Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon
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Start Date/Time April 28, 2017 @ 10:00 am
End Date/Time N/A
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Yes there is a chance for a fast time...
I didn't see the gel stations as promised. Did anyone else have a distance issue? My Garmin said 42.7km. Seriously no water or gatorade at the finish? The finish line was congested, not impressed. Ever thought of people handing out food to control the mayhem? Did you know the other marathon on the same day in a neighbouring city has free parking at the expo and on race day along with free shuttles right back to the parking lots, not to the subway for me to get myself back after running for 3+ hours.
Thanks GoodLife that was a one and done experience.
The medal was different and I did like the warning on the back!
Date: May 7, 2017
I hate to do this but I have to agree with other posters that this is not ideally-organized but I believe that it merits more than a one star rating. This is not a big race and Toronto is a big city with significant demands - blocking off 42 kms is a major task and we should be more flexible. In truth, the first 28 kms of the race were actually quite nice and reasonably well managed but, by the 30 km mark, marathoners were directed to a narrow multi-use pathway (The Martin Goodman Trail, IIRC) that was NOT a closed course. So marathon runners were forced to compete with joggers, walkers, dogs, strollers, cyclists, etc. on a fairly narrow path that seemed like an afterthought . Every runner I spoke with was unhappy with this and this obstacle course definitely affected our pace. Shortly after the 35 kms mark, we were back on a cordoned off section of Lakeshore Blvd and the pace quickened again but that 5 km stretch is inexcusable for a big name race in a big city. Note that this was more of an issue because the weather was decent enough to attract people out to the trail but the race should not be set up that way.
I was frankly okay with how the checked bags were managed and the shuttles, etc. Although I concede that marathoners were not happy having to walk a kilometer to the shuttle bus after the race.
Frankly, if the race fixes the trail portion of the course, it would net 4 stars from me. Until it does, I will not run it again.
I ran the 10K race . The course was very pretty and well laid out. I never saw any entertainment the entire way. My complaint was with the start. There appeared to be no corrals and very few staff to get people organized. With approximately 1400 people running it took the first kilometer just to get out of the pack and find your stride. The course is fast but wasting that much time behind slower runners was really disappointing and eliminated any chance of running a PB. There was no warm up either.
The food offerings at the end were limited but acceptable to honey water, pita, banana and apples.
Not sure I will be back.
This was my first time running this marathon after running Mississauga for the last four years. Needless to say, I will be going back to Mississauga this point forward. Reading the other comments concerning this race, I'm not alone with my opinion.
1. Expo - It honestly felt depressing. In and out in 5 minutes. T-shirt is nice (come to like the Karbon brand), but that is it. Felt no real reason to stay.
2. Shuttle Bus - Other than the driver staying around too long when we had a deadline to check the bags, no issue there. Standard school bus.
3. Bag check - No issues with the check - since everything was placed onto a truck. However, at the finish area, bags are left in an area exposed to the elements. Luckily no rain during that time, but if it was different weather, which it could have been, my gear would have been wet. There were enough tents used for other purposes, a tent for gear would have been nice.
4. Course - 1st half of the course is awesome. Nice to go through the quieter areas of Toronto. Lots of downhill allowed for a fast pace. However, once you got onto the waterfront trail, then things got really dicey and unorganized. The out and back was not really well marked. Seen several complaints about people potentially going off course, which could have been definitely expected. Lack of marshalls in this area definitely hurt.
5. Aid Stations - MAJOR PROBLEM WITH THIS. Advertised for being every 2.5Km. Definitely not the case, ran by at least three-four areas where tables were folded and Gatorade powder was in cases, but nothing laid out. I may be wrong, but between kilometers 25 and 40, I only counted between 2-3 aid stations when there should have been 6. Aid stations that were available were great, but due to the fact that they were so spaced out, it was a problem. Especially when conditions started to warm up.
6. Finish Area - Medals are awesome and huge. Beer tent was good idea with the exception of the line-up. Food was OK, nothing too special. Didn't bother with the massage area. Some decent vendors present. The finish area was par for the course.
Things could have better, especially since this is supposed to be a major spring race. It felt like there were major aspects of this race where no one who organized this cared about how it was presented, especially the 2nd half of the race. For the amount of money I spent on this, I expected something close to being on part with STWM or at least on par with Mississauga. Lesson learned for next year.
I ran the Goodlife Toronto Marathon this morning (2017). Although the course is fast and scenic, the organisation in the second half of the race is severely lacking. I'm sorry to say that myself and a bunch of other runners in the top 10 got lost at the 'Humber Bay Park East' turn around (likely ran extra distance?). The specific area when the lead runners seemed to get confused had a fork with no cones marking the correct way. The 'hi-res' course map on their website isn't helpful either. To make matters worse, zero marshalling for the most confusing section of the race. The second half of the race also seemed like aid station support was lacking. The volunteers didn't even seem aware that faster runners were approaching.
Pretty much every runner I know who has run this race in the past has bad things to say and recommended Mississauga Marathon instead. Looking online it is clear that these issues seem to happen repeatedly so I emailed the race officials ahead of time to address them. The race director said all these issues have been addressed and will not be an issue. WHAT A JOKE! For a $110 marathon (only get 1 or max 2 shots per year at the dist) I expect an accurately measured course, timing services, adequate aid stations and proper marshalling. Basic stuff. Also, a ridiculously over-the-top finisher medal but no prizes for the top 2nd/3rd overall finishers or age group prizes??? Again, super tacky!
Definitely not doing Toronto marathon again.
Yes the weather was not ideal. Overall I found the course to be extremely fast and very scenic. I ran the half marathon and had a PB. It was mostly downhill and I really had a great time. The online registration was very easy and the expo was well attended.
I look forward to trying the marathon in 2017 and will tell my friends.
I ran this race two years ago and again this past May (2016). This race has really gone downhill since the last time (I know it's supposed to be a net downhill race, but not in terms of quality). It seems that the owner of the race is really trying to do things on the cheap. The food at the finish line was pitiful. The directions to take shuttle bus were non-existent. Baggage was simply left in the rain, soaked in puddles. And for a cold, wet windy race, the organizers neglected to provide the participants with thermal blankets. I, and many others, were left shivering. Some appeared hypothermic. It's too bad the owner isn't providing basic amenities for comfort while improving his bottom line. For those who want to experience of this run, just run the route yourself one weekend morning. You may not get the big medal, but you'll save yourself a lot of money.
This is my second time running this half marathon. The I also ran it in 2014 as my first half ever.
There were several similarities but the weather this year of rain and wind challenged the positives and worsened the negatives.
The Good - Good website, good sign-up process, great marshaling, great course that can't be beat, good water availability, great finish line and great medal.
The Bad - Parking at the start can be a challenge and the subways aren't running early enough to get there. The baggage drop is so early its almost useless.
The Ugly - The finish area. 3000+ people are dumped in a disorganized parking lot. The line-up for food was super long so I skipped it both years. With poor weather we could have used emergency blankets. Everything is just unorganized and poorly signed so we couldn't find our way to ground transportation and ended limping our way for ages before finding a bus.
I love the race but post race difficulties may keep me away next year.
This is my second time running this marathon and the course is very scenic and flat (one of my favourites in the GTA). However, no water at the end. Outrageous!!
Ran 21.K race
Pro: plenty of shelter at Mel Lastman Square near start line; chip time published on Sportstats
Cons: race kit just a bib & tech shirt; no shelter after finish line; baggage claim unsecured/soaked with rain; expo entrance lined up with reps flogging goodlife memberships not a welcoming experience
Recommendation: race is satisfactory for seasoned runners; not ideal for newbies who deserve a great first time experience.
Ive ran many race, (over 25 :5k,10k 21.1 and 42.2)and i never seen a worst organisation like this...no check time during the race. only at 21.1
the last 16 km and the end of marathon was catatrophic.i'have seen some runners with big problems and no medical and aid assitance.
1.Dry change of clothing left in parking lot unattended in the rain.I was frozen, exhaust and wet.
2. No water at end of race.
3. No blanket, shit it was 1 degree with wind and rain...
4, No shelter. No place to change.
7. No clear directions to shuttle.
8 No directions to busses, subway or taxi.
Pro - Terrific course. Beautiful trek thru Toronto.
Cons - Very poorly managed: unstaffed aid stations, no water at finish, no clocks on course, no mylars at finish despite cold and rain, checked bags left for hours in the parking lot were soaked and unsecured, terrible signage at the finish, no water at finish.
Overall if you run this race, expect nothing with respect to race services, and carry with you anything you will need during or post race.
I expected so much more out of this race. I've always done Mississauga but thought I'd give this one a try. The expo was small and depressing but not as depressing as finding my change of clothes had been left out in the rain for hours. The forecast had called for rain all week, it shouldn't have been too hard to get an extra tent to cover people's bags. There were no foils or plain water at the end and the food was almost all gone by the time we got there. I felt sorry for any of the slower marathon runners. The course was nice and so was the medal but that's about all this race had going for it.
Goodlife can do nothing about the weather. My complaints and low rating for this race came down to three things:
1)Aid stations were not manned. At one station, I saw a relay runner helping out. I've run Mississauga 3x and have never seen less than six people at stations
2) NO WATER AT THE FINISH LINE!!! This is a SERIOUS problem. The day was cold/rainy, but had it been hot there could have been some really serious medical issues for sure. They offered a honey/lemon water instead. What about people with allergies?
3) No foils/blankets at the end. Even the Ottawa marathon (at the END OF MAY) has these.
I won't run Goodlife again based on these three things. They are basic to a good race.
This is the worst race I have ever done. Do not register for next year. You have been warned.
Expo was terrible. 1 person getting bibs for the 5k & 10k.
Got to the start line of the 10k, and it wasn't set up yet. No one knew where to go. Start line was set up by 7am.
No corrals. Just everyone squished in together. No course marshals, ended up with another group running an extra 500m because no one on course to direct us where to go. We had to stop traffic to get across he street and get us where we had to be. I know many other people this happened to.
No blankets at the end, it was freezing cold and raining.
The only reason why I have done this race in the past and why I did it again, was for the course. It's a great route. The whole race is badly organized!!!
Something needs to be done to make this a better organized race.
Not what I expected
Aid stations were good for the first half of the race but the aid stations on the second half were understaffed. Expo was small and nothing special long lines to get your shirt. Expected more from this race. I realized that this year the weather was not the best it would of been nice to have a place to change after the race out of the elements.
They should have supported the aid stations with more then just students. It seem that some aid station were abandoned
We drove 6 hours for this... And the only good part was the course! - although there were no people cheering, the course was well laid out and police officers were at all key intersections
Problems all should be aware of are plentiful:
1.Dry change of clothing left in parking lot unattended in the rain!! This actually made me cry - I was frozen and wet!
2. No water at end of race.
3. No blanket (and medical would not give one even to people who were shivering - only hypothermic cases were allowed inside the tent --- and there were many)
4, No shelter. No place to warm up. No place to change.
5. Wait time in the wind - rain + 15 minutes for drink after race (no water - just honey water)
6. Ran out of apples, bananas not edible (dark green)
7. No clear directions to shuttle.
8 No directions to busses, subway or cabs --- waited 2 hours before was able to leave site to get back to start point and get car.
So--- I do not recommend this race to anyone at all- it is shameful to treat runners this way.
Ran the Marathon in 2013 (hated the second half along the open path full of pedestrians along the lakeshore), switched to the 1/2 b/c it is a nice course and walking distance to my parent's place. Enjoyed the race in 2014 and 2015 but did not consider how unprepared the finish is for inclement weather. No Mylar blankets at the finish, the only tent was for the food, which had a huge line (too large to wait in the cold for a banana and pita). I also noticed that the checked bags were sitting in piles outside in the rain.
NICE COURSE but the organization needs some work.
I ran the full this year. I like the fact the start area/corrals are pretty laid back - the field is relatively small, so I didn't run into issues with long bathroom lineups, etc. It was cold but there was lots of room to wait indoors near the start line at the community centre.
The route is great. There did seem to be a lack of water in the final stretch. My main complaint is no space blankets readily available at the end - as another review noted, this made the walk to the GO station afterwards pretty miserable.
