - Hamilton's is a 30 k and Boston is a marathon.

Dan Way
April 7th, 2013 1:17 pm

The race itself (the distance, the course, the challenge) is among the best road races in the country and the atmosphere is generally really great. I love the finish inside Copps but the building itself before and after the race is crowded and full of annoying exhibitors like Running Room which means you can't get anywhere. Arrive early for a rest room stop or else be prepared to go in the bushes outside. Love the gold and silver medals for fast finishers too (very unique and classy). This year there was no Gatorade at the finish which would have been appreciated also. I love this race and plan to do it as long as I can.

April 2nd, 2013 5:42 pm

This was a great race. I ran the 30km. The race was very well organized and the people all along the course were great. I liked finishing in the stadium. That was a great way to complete a race.

Running Wild
April 1st, 2013 11:51 pm

I ran the 3-person 10k relay this year and thoroughly enjoyed this race. Great swag, medal and expo! I hope to run the 30k next year. It's a great run for anyone who is starting out and looking at starting distance run - inspiring!

March 31st, 2013 11:14 am

Second year running this race and i will be back for a third!!
The only real negative i have on this race is the finish. It really is constricting and i get a little claustrophobic in the melee trying to exit.
Everything else is great!! The support along the route is amazing as are all the traditions. So well organized, but i guess after 119 years it is second nature...

March 30th, 2013 2:08 pm

This was my 7th time running the ATB and it's still my favorite race.However I was very frustrated at being held up by the cargo train on woodward ave.Seeing as I was one of the first runners to be cut off I stood and waited for what had to be > 5 mins.This was around the 9 km mark.A dead stop like that is hard on the muscles not to mention possibly ruining a PR for some!!Wish something could be done about this.Other than that I would say this is a terrific race!

Chantelle woods
March 30th, 2013 10:12 am

This was my third year running ATB 30K and as always, I thoroughly enjoyed the actual race itself, and the finish. The ppl on the course were such great support, the water stations were well run, the course was easy to follow and well supported with so many wonderful police officers there to man the intersections. However, every year I find it tremendously difficult to actually exit Copps before the race. Even if I give myself 25 min. to get there, I feel like a cow squeezed into a herd. It took at least 15 minutes to exit, squished in amongst thousands of runners, all eager and somewhat anxious to start. Next year, PLEASE have the sales booths out of the coliseum on race dat. It's WAY too crowded, and with only the one exit that i could see, it would be an issue should a fire arise. LOVE the expo, but not on race day. Keep it for the Friday/Saturday.

March 30th, 2013 9:36 am

Had a great time at this race. Route was challenging. Lot's of support. Music at start was awesome. First 5K was a party atmosphere, then everyone settled down. Great shirt.

March 30th, 2013 7:12 am

This year was my first ATB. Finished in 3.00.54. I started running in the fall after quoting smoking and loving it!! Growing up in Hamilton I have great memories of watching the race and working at water stations as a teen. I was just getting to the train as the gates were being lifted so didn't lose any time like others. My only complant was the water stations seemed to be oddly placed. Some to far apart and other seemed to be 1km apart. It would also to have another escape route from copps after the run. It took me about half hour to get out to some open space to cool down. It was a great time I really enjoyed the excitement of everyone running and the word of motavatin of the spectators.
Can't wait to do it again next year.

Flag Man
March 29th, 2013 2:26 pm

Corral start LONG overdue & helped in the busy early miles, too few water stations & no consistency in what was being passed out (sorry to the hard working volunteers who man these on their own time) & shame on the organizers for running out of silver medals AGAIN!!!
The course & the "characters" are what makes this one not to miss race.

March 28th, 2013 12:13 am

I Love this race its one of my favorites I have ran this race 5 times. Well organized,lots of aid stations and beautiful medals. Lots of community support along the whole way. It's always nice to see the guy that plays we will rock you and the reaper. Lots of fun. The hills are killer you have to train for them. The only problem was the train this year. I wish someone would put down how long the train was I've looked everywere and can't find how many mins it was. I would like to minus it off my time. If anyone knows can you pls post it. I'm not mad about the train it's like a freak of nature it happens but would like to know the delay so i can minus it and know my best time. Well good luck to everyone next year and can't wait to run it again. Tammy

March 27th, 2013 11:15 am

I love ATB. I love the no-nonsense race kit-you get what you need: bib and chip, the NB shirt is a nice touch. As for all the 'extras' they can be picked up at the expo, or on race day at the Running Room/other booths. It's our individual responsibility to fuel our own race, like granola bars-bring your own. Want info on upcoming races? Try I hear they’re great.
As for the posting of results, it is 2013AD, paper results are a thing of the past at many large races. Let's just get used to it, hmm? Use your own watch for your time, and ask a friend to look up online if you don't have a smart phone and care to know RIGHT AWAY if you placed in your age group.