I ran this 1/2 marathon this year. THe course is nice. the medals are very nice, the shirts are not very nice( not even released until the week of the race), no kit except a bib and shirt!! No mylar blankets a the finish either! Not really impressed.
Thought I'd give this race another shot after having a not great experience in 2013. After yesterday, I won't be doing it again.
-tech shirts are the same for everyone. Really?
-no gels on the course
-aid stations weren't consistent
-porta potties? Were they hiding?
-organization on the most confusing part of the course 32-39 was almost non existent. I totally appreciate the volunteers there but if I have to find out to figure out where to go...that's wrong. Put a sign up at least!
-no blankets, no food left nothing at the finish....
Ran the marathon, first time, have done the half many times. Lack of water stations in lakeshore part, no space blankets and water at finish wasn't first evident when you finished. Self serve water was difficult with freezing hands. Happy with the BQ, but Toronto can do so much better.
This was my third time running the half marathon and the only thing that keeps me coming back is the course. I love running down Yonge Street and through downtown. I was able to shave over 5 min off my PB so I'm very happy with my race. That's really the only positive I have about the race.
As for the negatives:
- the expo was tiny and depressing
- there is no race kit! You get to wait in line for your Bib and then have to wait in another line for your shirt, and that's it. That's all you get.
- the shirts were nice this year but it would be nice if they made different shirts for the different distances instead of everyone getting the same one
- the start of the race, there was no music, not much really going on and then all of the sudden it's started
- there is NO entertainment in the course. No music no nothing. If it weren't for the spectators it would have been pretty boring
- after the race you get your medal, there's a food tent and that's it. There's no party like atmosphere, it's like OK your done now leave
I'll probably do this race again mostly because going out to Mississauga is too much trouble for me, and as mentioned I love the half marathon route. Also I know what to expect by now so I don't end up too disappointed. Goodlife really needs to step their game up and it's shocking that after so many years they haven't already.
Writing this prior to reading other reviews- may be similar reviews. I can respect the fact that there was poor turnout for volunteers due to weather, however there was many other concerning aspects. It was if the race did not have a plan for inclement weather. I heard after that there were change tents, However a few portable heaters would have gone a long way to me recommending this race in the future.
-Fewer splits by sportstat then expected- as I have been reading a lot about marathon cheating as of late, I can see that this race is ripe for course cutting
-Cold/ raining- Hypothermic potential conditions- No thermal mylar blankets given out.
-Very poor signage as to where buses where located to get back to TTC. No buses offered back to start line. For people unfamiliar with area I would not recommend.
-There was no family specific meeting area- thus did not know how my husband I would meet up post as we had not been to the area before.
-Gear check bags were left out in the rain- no security.
I ran the half marathon today. Two primary issues. I checked my bag at the start so that I would have some clothes to change into after finishing. However the checked-in bags were deposited on the pavement in the rain for pick-up. Mine was soaked, not great when you are looking for a dry change of clothes after a cold wet race. Secondly there needs to be more marshals keeping pedestrians off the marathon course around Ontario Place. I spent half an hour attempting to keep spectators and finished racers from walking into the path of marathon runners as they head west out of Ontario Place. There were no barricades, marshals or signs indicating that pedestrians are crossing in the path of marathon runners. No runner wants to collide with a marathon runner and impede their march to the finish line. However with no course markings or marshals it was happening frequently. As a runner that has run over a 100 races I find this is inexcusable. I certainly would not recommend this marathon.
Meh. I usually run the Mississauga Mararthon, but decided to give this course another try. It continues to disappoint in some key areas!
The expo was bland. As others said, race kit was only a bib and t-shirt. The vendors offered few freebies, however the people running the Running Room wheel were engaging and fun!
I ran the half. I appreciated the option to wait indoors until the last moment, and found the start corrals easy to navigate. I was surprised that the cut off for the open corral was 2:00. I think staggering in at least one more corral would be smart.
Water and Gatorade tables were okay for me. (2:00ish finish) but I could see how they were getting close to running out in the later stages.
Finish line was the most frustrating. I can't understand why they don't offer space blankets in this weather. It was cold. I opted not to wait in line for food. It seemed like it was a 10-15 min wait for apples, bananas, or pitas. No thanks.
There were bottles of honey lemon water at the finish though, which I enjoyed. Not sure if there was plain water though.
In all, you don't seem to get much for your money. Mississauga is a much more organized, better value race IMO.
I just wish GoodLife put more care into this race. Seems like they're trying to make a big profit, rather than offering a great race experience.
Ran the 2016, 10K. Weather did not help, but not a great vibe to this race. More importantly though dangerous situation. No traffic control when crossing Spadina @ 8K.
I told the next police officer I saw, but they did not seem to care...
Also, very slow to get results up.
I don't even know where to begin. Such a poorly managed race...
I did the 5K last year as well as this. LAst year the race wasn't well marked and you had to run through a parking lot. This year they updated the course and it was mainly on the MGT and then take lakeshore back.
I really enjoyed the new changes to the course, would have like at least a water station at 2.5km. Maneuvering around from baggage to the start line was confusing and a few more exits would have been nice.
It was cold and raining and would have liked to see a few more tents to be able to cheer on the incoming racers for the other distances. Goodlife had a few tents set up, but most were shoulder height and I'm only 5'3".
knowing the new course changes I would probably do it again next year.
I did the Half Marathon Today and i am just wondering if anyone else found the race distance to be off? I had the Nike + running app on my phone and an completely separate Suunto Running GPS Watch and I found that my watch and phone app were identical but the finish line was almost a full KM different. Im just curious if other people had the same issue or if it was just me?
With regard to the actual course. I didnt like seeing the full marathon signs about 150 M before the Half Marathon signs. it would have been nice if they started them a bit differently so at least they would be around the same point.
Water was lacking near the end of the race, and the expo was boring and cold with no heat blankets.... especially considering how cold and rainy it was today
I did the Nikey Toronto 15 km last summer and WOW that was awesome. For the price the Goodlife could have done a better job in all aspects. I also found the website a bit awkward to go through especially on my phone. Not my favourite race to date thats forsure...
The first 27km of the course are great. But the lakeshore bit was dismal. Lots of non-racing runner joining the masses, which was annoying. The first half of the race had good aid stations, with plenty of water and gatorade. The last 10-12km completely lacked aid stations. The expo was said, and the race kit was a t-shirt and number plate. Considering the race was $125 this was disappointing. I am not sure I would run this marathon again.
I ran this race for the first time in 2011 and it was excellent. It went downhill when they changed the route. Zero swag and a very plain shirt (in 2011 the bag was stuffed with neat products). I like the route & the start area is great but on a cold, rainy day the Ontario Place finish line is incredibly inconvenient for runners and spectators. There was no tent to protect checked bags from the rain, and one small food tent with a long, slow line. No space blankets, which would have made my 20-minute post-race walk in damp pants a lot more bearable. On a chilly day these things make a huge difference. As always, volunteers did a great job and their efforts in less than ideal conditions were so appreciated. Nice medal too.
The expo is small. The start was easy, no big lineups for porta potties. The course is fast and not crowded. I liked the route, downhill through the city and scenic along the lake. You may feel like you're running alone at times, especially along Lakeshore on the last 7k. Poor crowd support. The wind can be punishing like it was this year. They ran out of water in the last stages of the race!! This was an issue last year as well and GoodLife seriously needs two address this! No plain water after the race either! The medal was nice and huge but I didn't care for the inscriptions at the back. I would recommend this race if you want something fast, small and quiet but be prepared to carry your own water for the later part of the race.
It was my first and last time running the half marathon. There needs to be a lot of work done to improve this race. Let's begin with the expo. It was super depressing and lacked vendors. It was dark and the race kit included a shirt and a bib without a bag (that is all). As for race day, the water tables were tiny and spread out inconsistently throughout the course. I did not see any gels at all and passing the walking marathoners was a pain. The km markers were off and the overall race course was 300m longer. The medal was great, the post race amenities were awful which included a piece of bread that needed to be toasted, some basic granola bars, and a dark green banana. I immediately left the venue as there was nothing else and went home.
The weather was another story. The lack of crowd support reflected the conditions outside. - very little. But this doesn't factor into the review as the organizers can't predict the weather.
-great race course
not Wilson Kipsang
Goodlife was my first full marathon early this year (I have since run 2 more). The course was by far my favourite, especially the first 28km. The far west end (32-39 km) was a little lonely on the trail but I found the water stations well-stocked, well-spaced, and the volunteers were perfect every time at passing cups even though I don't stop running through the aid stations. They were very helpful and enthusiastically encouraged me and the other runners coming through. The Goodlife is definitely a "runner's race." The course is fast, fun, and has ample but not extreme fan support. You don't get the big fancy expo of a Rock'n'roll series marathon but you get a great race experience and a medal that will stop a bullet! I will be back in 2015 for sure!
If I had only been doing the half, I would probably give this race more bananas, but the course and organization in the second half of the marathon was pretty terrible. Running on narrow pathways that were open to the public, lack of manned water stations, poor signage, and lack of amenities/festivities at the finish ("Congrats on your marathon, here is an orange. Please leave")
Next time I do a spring marathon in the GTA, I'll go to Mississauga.
I have mixed feelings about this race. I like the route, especially the first half. But the amenities for the back half of the marathon and post-race were almost dangerously ill-prepared. Like many other commenters warn, bring your own water and pack post-race food!
The first half course is great - running down Yonge St, past Casa Loma, and down the Rosedale Valley Ravine through King St E and downtown. Awesome, lots of shade, tons of water stations and plenty of volunteers.
But as soon as the half broke off, I felt like an afterthought. The marathon course moved onto the bike path where directions were not always clear and you couldn't tell if that runner you were following was in the race or just out for a jog. Water stations moved farther and farther apart, with fewer volunteers who were running behind filling cups. This was the point of the morning where the sun started getting hot, and there was no shade cover along the lakefront, so I found myself dying of thirst for basically the last 12 km. Then finally at the end of the race, after a ridiculously long post-finish gauntlet, I finally find some post-race water, and it's these tiny little dixie cups that we have to wait while some marketers pour from a Brita filter. DYING OF THIRST!!! I sucked down a half dozen of those puny things before I finally got tired of waiting for her to pour more.
The post-race food was no better. I finished slightly behind the average marathon time, and already they were down to the last banana. I got an orange and a morning rounds bun, and that was it. I feel bad for the slower marathoners who were out there all morning and might not have gotten a thing to eat afterward.
The post-race party was in a parking lot at the ex, which was an ok spot, but there was zero shade. For a dehydrated runner streaked with sweat salt, this is the last place I want to hang out. But because the race course looped around the party zone, we had to wait until a space opened up in the runners to be able to get out of that heat prison.
I choked down half my banana and morning bun while walking through the Ex grounds to get back to civilization, but I really was not feeling well from the dehydration and heat, and if I hadn't had that juicy orange I may have passed out somewhere behind the Direct Energy Centre. Only when I got to Liberty Village was there finally somewhere to buy a cold bottle of lemonade so I could not feel like I was going to die.
The metal is big, I'll give it that. I'm not crazy about the design - a stick figure running is not something that would entice me to want to earn another of these, which look basically the same year to year. I tried to put it around my neck when I first received it but it's so heavy that lasted about 3 seconds. I can't even hang it with the rest because I'm scared it'll do damage to all my other metals or pull the whole rack off the wall.
I'm glad I tried this race once, but I probably wouldn't do the full marathon again unless I was desperate for a spring marathon. Even then, I would be sure to carry a litre of my own water, plus a bunch of fruit and protein for post-race non-dying.
That said, the half-marathon looked lovely, and if you don't care what your medal looks like then you'd probably have a decent time (and a banana too)!
I ran the full marathon. Very good course, certainly fast. Lot's a water/ Gatorade stations. One gel station (not two) but I had an extra one so no complaints. Well organized event with the best medal hands down! After food was sufficient. All and all a very nice race!
I ran the 5K route, therefore my overall experience is a bit better then that of the other distances' runners.
I concur with the other runners that the race kits leave a lot to be desired. Your bib with your name on it is the only guaranteed thing you get. For the rest of your goodies you basically make your own efforts at the Expo. Since no bags, I had to make an entry for some kind of personal information gathering box, and then they gave me a nice red Goodlife reusable roomy bag.
For my bib, I had to make my way through a number of exponents with their advertised products. In the middle of the hall, there were the bibs. And then, in order to make a proper electronic registration of my bib, I had to go through another portion of exponents and see/sample their products. One product that I liked were the detachable white sleeves. They told me that they explore some kind of new smart material which would have some special relationship with water and sweat. I took two sleeves as a sample, and had them at my race as a sun protection for my arms. As for the t-shirt, I saw a booth with many different t-shirts where I was able to pick up a light teal t-shirt from 2012 which was beautiful. I did not even realized that the official colors of the race were different! ))
To sum up - the expo was organized in a great way to commercialize the race, and to put the runners in a position where they just could not avoid going through the exponents. A good way to make your own race kit.
I chose the 5K mostly because of the scenic waterfront course, and I enjoyed it. Nothing like the negative experience of marathoners and half-marathoners. Nice route without significant uphills, and most of the second half was a slight downhill. One thing that I did not foresee was abundance of the small black flying waterbugs during the first waterfront part. As I had my sunscreen lotion over my face, they were sticking on my skin, and I finished with a few small corpses glued on my face. I even inhaled and swallowed a couple of the bugs. I wonder, would that qualify me for the Run For The Toad?? )))))
Second time running the half marathon. Share many thoughts of others, although think they've been a bit harsh/unrealistic.
Fast (flat/downhill except Hog's Hollow, designed for PB)
Gigantic finisher medals
Water/aid stations (I thought this was fine - decently spaced and staffed, enough water and gatorade at all of them + 2 gel stations)
Post-race food (not gourmet but bananas, oranges, CLIF bars and bread snacks do the trick)
Expo/Race kit (minimal)
Price a bit high (especially given the lack of extras)
Post-race atmosphere (crowds, bands, booths, etc. - felt kind of dead at the end)
Post-race water (just Gatorade)
Ran the full in 2015.
The marker signs this year until 35k were positioned for the 2013 marathon course route and not for this year's route. The 2013 course had an extra 300m after the turnaround at the most westernly part of the course. This year's course was 300m shorter at the start to compensate. As a result, every marker sign this year until 35k was 300m earlier then it should have been. This was apparent from the fact (as someone else has pointed out) that the 21k marker was 400m away from the 21.1k half marathon mark.
This is inexcusable.
Ran the half marathon as a tune-up run for the Ottawa half a few weeks later.
Scenic course (although not very flat)
Got last years race shirt for free (which was much nicer than this year)
Worst expo I've ever seen (barely anything there and a lot of booths were unattended - I picked up my kit at 6pm on the Friday)
No bag for the race kit - just a bib and shirt
Boring generic "marathon" race shirt (I ran the half and the shirt should reflect that)
Not enough port-a-potties at the start
No marshalling/organization of corrals at start
Not enough water/gatorade stations along course and they weren't properly spaced out
No water at the finish, only Gatorade (if it wasn't for the Britta sponsor handing out dixie cup size glasses I don't know what I would have done)
Overall I wasn't very impressed. I won't be running this race again unless major changes happen. It gets 1 banana for the nice medal.
This was my second time running the full marathon. I ran a PB twice so this review is not about being bitter with times but it has major flaws. The expo is dreadful, no bag, just your bib and tshirt. No magazines, energy drinks, snacks. You take your bib and go. This race is not cheap at 120 dollars either so where is the money going Goodlife?
The markers were off and only marked every second km. There was 350 metres from the 21km marker to the half way point (way over). Down on the lakeshore at the Humber bridge I had to ask a stranger (not a marshal for directions) and in a big city marathon this should never have to be done.
On the ground at what my watch told me was the 40km marker was written '40km' in huge letters only to find that the 40km marker was actually 400m ahead.
The last thing you need in a marathon at 33km is to hear bicycle bells ringing to warn you they were passing, it's dangerous to both people. Another note, why isn't the route out and back on the highway where there is no danger of running into a child queuing at an ice cream van. Shabby organization.
Lots of people mentioned the lack of water. The cups at the end were a joke. I drank about fifty little shot glasses of water and was still dying of thirst. This is a major oversight and water should be plentiful. Last point, the medal is ridiculous. It is oversized and it's not cool, it's laughable. I only gave this two stars as you can run a fast time on the half course.
The lakeshore route is boring and dangerous for runners. Save your cash and run Scotiabank waterfront in the fall.
refund runner (I wish)
I wish I listened to my friend, what a stinker. I cannot believe some people actually gave this event any more than 1-2 bananas. They should let people post how many races they have done here so you get the idea of these reviews and where they come from.
I run alot, and race, but for fun and charity often not for prizes. I live over 2hrs from the city so when I come in to Toronto I make it a weekend or at least 36hrs worth. This will be time I don't get back sadly, and I won't blame the organizers for traffic jams and road closures.
The expo was, in a word, a funeral. Worst ever and I have been to over 50 of them, even in really small races and towns they seem to make an effort. I was glad the weather was nice so I made it a very short trip on the Saturday.
The actual race...wow....I did the half and my friend did the 5km, but we knew a walker in the 5km and they started these events four hours apart! $#$@ that is the stupidest scheduling I have ever seen.
The route is actually cool and fast, but that's it, no support, no music, no one really cares and it's as if the city looks the other way for this event. The medal is....bonkers....so that's why I struggle with the one banana.
Not enough water after a long distance race.....cruel and unusual punishment. Shame on the organizers, sorry for those like me who have a bad taste in our mouths for sponsors like Goodlife who deserve better.
This was my second time running the Goodlife Half and will probably be my last.
The expo was more than lack-luster. The race kit is bag-less and all you get is a t-shirt and bib. If you're lucky enough to go on the Friday, more than likely you'll get your shirt size (I was able to get last year's shirt for free too) but I've heard of shirt sizes running out by Saturday morning. Shirt sizes should have been guaranteed! There were only a handful of exhibitors at the expo and it was pretty lame.
Organizers are terrible at providing updates either by email or on the website. The images they have for the medals and shirts are sometimes from 2 years ago and there's never any new content on the front page. No hype, no swag.
The start of the race was uneventful for the 1/2 and the only thing separating the corals are pace bunnies so it's pretty much self-marshalling. Water/gatorade stations weren't laid out consistently as described on the website, and a lot of the stations seemed to have watered-down gatorade. Signage was good as I saw it for almost every KM, and the run route is great and scenic. The split timing was marked at 15.8KM - who puts a SPLIT time at 15.8KM for a half marathon?? All major intersections were patrolled by police so that was good. There were actually 2 gel stations for the half which was surprising. The finish line was great for the last 50m as it was full of spectators and cheering/music. Would have been nice if they called out your name as you crossed. A lot of people complained about not being able to find water after being handed medals. Food was oranges, bananas, and some bread things. Medals for this race are pretty awesome though.
Personally I didn't enjoy this entire race experience as much as the Scotiabank one.
Great route and finish line. I didn't like the start corals, but everything else was good.
I have run the Goodlife 1/2 Marathon for the last three years and this will definitely be my last time. I was shocked by the disorganization of the event this year. Every time I thought they'd messed up the worst that they possibly could, something else would happen to prove me wrong.
It all started at the "expo." I have never been to a sadder expo in all my years of running. It was pathetic! They moved it from Hall D into Hall C and it was still too small for the space! I normally look forward to attending race expos to sample new products and to maybe find some good deals on new gear. To say the pickings were slim is the understatement of the century. I decided not to let it bother me and I went to get my bib...which they gave me without safety pins. Nice! When I went to pick up my race t-shirt I was informed that they'd run out of size small and medium, but that I could have an XS or a large... How the hell can you run out when people have placed orders for their size?? The registration fee includes a shirt. I paid for it. When I complained I was told that I should have arrived earlier (I went at 2 pm on the Saturday). You're joking, right? You should have placed your order correctly, Goodlife! And so, I left the expo with my nightgown sized race shirt, my pin-less bib and a 50 cent coupon for eggs. Great experience!
When I arrived at the race the next day I was surprised to see that there were no dividers up to indicate the positions of the corrals. You basically had to just move your way through the crowd until the majority of people around you had your bib colour. There was no one assisting with this, so all of the participants were left to self-marshal. Additionally, there were exactly 4 port-a-potties set up at the starting line and (as you can imagine) the longest line up of all time. NORMALLY at races they have an abundance of port-a-potties at the start as most people would like to use the facilities before they start running. It's kind of a no-brainer. It became clear at the end of the race where all of the port-a-potties wound up - there were a fleet of them set up after the finish line!
The water stations along the course were not organized well at all. A lot of the time I had to go grab my own water. Additionally, they weren't spaced well along the course (especially along the Bayview extension portion of the course). Apparently, there were gels being handed out, but I never saw a gel station along the course.
I have never run a race where traffic took precedence over the event at hand. I was shocked when my fellow runners and I were made to wait as a police officer gave a car the permission to make a left turn. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Oh, no, please, by all means - CLEARLY you have places to be. It's not like we're running a race here or anything! If the roads are closed, the roads should be closed! End of story.
Upon completing the race, I was (as you might expect) very thirsty. After being given my medal (and I will say this – the medals are quite nice for this event), I was excited for water, but was instead presented with every type of Gatorade you can imagine. Ya…No. Water! PEOPLE WANT WATER AFTER A RACE! After making my through the sea of Gatorade and walking for a ways, there was a Brita water booth…with water in cups smaller than Dixie cups. Runners were just standing there taking shots of water. It would have been hilarious if it weren’t so very pathetic!
Avoid this race like the plague. The Scotiabank Toronto Marathon is a million times better.
I find it unfortunate that this race is not as popular as Scotiabank. Personally, I think the course for the half marathon is wonderful. Starting out at Lastman Square, there is the immediate cheer from the spectators, which continues in pockets along the Yonge street course. Then, it turns lovely as we run in the Rosedale Valley. It's nice and quiet but not for long until we hit the main roads again. More spectators and cheers. I really enjoy this course. While Scotiabank gets the numbers, the half course is boring and sad. Personally, I think for Goodlife to stick around it needs a rebranding. Something to bring in the crowds...a new medal? a challenge?....something that people say, 'okay', I want to run this again. It needs a refresh so it can compete with other local races.
Where do I start?
Expo was horrible. No bag at all. I ended up getting a bag from Columbia but there was nothing to put into it. So, there I was, with an empty bag.
The race itself was smaller than I expected. The latter half of the race, wasn't organized. I'm specifically not calling it disorganized because disorganized implies poor organization.
There was sporadic water for latter half. We were promised two gel stations and we got one. We had to stop and ask for directions.
Porta-potties were few and far in between. We actually had to do a pit stop at Tim Horton's.
Signage was at a minimum, there wasn't really any spirit being displayed.
All-in-all, it's my last full. I hated every moment.
The only good part was the crew I was running with.
Other than that, the race (non)organizers should be ashamed.
I ran the marathon. Nice race shirt but no extra energy bars or other goodies; the expo had nothing special.
The nice route passed plenty of landmarks in Toronto. The part of the route was shared with pedestrians on the lakeshore which might cause some trouble (did not for me though). The aid stations might not be enough to fully support a longer run (water and food both) but the volunteers were happy to refill bottles. Thanks for everyone again for helping there!
The finish line was alright, cold water, oranges, bananas, bagel, Mama Obama somewhere around as a special guest. Huuuge medal, they called my name when finishing. Nice experience overall.
I was very disappointed with the organization of the race.
The expo was mediocre at best. Your race kit consisted of a t-shirt and bib. Not even a bag to carry them in.
The race organizers laid out a chart of water/aid stations at every 2-3km on their website.
There were stretches where we should have had water - one for at least 5km - but none were to be found. There should have been 2 gel stations, but there was only one on the course. Volunteers were handing out water to non-race BYPASSERS first before the runners.