This race is all gravy, tasty tasty gravy. Love it.

March 26th, 2013 10:17 am

This was my first ATB race. I was worried about being panicky with 12000 other runners, but this is such a high spirited atmosphere and well organized that I felt absolutely fantastic...looking forward to next year

March 26th, 2013 4:49 am


This was my first "ATB" and I LOVED IT. From the expo to the route to the race. I could not find fault with ANYTHING about this race!!! The organizers, the volunteers and the crowds cheering us on and motivation us totally made this one of my favourites. Can't wait for registration to open up, I am doing this one again for sure

Richard Weeks
March 25th, 2013 8:30 pm

I really enjoy ATB. It is the perfect distance to start the racing season. It has a goood mixture of flat an hills. If you are going to do a half than you are ahead of the game. If you do full than you are almost there. It is awesome to enter the arena to fin. ish. I tell people in the states that this is the race to start your season with

March 25th, 2013 6:13 pm

I had high expectations entering a race billed as the oldest in North America, but mixed feelings a day later. Positives: well-organized starting area with corrals, great community support with people cheering along the route and even a person playing the "theme from Rocky" before an uphill, unique finish inside Copps Coliseum, efficient baggage area, and well-marshaled with police at all major intersections. Negatives: no map showing where the baggage area or starting line were, no race results posted on site (not everyone has a smart phone), not even an awards ceremony, and poor communication (5 months before the race, I had confirmation from the race director that I was in the first corral and the day before, got a generic bib. I emailed the race director and the general address but didn't receive a reply).

March 25th, 2013 10:12 am

Since everybody has already covered the positives of the race, I will discuss some of the negatives.

I must admit that I was a little disappointed with this race. After reading all the hype on the blogs, I was super excited to sign up for ATB. You would think that for an event this old, that it would be truly exceptional, but alas, it was not.

First of all, one of the most exciting things about having to drive all the way in to a city to pick up your race kit, the day before a race, is all the goodies that await you inside of it! Well, when I opened mine, I was surprised to see that there wasn't even so much as a granola bar in there!

Then, I open the envelope to have a look at my find that it is grey! Until the day of the race, I thought that maybe all the bibs were this lousy colour. Nope, only the "have-nots" or "non-elites" were blessed with such a drab and unenthusiastic bib colour. I understand that I am not finishing this race in record time, but some cheery colour on my bib would have been appreciated!

It was also sad to see all of the demotivated runners who were forced to run on the sidewalks, while the opened the streets again. One lady even stopped to ask me where she needed to go because everybody was gone.

I will only run this race again to be part of the tradition and the challenge, not because it is an outstandingly fun race! can do better!

March 25th, 2013 10:54 am

Nice easy race as part of a fantastic event.
Walkers - WHY DO YOU START IN THE FIRST CORRAL?? Get to the back and stick to your right, PLEASE.

March 25th, 2013 10:30 am

Just ran ATB30k for the first time yesterday, my longest run ever! Very pleased with great organization both for kit pickup/expo and on race morning. Weather was pretty much perfect, nice course, really appreciated the corrals so not too crowded at the start. Only suggestions would be to have a few Portapotties outside Copps on race morning to supplement indoor bathrooms (very long lines) and maybe step up the after-race food (bland and very limited) and "race kit" a tad (no sponsor info or samples, just shirt and chip).
Endless thanks to the selfless guy who took the time to stop and help me up and make sure I was ok after I fell on the wooden bridge at the 25k mark - you are a testament to the great spirit of runners helping each other!
Already planning my rematch for next year!

March 25th, 2013 10:48 am

I did the 5K and had a great time. This is an historical event that was so nice to be a part of, and watching the 30K finisher come in was a nice treat. The 5K course is easy with a minor hill near the 4K mark.

Because of the size of this event, parking and crowds are a bit of a pain for a simple 5K race, but everyone should take part once.

Steph L
March 24th, 2013 12:03 pm

Did the 5k version of this race and had an excellent time. Very well organized race and finishing up inside at Copps Coliseum was extra special. I'll do the 30k next year but this year I just wanted to be part of this tradition. Great race.