At the end of the race, there were no water bottles for the runners – there was only a sponsor that was handing out incredibly small water cups, almost like the ones used at the dentist office to rinse your mouth.
Kilometre markers were often wrong, and worse, was slim to none once we hit the trail. At one point (at a fork) we had to stop and find a “volunteer” to ask where the route was. Expect to play frogger at the last 15km stretch, fighting your way through your weekend runners and angry cyclists.
There was also a definite lack of porta potties along the route. I only spotted two – one porta potty at each site.
For all this bad organization, at least I left with a nice big, hefty medal.
Was not impressed at all. There was a stretch seemed like 3-4 k no hydration stations. At the end of the race there was no water station! A sponsor was providing incredibly small water cups. All races I have done at least water bottles were provided at the end of the race. Will not to do this race again.
Considering past reviews this race has received on this site I wasn't expecting the most well run race. However, I'm very happy to say that this was a really well organised, well marshalled race, and the volunteers did a really outstanding job. I hugely enjoyed the course and the support along the way. The t-shirt, whilst not the most inspiring design, is at least fairly decent quality, and the finish medal is excellent. Top marks!
The course route is terrific and much better than Scotiabank`s. I look forward to running this again. always well organized and the volunteers are tremendous.
Honestly the biggest mistake of my life
sort of a meh course
not really enough water to get through it comfortably
This was my first half marathon and i loved it. The refreshments provided was good and the expo was alot of fun. i did like the route except there was a 4-5km distance with no spectators. It would have been good if the race was set up so there were more spectators along the route to keep us motivated but overall it was really well organized!
This was my first half and overall I was impressed. The course was well constructed and provided ample water stations end post race refreshments. I would like to see the organizers put more effort into their first aid planning. I had gotten separated from a friend on the course early on who later collapsed and was taken to the hospital with a sever asthma attack. Once finishing the race, no one was able to tell me where she was or even if she had completed the course. Also, no one in her family was notified. It took over 2 hours to locate where she was taken. Very frustrating and scary. I would like to see a more organized system for communicating emergency events like this to family/friends
I liked the route but I wish there was more goodies in the race kit. There was a certain part on the route that was boring without any spectators for quite some time. I'm debating if I should run this one next year or the Missasgua one.
I love this race and will tell all my friends. Great expo with lots of cool stuff and helpful volunteers. The course is fast and and that's why so many of us hit get a PR on it. Well organized water stops and nice course for a big city. The shirt and medal is tops!!
I ran the half marathon distance event. I missed the expo (picked up my kit the morning of the race). The shirt (courtesy of Karbonsports) was pretty cool in design. But apart from that and the race bib, nothing else. The course itself started at North York, running all the way down Yonge St. As such, the elevation was slightly downhill, leading me to a respectable PB. However, unlike some other bigger marathons the course was not really inspiring.
Post race, the collection of medal and food was ok. The size difference between the half and the full marathon medal was huge - I wished I had run the full instead! Overall, an average race with no real hiccups. Plan to run next year for the giant medal instead....
This was my first Half Marathon.
We enjoyed the race, nice downhill.
The cons, the finish end is quite bad, no food left.
An error was made were my credit card was charged 3 times. I called the office, emailed, got a reply after a day. They are still looking into it.
Nobody have time to follow up on these issues. The race was 5th May 2014 and now we are at 7th July.
Last time to do it.
This was my first FULL Marathon.
I loved the route, lots of downhill. And the medal is huge. Volunteers were encouraging.
The Expo was a big disappointment. NO SWAG... come on! I paid a bunch for this race. I'd rather see a smaller medal and some treats.
By the time I finished,(5:10) there was not much food left... only bananas and a dry bagel. And no photographers either.
Also, no bands and not many spectators to cheer me on.
The trail out and back was not fun... if it weren't for a few people in front of me, I would not have known which way to go. Marking for the course was poor once I was on the trail.
All in all, I enjoyed the route, scenery and volunteers were encouraging. But, I won't run the FULL marathon again. There is NO COMPARISON between this and STWM. Scotia Bank is WAY BETTER.
Ran the half marathon. For me, the course is the best of the GTA halfs I have done, there is a charm to running down Yonge Street with thousands of other people and no cars :-)
I note the complaints others posted here about the other events - can't speak for those, since I did not see the 5k walk or marathoners finish.
Regarding the expo, I preferred it when we were able to pick up at a hotel in the downtown core. The CNE is a bit inconvenient to get to.
However, what is this about "swag"??? Do people really enter these things and train for months just to get free granola bars, coupons, and t-shirts? If the course is accurately measured, timed, marshalled and supported, I give an event a score of 3.5 or higher, and the Goodlife Half checks out on all of those points.
I did the half marathon race and enjoyed it. Nice, fast race with just enough hills(more down than up) to keep it fun. The stretch on Rosedale Valley and Bayview had nice scenery for a road race. Plenty of washrooms at the start and a couple of them along the route. There were buildings nearby that people hid in from the morning chill before the race. Baggage check and pickup took very little time. And enough free bananas to feed elephants (I am not a zoology major and am only guessing)!
One complaint is that there wasn't a 1:45 bunny as the website said there would be. Might consider to apply for the ears myself.
Race route was great and much appreciation to the volunteers along the way. The Scottish pipe band was fabulous! Thanks so much! But otherwise absolutely no entertainment and little fan support along the way, which was disappointing because that enthusiasm and encouragement makes races so fun. Extra important for the final stretch and it just wasn't there. Very happy with the tshirt, it fit perfectly and liked the blue colour. Thought the gigantic medal was overkill. Had a hard time reuniting with my family at the end. One more note: I haven't run a ton of races and got confused by the reversing of the order of water/gatorade at the stations along the route-maybe that is the norm but it would help if the later stations clearly called out which was which as was done at the earlier ones once the order reversed. I had gotten used to water first followed by Gatorade but it seemed to change and I was having to use energy to ask when I was getting tired. Good run but not my fave.
I was very excited to sign up and participate in the 5km walk this year. It was my first Goodlife experience. I was very disappointed with the 5pm walk. It seemed as though it was a "has been" compared to the rest of the events. The location was very pretty but certainly not easy to get to, due to various obstacles such as road construction, etc. I would wonder how many registered people got discouraged enroute and did not participate.
The big problem, was that the route was not well marked. There was neither signage nor a person at the 2.5 km mark to tell you to turn around. As a result, according to my sister's accurate pedometer walked over 3pm before we realized, as did others that we had gone too far and should return. The end result was of course that our times across the finish line were totally inaccurate. I was so disappointed. This winter I had worked very hard at beating my own time for other 5pm I have done, which has been 60 minutes- I am a 73 year old with arthritic hips and try to keep fit by walking which is fabulous feel good exercise. According to my sister,s time, we had walked the 5 km in 56 minutes- my fastest ever. On the record, it shows that we crossed the line at 1 hour and 12 minutes.
Hopefully next year things will be better. In the meantime, I will do the Scotia Bank again in the fall and see how well I do.
I enjoyed the route- beautiful areas of the city. I didn't like how family wasn't aloud in the finish area, it made it so you'd want to leave asap to meet up with them, and essentially leaving within in minutes of finishing. No chocolate milk at the finish or really anything other than bananas and oranges (except the awesome greek yogurt cereal I got from the My Next Race promo team!). Expo was pretty blah too.
Over all its an ok race, not thaatt bad if your an easy going person who just enjoys a good run.
1st point – Look to STWM on how to organize a better race.
•Goodlife was my first full Marathon . Overall the route was scenic & quick but not well organized. Will always remember it because it was my first and almost qualified for Boston.
•My hat is off to the volunteers at the expos and the race. You can only do with what you have and have been instructed. Those above need to do a better job.
•My Bib wasn’t at the Expo on Friday afternoon had to go back on Sat or p/u at start) – Common courtesy would have been to e-mail those that it affected in the Morning -not late afternoon – when you knew of this in the morning!
•The swag – wait there wasn’t any!!! Except the shirt which is one size to small – my daughter is going to wear it as a sleep top.
•Like someone else said Expo was a self-promo for Goodlife
•The start of the race was boring – nothing to remember it by.
•No calling of names as you crossed finish line
•The turnaround point back to OP has you cut across runners going west while you are going east to Lakeshore Blvd – ridiculous especially after 30+km!
•Massive post-race line-up for bananas & apples.
Last point – Look to STWM on how to organize a better race.
Will not do race again.
Will only recommend if you are trying to qualify for Boston or I hear thateverything has improved.
Ran the Goodlife marathon for the first time (my 5th marathon). Overall scenic route but terribly organized. Zero swag (not even a granola bar) and a crappy shirt. The return part of the marathon follows a figure-eight pattern where you have to cut across a stream of runners to get onto Lakeshore Blvd coming back...didn't realize I'd also be playing Frogger after pounding away 32+ km. The last part is also on the Martin Goodman trail so you end up weaving around all the regular weekend runners and getting passed by angry cyclists. Post race - huge lineup for a banana/apple. Would suggest Mississauga or Ottawa for a spring race instead.
This was my first year running this half marathon. Having just done the Uxbridge half 2 weeks prior (a very challenging race!) I was hoping for a good race.
PROS: I did enjoy the course - only one big uphill early on and a really scenic downhill run along Rosedale Valley Rd. The water stations were keeping up (just) but I never had to wait. The medal was very nice.
CONS: Really no swag, except the T-shirt. I kept asking where the samples were at the expo - there weren't really any!
My major problem was after finishing. I was waiting for my husband then realized I was surrounded only by racers and spectators weren't allowed in. I proceeded out the exit and waited. And waited. Everyone around me was dialing their families wondering where they were. Unknown to us, there were 2 exits. A simple sign would have avoided all this confusion. By that time we finally figured this out, I was freezing and my runners high long gone. This was a big let down and the most exciting part is seeing your family at the end. Hopefully, this will be avoided next year.
First off, kudos and kind words to all the hard working race volunteers. I don’t blame you for what I am about to write.
If you are even remotely a competitive walker, please avoid the separate 5K walk at noon. That was hands down THE WORST organized walk or run event I have ever been in. If you feel you have to race, I suggest you just enter the 5K Run which happens earlier in the day and start at the back as is normally requested of walkers.
You know it's going to turn out bad when at the starting line you see a bunch of people with charity banners for the walk, and a bunch of people asking the start organizer if they can RUN in a timed WALK event and he says to paraphrase, “Sure, I suppose you can do whatever you like”.
The 12 noon start time was most likely to get the walkers out of the way of the fast Marathoners making their way westward through the narrow Martin Goodman Trail in the morning. Fair enough. If you’re entering though, you might want to consider that at 12 noon, there's alot of people strolling, rollerblading, walking their dogs, cycling at this time of day on the trail too.
"This course has been accurately measured and is certified by Athletics Canada" says the webpage. This was true as long as you knew where the turn around was, for there was not one sign or person on the course telling you where to turn around and head back eastward at the halfway mark. As a result, I'm sure most walkers were following each other and turning around at some arbitrary point over by the Palais Royale. By my GPS, that 5K course was actually 7K. A look at the resulting crappy chip times of everyone tells me that this is the case for many. On that same note, I probably could have also turned around anywhere early for the vanity of having a first place showing.
Because of this, I cannot even remotely recommend this walk race and I will never do it again. For some people, this may be have been their first competitive event and these incidents would certainly be a turn-off. For people thinking of entering this one in the future, don’t. Not all races are this bad, and this one was worse than bad.
Since the walk started at noon, I had alot of time to make some observations you might want to consider if you are thinking about running the full marathon. At Ontario Place, the full marathon course tracks west along Remembrance Drive and onto the Martin Goodman Trail. As long as you are a fast runner and can make it to Remembrance Drive by about say 10:30 am, the course from this time begins to be poorly marshalled and a bit of an obstacle course for slower marathoners:
-by 10:30, a lot of half marathoners were starting to enter the finish chute area and leave the finish/food area and onto Remembrance Drive. Some of them are strolling the course with their friends and loved ones, crossing across the road, or standing around on Remembrance Drive to meet their friends, perhaps oblivious that they were getting in the way of runners still on the full marathon course. This was in addition to cyclists, rollerbladers, and baby strollers on Remembrance Drive.
-westward along the publically open Martin Goodman Trail, same deal – you have runners going home, baby strollers, cyclists, dog walkers.
If you are a marathoner looking for your first marathon experience, you might want to consider running in the other marathon later in the year for a much, much better run experience.
This race made me embarrassed for the city of Toronto. I have run races throughout Canada, United States and Europe and this has to rank as one of the worst races I have done. What was wrong with it? Here is a partial list.
1. The runner’s expo was terrible. The biggest focus was for Goodlife to harvest email address and names to solicit. ING, Suntrust, Subaru, Scotia etc. never used these marketing tactics. It ticked me off from the moment I walked in. Want a bag? Not unless you provide your email address.
2. $10 parking charge to pick up the race kit.
3. Your race kit consisted of a t-shirt and race number. Not even a bag to carry them in.
4. The starting corrals were no existent. There was more organization at the Burlington Santa Claus run.
5. The start had no excitement, bands or anything memorable.
6. There was not a single lousy band anywhere on the course. The Las Vegas Marathon and the Quebec City Marathon had lots of music. I have been at races with everything from Gospel choirs to hunting horns. Given Toronto’s vibrant music scene this was terribly disappointing.
7. Very little in terms of crowds. Not the organizer fault but it makes it disappointing for the runners. The Richmond Marathon had really neat fan zones. Perhaps Toronto would want to take a clue from them.
8. For us middle of the pack runners standing and waiting for water at water stops just makes us angry. Didn’t we pay the same fees as the runners in front?
9. No announcement of names at the finish. I don’t expect to hear every name but at least give it a try. For those doing it for the first time it can be a special moment.
10. It was a cold day and there were no foil blankets. Not a single thought about the runners!
11. A long lineup for a banana and an apple. This is one of the worst post run food tents I have ever seen.
12. Not a hint of any music or entertainment at the end. The message for me was clear – I have your money get out of here.
The bottom line is avoid this race, particularly if you are spending time and money to visit Toronto.
I ran the 1/2. This was my first time doing the Goodlife event. I was a little apprehensive given the number of poor reviews from previous years. But overall I enjoyed the experience, and would do it again.
- Great course. Well marked, fast and very enjoyable.
- Tech shirt is really nice (though it fits almost a size smaller than it says)
- Great post-race shuttles to hotels/subway
- Really nice medal
CONS (looks like a lot, but intended as constructive criticism):
- What happened to the start corrals?? Why make people pick a corral at registration and then have it unenforced? I spent the first 2km trying to get around very slow runners. On top of that, runner finish times were ranked based on gun time, instead of chip time. Use the chip time, or enforce the corrals. It sounds petty, I know, but I found it annoying.
- $10 parking at the expo was obnoxious.
- Swag was pretty meager (close to non-existent, outside of the nice tech shirt)
- Finish line food was limited to bananas, apples and a pita.
- Volunteers at the water stations seemed to be struggling to keep up with demand (though apparently improved over prior years)
- Not a fan of the the sharp turns both immediately before and after the finish chute
- The brutal headwind over the last 3 or 4 km [ OK, that's not the organizers fault :) ]
As a gift to me, my daughter signed me up for the 5 k walk and she took part in the 1/2 marathon . She beat her PB with a time of 1:54. We are from out of town so it was costly with having to pay for parking for the expo and paying for parking for race day. My husband came along as a support for us both. It was very disappointing that friends and loved ones had to stay outside "the cage," and not able to come greet the competitors. This was my second walk that I have taken part in, but have been to many of my daughters races. All other races family and friends have been able to join the racers after they receive their medals and enjoy the after-race atmosphere. The 5 k walk seems to be a bit off joke, as it was announced at the beginning you can walk , run or whatever! It is a huge accomplishment for me to take part in a competitive walk.race( if it's okay to call it that).
I have an autoimmune disease called scleroderma and have worked hard to keep fit. So it was disappointing that the walk wasn't monitored. The course wasn't marked for the turnaround, so I ended up doing 6 k, I should have listened to my app for the distance., my time is reflective of 6 km. this may not.seem like a big deal to 1/2 or full marathoners, but it does to someone like me. On a positive it was nice to walk along Lake Ontario and spend the weekend with my daughter. I
finished the 5 k walk with a time of 37:32, ( according to my app) to bad, I have been told for a walker!
I know it does take a lot of work and volunteers , so thank -you!
OK. I'm a bit biased. This was my first half 8 years ago, and I have since run the half 3 more times, the full 2 times (Including a BQ in 2011), and volunteered a couple of years. I know there are detractors, but I don't get it. I really don't. The course is great. The aid stations could have used more help this year, but not bad. The finish area at Ontario place is great - although I did notice a large lineup after I went through. I missed the chocolate milk this year though!
This race might be easier for me because I live right at the start, but still, I always wonder about the what I'm missing.
nice and flat
expo could have been better
had to pay for parking for bib pick up and on race day
Race expo - had to pay $10 for parking to pickup my bib and shirt and it was not worth my time otherwise.
Shuttle service to the race was great. Didn't take it home.
I love the race overall. Well run, well organized, water stations were good given 4k people use them. The run route was amazing and it charged me up. This track has A LOT of downhill.
The finish was exciting and fun but food, etc. afterwards was impossible with lineups and mayhem.
Few negatives making this 4 vs. 5 but will be back again for sure!
This is my second GoodLife Marathon and it was excellent. The coarse has a lot of variety, the logistics were very well done, announcers professional, ample water stations and post-race refreshments were very good. My wife and I are signing up for next year. Thanks to the GoodLife team and volunteers. Well done!
This is my second year running the half marathon and again, it was ok. The expo was nothing special and the non-existant race kit was a disappointment again. All you get is your bib and a t-shirt! At least this year I knew the sizing of the shirts so I ordered a medium (which fits like a small). The shirts were nice thought.
The race was the same as last year, great run down Yonge Street, the water stations seemed more organized this year (although I can't say for sure because I ran with my fuelbelt so I didn't actually use them). The medals were nice, there was a huge line for the food after and there were no bagels or yogurt! All you got was this tiny pita thing, bananas and apples.
All in all I had a good run but next year may try the Mississauga half-marathon instead.
I would consider this the worst organized Marathon event in my experience.
First lets start with the expo. There were no signs telling you where to park or where to pick up your bib. Parking in the lot is $10? NO way. Once we (my wife and I) parked and walked into the hall, we had no clue where to actually get the bib. Only by asking around did we find out it was in the back of the hall. But after we received the bib, we had to walk to the other side of the hall to get our shirt, and they didn't give us a bag to check?! This was the FIRST time at any race ever, we didn't get a bag. Then we had to walk again to the other corner of the hall to "activate" our bib. Basically poorest excuse for an expo I've ever seen.
Now to the actual race. We started at Mel Lastman square. While there was parking, there were no signs telling you where to start, or where to even check your bag off. None. Sure there were plenty of volunteers, but I shouldn't have to ask for directions every time I turn a corner. We basically had to follow the crowd or wander aimlessly until we found the bag check. Once we found the bag check, there were again no signs to the race start. Only by asking people we found out it was around the corner. No water was provided at the start either.
During the race, we found ourselves lost at moments, unsure of the path to take. Only small signs hinted at the differences between the Marathon route and the Half-Marathon route. There was even a point at mile 22 when we crossed a bridge and the people coming back were crossing over the path from where the people were going to the turnaround. This made a head-on collision type situation and again we were unsure if we were headed in the proper direction. There was no volunteer to help guide the way.
Once the race finished, we had no idea where to get the medal until we walked around the corner and people behind the fences were giving out the medal. This was very strange for a race. We thought we had missed the medal people. I understand wanting to keep people moving, but the medal carriers could very easily have been missed. There was also no shuttle back to the start. There were no taxis lined up either. We had to walk .5 miles over a bridge to the bus station, take a bus, switch to a tram, switch to a subway (bathurst), switch to another station (yonge), then finally get out at North York Centre, where we started the race. This took 1 and a half hours! Can you imagine after a marathon sitting in transit for that long while your legs lock up and you start getting dizzy from malnourishment? Again, very poor planning and management.
All in all though, the course was pretty flat, and nice. The volunteers were very helpful. The people handing out water and gatorade were extremely nice. There was even a moment where they handed out half-bananas. Which we appreciated.
I can only give this race 1 banana for all the issues. Will definitely not race again.
Loved it. I ran the marathon 2 years ago, and again today, and thought the organization was 100% improved. Excellent course, great crowd support, the volunteers were all fabulous. At first I didn't like the bike path part either, but this time I think it helped involve random passers-by. Who knows which ones we inspired today to be more active? Will sign up again next year in a heartbeat.
I ran the half and it was my first time at this race. Overall I had a good experience. There was water at the water stations, the roads were closed and finish line had great energy. I am not that picky really. I have done some amazing races and this was not one of those (Ironman races are the best) but overall not bad. The expo was a little small but I got all the goodies I needed including compression with 2XU which is a well needed addition to Toronto. I had to transfer my bib from a friend and it was an easy process. I can see why some people might have some negatives here but overall it was a good race.
Mad as Hell (runner)
What a debacle, am I am trying to be nice here because I know how hard it is to organize a race like this (former organizer, now retired). My wife suggested we spend an extra day in the city (we live 90 minutes away) and take in some sites so that meant using the shuttle bus service.
But first...expo was a yawner, worst I have been to (28 marathons already now). No music, no buzz, very few freebies handed out. Race day....overall, average, but the out and back on a bike path, really, isn't this a big city race? And the topper....two shuttle buses sitting idle, no drivers in site, dozens of runners waiting for....what....thankfully it was warm and sunny so we trekked ourselves back to King Street to get a streetcar. This event needs help!
Ran this race 2 years in a row. I have read the reviews but I never seem to have an issues like some people have. I have ran the 5k and last year ran the half marathon. The weather was beautiful last year. Loved the t-shirt and medal. I have registered for the Marathon this year...hope the weather is nice...I can't wait for that huge medal!!!
Team Tiara C
I know I only did the 5K. But I am a new runner and this was my first formal race. And had I not been running with an experienced runner, who told me not all races are like this, I might have given it up. The 5K felt to me like little more than an afterthought, or a cash grab for both registration and sponsorship from Loblaws and Weight Watchers. 5K racers - there are other 5K races to do - in the GTA in May - pass this one by.
Terrible race. Awfully organized will be looking to find another race at for this time of year to participate in
I thought this was a great race. Stressful because it is so large, but event is very well organized. Just have to plan ahead to get there on time and stress-free.
This was actually my first race I have ever ran, and my anticipation was pretty high and I was extremely excited. Since I have nothing to compare this event too, I think my review is unique. (Ran the Half Marathon)
First- the kit pickup was disappointing, the one organizer was extremely rude when I asked about a shuttle service. When I asked about parking the next day, he literally said "You don't have it figured out yet? Pfft- Good luck buddy." Another volunteer was rude, but they're volunteering their time so I can't be too critical.
Race day- I walked to where mel lastman square was...couldn't find the start line. Walked through a city building where a ton of runners were walking around and using the bathroom, so I stupidly waited in line for nearly 20 minutes to use the bathroom. Finally I figured out that the start line was on the other side of the building, and got my bag to bag check. Race went well, finished 1:54, however like many are saying, aid stations were totally swamped. Had to wait for people to pour water, which seemed annoying.
The signage was GREAT!!.....until about 15km in, and for whatever reason it totally stopped. I had my watch so I knew the distance I had covered, but very strange how the km signs weren't up. Finishline seemed kind of lack luster- and although I didn't mind it- it makes you turn to the right immediately, so I am sure some of the full marathoners were frusterated and had to nearly stop to walk right, rather than continue and slow for about 200m. Medals were handed out readily, water and gatoraide were plentiful. Couldn't find food though- saw people with bananas and oranges, but I couldn't find them.