December 29th, 2012 6:23 pm

I ran this race for the first time in 2012. I was not disappointed and have signed up to do it again. It is definitely a challenging course but it felt great! The spectators were wonderful and held up motivating or humourous signs ("If your feet hurt, it's cuz you're kicking so much ass!") I like that they you can earn a gold, silver or bronze medal because it gives me something to strive for, but wonder if they've considered male and female qualification times. I look forward to the new start corrals in 2013 to separate the runners by qualifying times.

Bethany Timmerman
July 9th, 2012 11:49 pm

i've done 3, 10km relays in the past. this was the first year for the was L...O...N...G! the first 18km were fine, and THEN>>the hills began!! the hills were a huge nasty challenge. next year i will make sure "hill training" is a priority! The race in general was well organized. The spectators lined the entire 30km and cheered!! I will be back next year ((and ready for those HILLS!!)) grrrrr

Sandy Musson
June 12th, 2012 3:36 pm

Beautiful run around the Bay. 30k is a great distance to prep for a spring marathon and if you're not quite there than either relay option is awesome. This race fills early so don't hesitate if it's something you want to do. Large crowd but very well organized, logistics are great...just wish there was still race day pick up.

Matthew Dee
April 28th, 2012 10:12 pm

I did the 3 person relay and thought it was a unique experience to say the least. I didn't like how we had to exchange the plastic shoe tag from shoe to shoe at the check points but besides that, the race was terrific and I plan on doing the 30k next year.

Dan Way
April 18th, 2012 11:39 pm

"ATB is a poor man's Boston." Minus the qualifying. That's what I heard and it's not far off. Rich history and tradition with this one. This is a world class event and just happens to be in our backyard. The distance (30k) is highly unique and challenging without the added toughness of a marathon and is a perfect tune-up race for any Spring marathon. The expo is top notch and I totally understand why they don't do same day race kit many people. The course is great: challenging but fair. Lots of support on route and this year there was even bacon (gross!). Awards are weak. Give the winners something! I also wasn't a fan of the early start for walkers which means that you're constantly passing hoards of slow moving masses. The finish in Copps is an amazing experience and the post-race amenities are pretty good too. I've done this race the past three years and have it down as an essential addition to every race season. Love ATB.

Gillian K
April 18th, 2012 10:00 pm

Love this 5k race! Such a great finish line in Copps :)

David Levy
April 18th, 2012 7:21 pm

After a 6 year wait, I was able to run ATB this year. And what a race.
Weather was perfect, the course is still as spectacular and the spectators great.
I highly recommend this race in you are preparing for Boston or any spring marathon.
Racing 30km is the perfect preparation.
You can bounce back in just a few days and resume your training.

Andrew Chak
April 18th, 2012 7:21 pm

Great race with a challenging course towards the end. Awesome T-shirt and medal. Love the fact that there are different colour medals to run for based on your performance - this really adds an element of challenge to the experience! My only gripe is that there is no race day pickup for people who are out of town (i.e. Toronto) who must go down to Hamilton the day before to pickup. Great community support - there was even a guy handing out bacon to the runners!

April 18th, 2012 6:24 pm

I have ran the 30km ATB for 4 year in a row now. It's an awesome race to start off the running season, great for trainging for a spring marathon. The course is pretty hilly and challenging, but a fun race to run!

Sheila Haats
April 8th, 2012 6:58 pm

I did the ATB for the first time this year with a large group from the Beaches Running Room. It was great having our own cheering section in Copps. To have use of all those indoor bathrooms before and after the race was wonderful(: I love it towards the end of the race when you are running on York Blvd and you can see the entire bay - it was like "WOW I ran all the way Round that ?!" I can't say that the relay people bothered me. A lot of people start with the relay then move up to the full distance the next year. Plus I do 10 and 1's so I'm constantly passing and being passed my people, I just focus on myself. The medal presentation was a little anti- climactic but in general it was just a reallly fun day.

Jose Fuentes
April 7th, 2012 9:22 am

The race, as usual was great and very well orgaized. However, I was a bit dissaponted that they were not enough silvers medal to got around. perhaps for ther future, a predicted time should be requested on the registration form. So that the number of finishers madeals can be better estimmateed

March 30th, 2012 9:00 pm

This year was my first running of the ATB 30K race and I had a fabulous experience. It was a very busy race, and I was dodging other runners nearly the entire length of the course, but that kept things interesting and it was great to be running alongside so many inspiring athletes.

The support along the course was incredible and it was so nice to have fresh fruit, tons of water stops, and lots of cheering fans along the way. The rest stops were a little congested, however, especially early on. It would be great to see a little more organization for those of us who don't stop and walk - having water stations on both sides of the road doesn't leave any lane for us to keep to the left or right to bypass those who stop.