Overall: Cons: Man- organization was poor. Expo was crap, especially with the really rude organizer. Aid stations ran out of cups that were full. Only realized the one station was handing out gels until I ran past them (not clearly marked). Signs were not clear further into race. Finish line was more like a big crowd of people, unorganized mess. Pedestrians walking into crowds of runners (one buisiness woman got a big sweaty suprise when I brushed past her HAHA!).
Pros: Route was alright. Younge street is kind of boring, although I think the intention was your running towards the CN tower, and than you go a little further past it. Full Marathon course takes that idea, but than makes you do a shitty version of the waterfront marathon for the last half. Either way the route was O.K. Medal was pretty sweet.
Recomendation: If your in Ontario and want to do a marathon around this time- Go to Ottawa. As bad as the Half was, the full sounded like a complete trainwreck (running out of water, lack of medical staff from 30k-finish where most people collapse, lack of signage) . I can't in good mind give less of a review than 1 bananas because 1)the crowd was good 2)The course was ok (for the half, not the full).
Running Waterfront full in October- will be taking a train to ottawa next May.
PS to all the people reviewing disappointment with the 5k, and complaining "its centred around the marathon"- yes- obviously an event called "Toronto Marathon" is going to centre on the Marathon. Just sayin.
Update they said they are only mailing medals out to people according to bib numbers. Not sure what that means as no one could find the medal area whether they finished earlier or later which was when they ran out of medals. So they are only sending medals out to the last few people who finished at the end because they say this is when they ran out. Many people missed getting a medal as it was difficult to locate the medals. Overall don't waste your money to race this run in future as even the half and full marathons had major problems. Too bad! Lookin forward to the Scotia run!!
This is my second time running this race, and I really enjoyed both years. I've run many halfs, and this is one of the best organized ones I've done. The starting line is easy to get to, the point to point course takes you down Yonge street, a must-race for people who like to sightsee while they run. Aid stations were plentiful, despite the hot day there was ample water and Gatorade. The volunteers are friendly, as are the police that manage the intersections. The medal is even neat!
Thanks for nothing
I can't believe my luck, 2 weekends in a row and I get terrible experiences from both a 5km here to warm up for the 10km the next weekend. I thought it was strange that a 5km starts at noon and my husband wondered how busy it might be along a path open to the public, I should listen to him more often.
Overcrowded, no trained or experienced volunteers telling us where to go, no medal at the finish (not that I really cared) but it was advertised and some people had them, and they ran out of so many amenities I guess the other runners in the half and full were more deserving? I think this race was better years ago from what some people in the parking lot after were saying and clearly these reviews are spot on.
Well, despite getting a BQ time in this marathon, I would not recommend it to anyone, and certainly will never return.
The course is not all scenic, and once you get to the back of Ontario place, you are essentially on a large sidewalk with other pedestrians! There were bikers, walkers, joggers on our course! It was next to impossible to spectators to view us, except at the finish.
The water stations and Gatorade stations were poorly run; luckily I had my own hydration pack or I would have been severely dehydrated.
Sadly, I usually run the Ottawa Marathon in May, but opted for Toronto this year. I was very disappointed. I recommend Ottawa in May, Quebec City in August, and Scotiabank Toronto in the fall.
Agreed, running the full I saw ppl go down on the road and along the final 10km where we as runners were yelling for Marshall's and to get runners over to grass. That and lack of water in the heat and general support for us full runners on that back stretch felt disorganized.
Glad I could refill my bottles but others weren't so fortunate. Also small nitpick but pace bunnies were scattered and hard to find and the half runners were a messy merge.
Will give it another chance but I really hope it gets better or I'll be done with this one.
I enjoyed the route. I'm still disappointed that the City continues to refuse to run the subways earlier on race day to get people to the starting line, but that's not the fault of the organizers.
I only gave it three out of five because I felt that the aid stations were spread out too much later in the race, especially for the wamer weather we experienced on race day. I'm sure there were logistical reasons, but I also found it odd that the marathon and half-marathon routes diverged a couple of times. They started at different times and in different directions, and the Marathon had a detour from the half-marathon route.
Start - no issues at all - smooth and easy
Course - being open to the public on the Goodman Trail is a nightmare - we should be fenced off to gen.pop.
Aid - the organizers ran out of cups for the last 10k this year which meant no water to those without bottles for the last 10k. I was Sub 4 so this means majority of people had no water to finish race. I asked the race if they got more cups this year and they said they did. Obviously not enough, again.
Swag - The shirts for this even S-U-C-K. They are ugly, ill fitting (uber short in length) and cheap looking. (Race logo sucks too inmy opinion but thats just me).
I wont run this race again. Done it twice and would rather support Mississauga that got crushed by this race landing on it.
With this only being my 2nd half marathon... And 1st ever in Toronto.... I wasn't sure if my negative thoughts and opinions about this GoodLife event were valid!
After reading all of these comments!!! I know I have a right to b annoyed!!!!
Travelling to Toronto for 2 hours and the severe disappointment made it worse!!
1.WATER!!!!! Or lack their of!!!!.... Fighting to get a drink if they even had any!!!
2. ZERO music or entertainment.... Nothing to pump you up or keep you motivated
3.Cars driving on the road and pedestrians in street
4.SWAG bag was empty.... A shirt and a bib for $95 bucks????
5.Poor Full Marathoners having to run with walkers and bikers on a path???!!! WHAT is that??
6. Markers??? Timers???
Won't b back next year
I feel that signing up and getting myself prepared for the race was very easy to do. The website and emails were clear and consice with the information provided. However, I feel that this race was poorly organized. Firstly, nowhere on the website was there a listing for the 5KM start. When arriving there, none of the volunteers really knew where the start line for running was located. Me and my friend who were running were sent to all different areas, making us late for the race. When we finally were fed up, we asked another set of volunteers who said that the race started near a "blue car". Finally we were able to find the start line, where only 2 people were standing to guide us through the start. Once we started to run, there were cars coming towards us, and no route markers, so we thought we were on the wrong track. After about the 2KM mark, then we were able to follow the crowd a bit better, but all in all, the race could have been better organized, more signage, and more knowledgeable volunteers.
If I were to recommend this race/event to others or attend again next year, I would call to make sure I knew where exactly the start line was located and get there extra early to make sure that you have time to figure things out on your own.
This was my 8th full marathon, my first time running this one.
I have to agree that the Expo was a little disappointing in that there were not many vendors, and not many handing out free samples of anything (other then race phamphlets). No bags....although I found out they DID have bags you just had to ask the right person and they were essentially hiding them under the table. I would be okay with bringing my own reusable bag if the race website asked us to do so in an effort to be environmentally friendl) but all the other races have them so I expected the same.
Onto the race! Well the start of the race was uneventful. No music, no hype, just people standing around waiting. I knew this was a smaller race so I didn't expect much, but I guess it is sort of anti-climactic.
The race course itself is really very nice. I like the scenic first half through the neighbourhoods near Casa Loma and of course the down hill part of yonge street is good to gain a time buffer, however I found it still hilly. There is the big hogs hollow hill, but there are also some rolling hills throughout the first half. When I got to the 27 km mark and the half marathoners are finishing and I am heading out west along the waterfront trail it is a little tough to hear people finishing their race, but the scenery along the waterfront is beautiful. It would help to have some extra marshalls along that portion of the course seeing as there are so many pedestrians and just general people walking, riding bikes and rollerblading on the marathon course.
Once you hit the turn around point at about 35 km and head back along lakeshore there is no traffic issue and the race was fine, however the third from last and second from last water stations ran out of cups and seeing as it was a pretty hot day - that really was not good. One of the volunteers was pouring water into the mouths of runners and of course I choked trying to do that.
The finish area was great. Lots of support from the crowd, no confusion, the finish area had lots of volunteers, food, I loved the chocolate milk/protein drink! And easy to find friends and family.
All in all, I did enjoy this race very much despite there still being a few improvements needed. The crowd support was great, all the volunteers along the way were cheering and supportive to us and the course really is a great showcase for Toronto.
I would recommend this race as a nice low key spring race without the glitz and glam of a race like New York/Chicago. Though They do have the biggest finisher's medal I have ever seen :-)
50% banana ranking, stinky. Maybe the organizers of this race should hang up their running shoes one and for all. Maybe a smaller race will be more within their abilities.
I ran the half marathon this past weekend and while I was thrilled with my race I was very disappointed in the overall organization of this event. I live and train in Toronto, and I would love nothing more than for GoodLife to be a world-class event that draws in runners as well as spectators along the entire route. Having run several truly world class events in Chicago, Boston and Arizona (not to mention Mississauga and Scotiabank right here in the GTA), the GoodLife races have a long way to go. A few observations:
1. The waterstations were the most poorly organized and manned I have ever encountered. Volunteers were doing their best but there were simply not enough of them. Not to mention the fact that 1 water table and 1 gatorade table on only 1 side of the road with this many runners is woefully inadequate. I stopped taking fluids at the halfway mark because I was losing too much time trying to get a cup.
2.Kilometre markers were often wrong. Yes, we runners are checking our watches and we're anal about the time. Markers are important. 'Nuff said
3.For $85 we got a cheap shirt, a bib and no goody bag. Really? Shame on you.
4. Finish line food - bagel, orange, banana. Same as above.
5. Somehow I missed all the promised entertainment stations. Anybody else hear them?
6. As several others have mentioned above, the route along Rosedale Valley road became ridiculously congested as we merged with the marathoners. Lots of dodging and weaving as we try to make our way past them. Surely there has to be a better alternative.
Running 2 events over 2 consecutive weekends (Sporting Life this coming Sunday) is a really bad idea. It divides organizers' attention and too many mistakes are made.
IF you want to compete with Scotia or Mississauga then all these issues need to be addressed. Will I run it again? Probably, only because I live along the route and it's just easy. Would I come in from out of town? Nope.
For anyone travelling to Toronto and who is looking for a world class and well organized event, I highly recommend ScotiaBank in October. I hope things change because I really would love to see this event grow into what it claims to be.
Second year running the half, and had same issues as most of the above reviews:
- no bag at the bib pickup (would have brought my own if warned);
- port-o-poties still in front of the start line for the half;
- corals poorly marked, had to find pace bunnies to guess my spot;
- some of the km markers were off this year, but at least all were present;
- water stations couldn't handle the crowds of the 2h+ half, had to stand and wait for water;
- people passing out from the heat on Aylmer, John, and Fort York (see note re: water) - saw medics with each person and medics constantly passing on bikes, kudos and thanks;
- cars were being allowed through gaps of runners on Wellington at York - - almost got hit by a car - - seriously??
- finishing area had much better signage this year, but needs some shade for the hot day. No issues for myself with food / water, but wanted some shade.
This race would be better to focus on the half only and drop the other distances. 5k is an after thought and the marathon competes with the bike path. I would recommend running the half, but skip the 5k and full.
My first half marathon. Thoughts:
- great weather
- friendly volunteers
- nice and easy route
- Shuttle bus (Hilton pickup) lost and took almost an hour for a 20 minute route
- Shuttle bus drop off on the WRONG side of the start line...not so smart as the slow buses had some late participants
- no starting corrals that I saw
- Water stations (especially at the end) ran out of water/cups
- BIGGEST COMPLAINT - roads converged at the finish line - it was also an exit back to Toronto for those that completed the race - meaning racers had to push past (I was one of them) crowds just to get to the end!
- Finishing time medals - I asked five different volunteers where to get my personal engraved finishing time (which I preordered). Five different answers. Kudos to the last one who didn't know, but had the insight to ask someone in the VIP tent.
My girlfriend ran this race and hated it!!! No medals?? That's the cherry on the top of a badly organized race!!!
This was my first time running the Goodlife Half and I really loved the route- it was fun and challenging. The expo was a little weak compared to Scotiabank and it was weird how they didn't have bags for kit pick-up.
I think the race should have had corrals and a staggered start. Since they only closed off one or two lanes for most of the course, there were a lot of points where it was really crowded so you had to slow down or waste energy dodging other runners.
Water stations were BRUTAL!!! They were too small so we had to stop and wait for volunteers to fill cups and they were only on one side of the road so they got really clogged. One woman who walked the half told me the water stations were empty by the time she got there.
The food at the finish line was sufficient but nothing special.
The bag check was efficient but I'm glad it wasn't raining because everything was out in the open in the parking lot.
Overall, I really liked the course and the medal was really nice but I don't think I'd pay to do this one again. Not much bang for your buck.
The absolute worse organized race in history!
I was so disappointed in the 5k race. Most of what I want to say has already been mentioned.
-No bags at the expo for our 'race kit'. It was not a kit, it was "here is your bib and your shirt". No freebies in the kit! Had to go around and pick up freebies at the expo (and put them in what bag?!). I ended up asking Running Room for one of their plastic bags.
-The volunteers were useless! I asked at least 10 different volunteers where the 5k start line was. I got there at 11:00 and we were told we needed to be at the start line for 11:30. It took me TWENTY MINUTES to find the start line because the volunteers were sending me to all corners of that caged in area. At one point a volunteer sent me to the finish line and I was stuck going against traffic at the finish line trying to find the start!
-Only 2 portable washrooms for the spectators! Seriously? Spectators couldn't go into the 'animal cage' to use the dozens of portable washrooms there so they were left with the 2 outside which were absolutely disgusting.
-Less than 500 5k finisher medals. I finished 400-something and there were 1400 5k runners and NO MEDALS! I was so disappointed! It is nice to take a picture at the end with the race medal around your neck but I missed out on this. I walked up and down the finish line asking the volunteers where I get my medal and it was about the 4th volunteer that told me they ran out. I was already peeved about not PRing, this just made it 1000x worse.
Overall extremely disappointed in the race, especially for a big company like Goodlife Fitness!!!! I will NOT be running this race again.
A relatively downhill (minus the hill at 6k) marathon course, not too crowded, great volunteers--tons of enthusiasm. The route is a little boring if you're used to running on the Waterfront (you hit it around 27k). Streets are only partially closed, so there are some pissed off drivers honking like crazy people while you run by thinking "if I could go faster right now, don't you think I would? Hell, give me a ride!!"
I was toward the mid-end of the marathon pack--so it was incredibly disconcerting to have the front of the half marathon pack overtake you around the 17k mark and have people hauling ass past you at breakneck speed down Bayview. So in my perfect world the courses would be separated. Also totally depressing to run PAST the finish line only to have another 15k or so to go.
Not sure I'd run this marathon course again, I'd be more likely to do the half next time.
This is my 4th time running the Goodlife Half. I have to say, I was left with mixed feelings. Nice route, great volunteers, but I noticed a few things that irked me.
1. No bag at the expo. Left holding shirt & bib in my hand, so couldn't really shop or pick up anything else while there.
2. Found shirt sizes way too small. Both my husband and I could barely fit into them. (No, we didn't gain any weight, ha ha!)
3. Water stations ran out of water! Yikes.
4. Wished there was water at the finish. Don't want chocolate milk, water please!
I hate being this picky, but I felt I had to be honest here.
Would I run it again? Probably, but not next year.
Poor organization/poor race atmosphere
Being the 4th half marathon I have run in the past year, this was definitely the most disorganized and least enjoyable (even compared to some 8k/15k/10 milers) race. From start to finish, it was frustrating. I am glad I only paid a fraction of the registration fee and I was not going for a time goal, as my spring goal race is two weeks away.
1) Nice and sunny, no precipitation
2) Great volunteers
Now for some feedback that hopefully the race organizers will look into rectifying for future races:
1) NO SIGNAGE and NO VOLUNTEERS at the start line. When we arrived 15 min the start, there were no volunteers to direct where the different corrals were and where to place ourselves according to our estimated finishing times, and some pace bunnies had not yet arrived. When I finally situated myself between the 2:30 and 2:45 pace bunnies, a blind walker ended up standing right in front of me and I had to dodge her at the beginning. I had to dodge a few other walkers and before I could finally get on pace. Walkers should have been directed to start at the BACK of the corrals.
2) No welcoming greeting to the runners. No music/entertainment before the race to pump the runners up. No countdown. Not even a blow horn to signal the start of the race.
3) Water stations were undermanned. In many stations, there weren’t even volunteers handing out cups! I had to walk over to the table and retrieve the cup myself. Even volunteers were expressing their frustration at us. Some were apologizing because they were too busy filling the cups to keep up with the demand and not being able to hand them out to us!
4) Why were runners with strollers allowed to run when the race website clearly stated they were not permitted. One woman with a stroller on Rosedale Valley yelled for me to get out of her way!
5) On the downhill portion down Aylmer, there were NO VOLUNTEERS/MARSHALS to instruct runners to stay on the right-hand side of the road nor were there pylons down the middle of the road. At one point, a van vas going up (and there were runners going down) on the SAME SIDE OF THE ROAD! Where were the route marshals to direct us? Because this is a windy road, runners couldn’t see the van coming up. Thankfully people ahead were yelling “car up” warning the runners behind them. This really put runners in an unsafe situation.
6) Some K markers were off. One that stood out was the 15km marker on Bayview. When I looked at my Garmin, it only read 14.5 km.
7) Going along King, we first run along the right-most lane of the road. But then further on before we the left to go to get Front, we were to move to the left lane-most lane of the road. There were cars driving in the middle lane and we had to WAIT for them to get out of the way before we could move lanes. Furthermore, there was NO SIGNAGE or NO ROUTE MARSHALS to direct us to move lanes. Spectators were shouting out the instructions for us to move over.
8) Going west along Lakeshore, there were cyclists going EAST inside the runners’ lanes. There were runners who had to dodge the cyclists to avoid being hit by them
9) Before I turned left into the final stretch toward the finish line, there were spectators standing in my way. Why were there not any volunteers to ensure that the path was clear for the runners?
10) BAG PICK UP: Again, there were NO VOLUNTEERS supervising the bag pick up. It was almost a free-for-all. Anyone could have picked up ANY bag, there was absolutely no supervision of our bags.
I would not pay one more dollar to run this race. I'm glad it was only a training run for me or else I would have be sorely disappointed.
In comparison to Toronto's (half) marathon in the Fall, this race is subpar. I would recommend anyone looking for a spring half or full marathon to consider the "other" (half) marathon on the same weekend, or for other races later in the month.
Frustrated first timer
This was my 1st marathon and drove up from Philadelphia to race.I was disappointed that there were no bags of ANY kind to carry our (VERY SMALL) shirts and bibs around the expo.I've done much smaller 5ks and half marathons that gave us drawstring backpacks or fabric grocery bags filled with extras!!! How were we supposed to carry our stuff, plus all the vendor samples without even a plastic bag??!! As for other "swag"- nothing but the medal at he finish and we had to go find the person handing them out!! They should've been at the finish line! The free food vendors were already packing up when I finished(under 6 hours and there were many still coming in after me) so all we got was water.The Lakeshore route was not marked,was very confusing and had us trying to fight through crowds of people who had already finished and were mingling on the path.Then there were the rest of the weekend bikers, rollerbladers,and runners(not part of the race) coming in all directions that we had to watch out for.I expected musicians,bands, organized pep crowds or something more along the route to keep up the excitement( as was described by the organizers).And having the half runners merge part way though with the full runners (at a narrow crowded park) was absolutely ludicrous for us all!! I'm glad I finished the race and love the city of Toronto but I wish the organization and the race itself had been better.The only saving grave was the police were very good a traffic control and keeping us safe from a lot of people trying to drive into us, and that the medals are very nice. I wouldn't do this marathon again nor would I recommend it to anyone.
I agree wholeheartedly with you. You mentioned a few points I forgot to point out. Thankfully my first race was the Yonge St 10k and it was great! Try that one next year. I am looking forward to the Scotia race as it appears to be the best one in Toronto.
Organization Needs Work
I did the half marathon. I have participated in this event before several times (half/full), with nothing but positive feedback. This experience was a bit different. Nice route - I would do again for a PB. Organization needs work.
- Kit pick up - no bag for bib & shirt and had to activate chip on the way out of expo...this could be easily forgotten if in a rush. I prefer when the chip activation was during the pick up process not on my way out of the expo.
- Shuttle Bus - I arrive at Ontario Place at 6:55 and wait for a bus - I arrived at the start at 8:10! Once on the bus, the driver pulled out a map! The bus volunteer seemed to be in no rush either even though we were running late - Need more buses. Drivers should know where to go prior to arriving. I didn't have enough time to warm up and have a washroom break (massive line ups) - I chose the washroom break.
- Start Corrals - were there any? I didn't see any but apparently they were there!
- Volunteers at aid stations - seemed lacking at times. Waiting to get water or getting it myself.
- Merging with marathon runners on rosedale valley - this was frustrating. Had to weave around PACKS of slower runners.
- Posted Finishing Times - after searching around for some time asking numerous volunteers and people, I was told that the finishing times were to be posted on the "Milk To Go" truck. I went twice and didn't see them.
- Post Race Food - banana, orange, bagel. That's it.
This is my second year running the Goodlife.. last year I ran it as part of a relay and this year i did th 5 k with a friend. The 5K felt like an afterthought.. No signage as to where the start line was, asking the volunteers proved to be useless and frustrating as they had no idea where the start was. The water stations ran out of cups and they also ran out of medals and we were told that our medals would be mailed out to us.. How can you run out of medals? You have registered numbers, your medals should equal those numbers.. how are they going to know which runners have medals and which ones don't if information was not sought?
As beautiful as it was to run this route down by the lake, hosting it at 12 was too late in the day, and really the volunteers should be better informed of start locations and general race information. Would i run this race again, not likely.
Overall I found this race at least for the 5k unorganized. Starting from the websites lack of updates or information for race day. On the website the 5k racers were told that they had to be at the start line for 11:30 as they would not let anyone in after that timeframe. I showed up at 11:15 and was told that we had 45min to starting time. Meaning that there was no need to show up early. There was no signage or directions as to where the starting line even was for the 5k. I walked around with another racer around the fence line which had the race finish line and race area contained, until we asked other racers where the start line was and they pointed that it was in a totally different area behind a hill away from the main racing area. There was one little sign behind the hill that said 5k. I also had numerous other racers asking me where it was as noone was able to locate it. There was no volunteers or people working the race to assist either racers or spectators in case anyone had questions or needed help.
The race starting line for the 5k racers was pretty cheesy, it felt like I was running with my usual running room group. As there was no feeling that we were running an actual race. People were squeezed onto a narrow path and racers were also standing on the grassy areas as there was no space for racers to line up to start. Made me wonder if the chips for some of the racers were even activated as I am sure there was alot of first time racers - and they may not have been aware they had to pass over the rubber matting to activate their chips at the start.
Other than that the race pathways had lots of pedestrians along the way and it was not marked for the 5k race as to where we were at - it was marked for the marathoners. Overall it felt that the Goodlife was more geared for the marathon runners and the 5k race was just a sideshow. My friend that ran the goodlife half-marathon mentioned that it was also unorganized on her end as well.
We were also told that we could pick up cowbells at race area but again there was no directions as to where to get them - I wondered if they were even available?
At the end of the race the medal area was pretty confusing, I believe as there was all volunteers working there with no clear direction as to how to do their job. Volunteers were complaining about dropping gatorade on each other and not really assisting runners. Goodlife actually had to mail out engraved medals to all the 5k racers as they missed getting a medal at the end of the race. Which was nice of them.
The food tents also were again being manned by volunteers who didn't seem to care in helping racers, or in even being there.
Overall I felt it was not well organized, manned, with a lack or care or directions to racers. Yes we are there to run our races but we pay for an organized race so when this is missing - it makes you think twice about wanting to race with Goodlife ever again. On a side note The Yonge Street 10k was really well organized, and it felt like a true race in all aspects. The medals also were pretty nice!
This was my first half marathon and I had a great experience. I was aiming for a 2:00:00 finish and made it in 01:57:30 so was very happy with my performance. I loved the route and the weather was great. At around the 10km point I saw the 1:55 pace bunny and stuck with him for the rest of the way only losing him with about 2km to go. Was very happy with the medal at the end and the food tent. Some of the things that I did notice were:
- the start was very confusing, there were no corals and everyone was just bunched together. I have run events in the past where your corral color was on your bib and there were organizers to make sure you were in the correct one.