Overall, it was a challenging and fun race. I was very pleased with the organization, given the size and scope of the race. The expo was great, as well. Loads of great racing info, free chocolate, and tons of great deals. Picked up some really excellent stuff on sale from a local running store. No complaints there.

The only thing working against this race was the anti-climactic finish. I have to agree with the above - I expected a little more at the end of 30K.

Either way I will definitely keep this race in mind for next year! Thanks for a great day! And congrats to all those who finished.

scott eldridge
March 29th, 2012 8:26 pm

I ran the 2012 ATB 10|K relay with 3 friends from the Yonge Street Running Room. The event was perfect!! buses left on time and got us back to the finish fast . Food was available when we finished our leg.
Next year we will defend our tittle!

Luis Franco
March 29th, 2012 7:04 pm

I just ran my first ATB race last weekend, I loved it. I thought it was well organized and liked the crowd support,

March 28th, 2012 12:31 pm

I had a really fun race, the last 10 k were every bit as challenging as I had anticipated! The local crowd support was amazing, it really picked me up, especially on the last 3 km.
My only criticism would be the congestion at the exit: yikes!

Jeff Storey
March 27th, 2012 5:43 pm

I had a great time in the 5K this year, 5th time I've entered the event. I ran with a friend, which made it even more exciting. Our time was just over 26 minutes. We hope to break 25 minutes next year. I sure look up to those who train and run the 30k. The atmosphere was amazing and so was the weather. It was nice to see a homegrown talent, win the 30k too. Mike and his staff sure put on a signature event for Hamilton. I can't wait until next year.

March 27th, 2012 1:12 pm

This was my first time running in the Around the Bay and my first race ever! I ran in the 5K and it was a great experience -- I'm inspired to get involved in more races now. The only negative issue I came across was an event volunteer/organizer who was trying retrieve a cable on the ground near the start line -- people were standing on it and while he was trying to get it he was yelling and pulling up so hard on the cable he was almost tripping people with it. Another idea might be to have some sort of barrier between the road and sidewalk so runners and spectators aren't bumping into one another near the start line. Overall amazing experience though! Can't wait to run it next year!

March 27th, 2012 1:22 pm

This was my first time running this race, and I found it overall really well done and a lot of fun. The course is challenging and the fan support is excellent.

However, I do have two complaints:

1) Not nearly enough porta potties at the start. Only 6?? Really??

2) The awful congested finishers area. After we came through the chute/food/medal lines, we were spat out into an insanely crowded and very small space, with the only exit being ONE escalator (for some reason the second escalator was blocked off?). It was cramped, very hot, and crowded. That really needs to be rethought out or revamped; I was worried I was going to have a panic attack or pass out. Eventually I did find a stairwell, but after running 30k the last thing I wanted to do was climb stairs!

Bethany T
March 27th, 2012 11:58 am

This is the 4th time I've participated in the Bay race. I've done the 10km relay twice, the 5km with my 3 kids once, and this year I finally did what I thought was impossible.... I finished the 30km (2:49). It was tough! Man oh man! Those hills are brutal and challenging! BUT the hundreds of people who cheer you on by either playing music or banging pots and pans or giving out oranges, certainly helps! I love the medal, the shirt, the course (running over the bridge and seeing the CANADA sign actually made me a little emotional *tear*. I had a proud moment there! I love the finish too!.... Running into Copps is just amazing!! All those cheering people are awesome! After Sunday's race, I said "never again" ...... And now, just 2 days later, I'm very sore still ( limping and walking down the stairs backwards still! Lol) but already planning for next year, and trying to figure how how I can improve my time!!!!

March 27th, 2012 11:04 am

I think Mike needs to step it up a notch. The medals need to be given out inside Copps, not in the food line up wrapped up looking more like a cookie than your medal. For those first timers, it is very anti climatic, they've run/walked 30k...put it around their neck where family and friends can see their accomplishment come to fruition. The best new thing that I noticed was the number of run/fitness groups that had their tents out along the route with oranges and other snacks...that was great! They get it...they know that you want something small and portable...kudos to all of them. Personally I had a personal best, I'm not fast, I'm there to show others that if I can do, they can do it. I trained hard and it paid off.

Karen Karnis
March 27th, 2012 10:57 am

I have done this race three times now and it ranks among my favourites. The course requires solid training and sound race strategy so it presents a good challenge. I love all of the history and quirks mentioned by the other reviewers, and find it to be well organized. While weather wasn't an issue this year, you can't beat having an indoor finish with ample seating for family and friends at a race at the end of March!

Kristy Bates
March 27th, 2012 10:54 am

Great race! Loved the route and all the enthusiasm. I think it would be wicked if they had multiple cameras throughout the route so that those watching the 30km from within Copps after the 5km can see more than just the finish line. I also think it would be fun to have a 'group stretch/warm up' before the race while everyone is waiting around. Someone could stand in the center of Copps while everyone in the stands and surrounding area gets pumped up/warmed up to good music! Puts everyone in a loose and limber good mood before the run!
Overall, a job well done - can't wait to do it again next year!

Vincent Andy Fong
March 27th, 2012 10:58 am

This was my 7th ATB 30K and 6th in a row, and by far the best weather/conditions, for sure ... Perhaps, water stations every 3-4K, rather than 4-5K for the first 15-20K would be nice, especially with so many runners out there ... Otherwise, the cheering and support sections out there were awesome, as usual ....

Really liked the multi-coloured Finishers Medals this year, and how much larger they are, as compared to the previous years ....

Definitely, planning to return every year, if the schedule permits ... it is, afterall, the oldest road race in North America

Ben Scholes
March 27th, 2012 9:14 am

I have done this race 4 times now and it is one of my favourites despite the punishment my body takes, I'm still sore today. I like the expo and how many booths are set up so you can create your own race kit of promotional flyers instead of getting a bunch with your shirt that you will just toss out when you get home.

I love how the people of Hamilton embrace this tradition, it is what really makes the race great. I even was able to eat a piece of bacon on route this year that was freshly fried.

Parking is always an issue and it would be nice to see more lot attendants helping people find vacant spots and collect money as even if you find a spot you have to wait in line at the machine.

Still I consider this a must do for anyone who is in for a running challenge.

Martin Williams
March 26th, 2012 2:47 pm

Well organized, something for everyone race events from 5 to 30k including walkers with the relays
Well marked course and no marshalling issues. Police do a great job !

Could add 1-2 more water stations, and the "race bag" is empty.
Now that the race is grown it needs start corrals or something because for some reason the runners dont seed themselves the way they should

David Hiddleston
March 26th, 2012 12:02 pm

Glad your race went well Kelly and can understand your frustration about the relay. I once done a relay marathon and vowed never to do one again because I felt so bad speeding passed these poor runners who had just done 32K...also not helped by the spectators saying 'wow he is fast'!

At least the relay runners have relay bibs on their backs but for such an old traditional race it seems a shame they have incorporated the relay - I guess the argument is that it earns more money for the charity but nonetheless it doesn't seem right.

March 26th, 2012 11:02 am

This was my first time doing the Around the Bay and I really enjoyed the race. The spectators were so supportive and really created a nice sense of community. I really liked the words of inspiration on each kilometre marking and how the race ended inside Copps. However, I didn't like that the relay was at the same time as runners doing the full. I found it frustrating to have a fresh runner breezing past me 2/3 of the way through the race.

March 26th, 2012 9:36 am

First time running 30K and thoroughly enjoyed Around the Bay! Such a scenic route, and amazing community support - I was nearly brought to tears a couple of times by the spectators thanking US for doing the run in support of THEM, it was overwhelming. Very well organized and fun. Will definitely do this race again! Thanks, Hamilton!

March 25th, 2012 9:49 pm

The best race in Southern Ontario. Super well organized and a great course. The premier event in the spring.

March 25th, 2012 6:06 pm

Ran it today. Did it once before. Really enjoy this race course. The sense of community is just fantastic. Thanks Hamilton.

Peter Donato
March 24th, 2012 11:21 am

I used to do this race all the time and enjoyed the challenge, I do however not like the relay mixed in with the 30km. Same goes for Marathons with relays. It's a lot of training and a worthy effort to finish a 30km in the spring and to have relay runners zooming past and saying "I did the Bay Race" diminishes the 30km, which is the oldest race with all this tradition.

If they scrap the relay I will come back!

Rachel Dick
March 23rd, 2012 2:32 pm

the expo is very well organized, and has much to offer with clothing sales and promoting future events

Denise O'hanian
March 23rd, 2012 1:23 pm

I love the quirky traditions of this run. The ladies in fur coats banging pots in "tin pan alley", the small man playing "we will rock you" at the start of the big hill! And of course the "grim reaper" shaking your hand at the cemetary! Great smiles and great fun!!!!

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