- the water stations seemed very disorganised. It seemed like they weren't ready for so many runners at once and they didn't have water/gaterade ready for the runner. I was VERY glad that I ran with my fuel belt and didn't need to stop for water
- the police were allowing pedestrians to cross through the route, this is ridiculous!! I was NOT going to stop for anyone and am glad I didn't have to (although it seems like a lot of poeple did)
- I felt the finish was organised, I got my medal, had my photo taken and made my way to the food tent, no issues there
- My biggest complaint was the race kit, or lack of. I was very surprised to get my bib and shirt, with no bag, no free studff, no samples no nothing!! I've done several smaller events and the race kits were awesome! My husband did Harry's Spring Run Off and his kit came in a bag with the race logo on it!! I had expected more out of this kit.
Overall, I would do this event again and would recommend it. Hopefully they will see all the negative comments others have left and there will be improvements for next year.
Congrats to all who ran the race!!
This was my first time running the Goodlife event. Truthfully we were doing it because of the kick ass medal but obviously had some basic expectations having done tons of races through Ontario and into the US.
-scenic course BUT we all registered it long. I know Garmins are not 100% accurate but we all came away with at least an extra 400m.
-nice medal and shirt
-the expo isn't that great and they said flat out the reason they limited the kit pick up to 2 extra per person was to get people to come to the expo and spend. (really??)
-the porta potties are in front of the start line. Ridiculous.
-the marshalling was good until you hit Ontario Place and then it disappeared. I get that we were on a 'public' trail but having bikes ring their bell at me and there was no indication that a race was going on was kind of sad.
-the water stations didn't seem to make sense where they were placed. The 35 (?) station ran out of cups...seriously?
-I am not fast but was well within the time limit and at the end there was no water, no bananas and the oranges I did find were the ones at the bottom of the box = moldy. Thank goodness for the Milk to Go people.
Overall, it was disappointing and not a race I will ever consider again.
Overall, this was an incredibly poor showing by whomever thought to be charging upwards of $100 for a marathon with not even bags for the race kit…but this was the least of my issues with the race.
I ran the marathon and had an unending string of frustration from start to finish. A brief overview:
-No signage at the start, so people were milling around looking for where to begin and heading in the wrong direction more often than not. Now, I got there very late (thank you, TTC schedule that was also not as posted), so I didn't expect to be starting with the other marathoners. However, once I did find the start, there was NOTHING posted telling me which way to go! This was a common thread throughout the event, and I started off in the wrong direction before a police officer stopped me three blocks later and turned me back to the actual route.
-NO aid stations other than every 5km or so…? Do the organizers not check the forecast? Scotiabank has stations every 1km or so, at least every 2. Also, some stations with bananas but no water? Really?
-NO medical staff anywhere present. I saw people dropping like flies on Aylmer Rd. and passing cyclists were tending to them.
-Once I split from the Halfers again down at the lake, there was ZERO signage as to where to go. I had to fight my way through the congregating 5k runners who understandably did not know that they were blocking the marathon route. Volunteers were nowhere to be seen, so I followed the MG Trail.
-Once on the MG Trail, again no signage. I finally saw the 32km sign hidden off on another path, so I guess that I must have diverged somewhere and done a longer loop.
-At least twenty marathoners that I saw got lost in Humber Bay Park. No signage- a recurring theme. I personally saw five runners cut a 1km loop out of their race because they simply didn't know where to go and went straight. No volunteers anywhere, only a kind policeman who was off duty but had stayed to direct runners as there was nobody else to do so.
-I was asked to stop FIVE TIMES by traffic cops to let cars go through. Seriously?
-At the finish, nobody handing out medals. I was so irritated that I didn't even care, but a fellow runner found a volunteer holding them in a back area, nowhere near the finish.
Here is what I would do with everybody's entrance fee:
The lack of organization, medical staff, and signage was appalling and, frankly, embarrassing.
Did somebody really have to die in this race because there were no paramedics at the finish? NEVER again will I give them my money.
Yes, Peter. The same was true for the 2:45 half marathon pace bunny. This person ended up finishing the race at 2:36:05. Nine minutes is a big time difference.
They ran out of cups at the 39k aid station, so it was up to the runners to make the choice: pick up a dirty one from the ground and "recycle" it, or go without water. 'Nuff said.
I wholeheartedly agree with you about the strollers. I saw strollers on course. Their website clearly states that "... no in-line skates, roller-skates, bicycles, strollers or dogs will be allowed on the course." I don't know why they didn't have anyone enforcing this rule. Shame on the race organizers.
I found that the pace bunnies were not following the pace band of the Running Room pace band I had for my 3:40 pace. This was my 86th marathon. For that reason I choose to ignore them because I knew better. But for less experienced runners it is too bad this happened
Too bad it was so hot---this is not the fault of the race organizers
Yet it is also too bad that some stations ran out of cups for water
I will run this race again but not every year becausethere is much room to improve it still
This is my first time running in this event. I have only been running for a little over a year, but this was my 13th organized race. My 13 year old daughter and I ran the 5K, and it was, BY FAR, the most disorganized, disappointing race I have ever participated in. The Race Kit was a joke (not even a plastic bag for your shirt and bib), the volunteers had no idea where the 5K start was so you were on your own to find it, the course was not closed to pedestrian traffic, there were no start corrals which made for some challenging moments dodging around walkers that had started at the FRONT of the pack, the post race food (what was left of it) was poor (not even a bottle of water), the water stations ran out of cups and, best of all, they ran out of finisher medals after about the first 400 runners or so. Seriously??? There were over 1600 participants!!!!! When runners posted comments on their FB page about concerns/issues/questions regarding the finisher's medals etc, the comments were deleted without response. That just shows how much they value their runners' feedback. We had participated in the Mississauga Marathon 10k the previous night - now THERE is a fantastically organized race weekend!!! Top notch all the way! We will definitely not be participating in any of the events in this race weekend in the future unless some serious improvements are made. I'm giving it one banana simply because the course along the water is actually very nice - otherwise, thumbs DOWN!
I ran the half for the second time this year and found the route and weather to be desirable, however the organization of this race needs help! The expo left a bad taste in my mouth when my shuttle bus sticker was not on my bib (and it took far too long to sort out this issue...I had pre-paid for my shuttle with registration). No bag at all, just a shirt and a bib too. This was very different from last year! Also my name was not printed on my bib (even though I registered well before the deadline) and all I was recieved was a 'sorry' after emailing race organizers.
I took a shuttle bus to the start line and was shocked to see that we were dropped off on the opposite side of the road of the start line. A whole shuttle bus of people (and more bus fulls after) were forced to literally cross through the marathoners who had just started (therefore it was a pretty full pack of people). I had to run through dodging runners which is not fair to me or to them! The start line was just as disorganized...for the second year in a row the porta-potties were situated in FRONT of the start line. You'd think after the numerous complaints about this they would have been moved this year but no, people in line for them had to be asked to move out of the way so the race could begin. There were no start corrals which left me spending my first part of the race dodging slower runners and walkers (yes walkers...right up at the front), which definitely affected my time and also my mood at the beginning of the run. I also found WAY to many pedestrians crossing at almost every intersection. Police were on duty but not doing anything...having to dodge people on bikes and families with young children and strollers should not be part of a half marathon! The finish line was just as disorganized. I was surprised to see all of our bags literally piled on the floor of the parking lot (especially after the Boston incidents) with very little volunteers monitoring them. Anyone could have walked up and grabbed any bags they wanted. Also one small opening for all the runners to exit and find their families? It was a disorganized mess. I also disliked how far runners had to walk to find our shuttle buses. What made it worse was none of the volunteers seemed to know the direction to send me in...so I literally spent half an hour wandering around looking for the buses. Although I do like the course the disorganization of this race makes it more stressful then fun. I ran the Scotiabank half this past October and perhaps the high quality of that race leaves me comparing the two...but maybe Goodlife organizers should take some tips from those at Scotiabank because that race is top quality especially when compared to this one.
I would not recommend this event. It's a good prep maybe if you are training for something bigger.
The route has some runners being stopped to let traffic get through which I thought was ridiculous. There are absolutely NO BANDS, little volunteers, and a huge stretch of path with no music, no crowds, just pure boring road.
We even ran past Goodlife Gym--nothing in terms or a sign, music, or acknowledgement that we were running a marathon sponsored by Goodlife.
At the end, we recieved our medals. No swag bag. During the race, the water stations were poorly run...Some ran out of water, others were in line waiting for the volunteers to scoop water out of the buckets. Usually, the aid stations were lined up full of cups so you don't have to wait in a long line in the heat!
I will never run this nor recommend this to anyone. It's very expensive and it was a joke of a marathon.
I ran the half marathon. I loved the course layout. However, for a world class event I was really surprised at how unorganized this event was. As a first time runner to this event (my 5th half marathon), it was very confusing trying to figure out where the start was. I could easily see the start banner but, I wasn't able to immediately determine which side of the banner was the start. At first I felt a bit stupid however, I could see that there were several people around me having the same issue. Also, there were no corrals to speak of. Just one big crowd. All you could do was try and find a place near the appropriate pace bunny. I was also very surprised at how few water stations there were along the course. I had to wait an average of about 30 seconds at each station just to get some water. They were so under-prepared for the numbers of runners going by. There should have been at least double the number of stations and each station should have been twice the size. Also, the course itself was so narrow for most of the run. It was really difficult to get around people and to do so, you had to either go up on to the sidewalk or go around the orange pylons which was somewhat dangerous given that there was oncoming traffic. And pedestrians at almost every intersection! I couldn't believe the number of pedestrians who attempted to cross the road right in front of the runners! And the police did nothing to stop them. I almost knocked an elderly lady over who decided that she was going to try and cross right in front of me. I've never seen anything like that before! And at the end of the race, there was no water nor was there any food stations that I could see. So strange given the size of this event. To be honest, this race does not come anywhere near the calibre of the Mississauga event which is what I will be doing next year.
This was my first ever 5k run. Geared myself up for it. The race it's self was great. Besides the fact high-noon on a hot sunny day is very hard to prepare for during the winter months. Would be amazing if they bumped the time down to 10 or 9:30am.
MY BIGGEST problem is not receiving my medal upon completion. I am not at all a super-star and did not finish in the top numbers. Huge disappointment by the organizers of this event. If you knew going in that there was not enough medals to give out to all participants, why not save them all and mail to everyone after the race when the rest of the medals would be ready? This way no one would not receive one. I read on the facebook page that it is going by bib numbers, how do they know that when a person crossed the finish line they went to get their medals and not right to the medical tent, bathroom or water station and planned to return back and get medal upon seeking help?!I am just curious how they knew when they handed out the last medal and do they really know who did not get one?
I think a lot of people are disappointed. This race has been going on for years and I would think all the wrinkles would of been ironed out long ago.
I've watched a lot of other 5k races and this is the first one that does not have "corrals", this way we don't have to zig-zag around other runners to move ahead with our pace. Over-crowded and lack of signs when you arrive at the event to direct people to go.
Let's see if I ever get my medal.
Not sure about the 1 bananas above. This is a fantastic event. Everything seemed to go off without a hitch, and I really like the new finish at Ontario place. Much better!
I ran the half, in general I do like this race, it has a lot of positives:
- The route is really nice, really scenic, and the signs are clear.
- The water stations were well-maned, and the volunteers really enthusiastic.
- The atmosphere is really festive along Yonge st, and towards the end, a lots of support.
- The runners area after the race is pretty nice: big and well managed: lots of water/gatorade, porta-potties, and food. Also getting the bags was a breeze this time less than a minute!
However, this year there was an issue at the beginning that pretty much ruined the race for me:
-The corrals for the half were completely useless: the people with the signs indicating where each corral was supposed to start showed up less than 5 minutes before the start of the race, when everybody was already waiting, so the few of us that tried to respect the corrals had to dodge runners for at least 5kms. The first k after crossing the starting line was ridiculous: almost walking pace.
This race needs to up it's communication between officials and volunteers as well as medical staff. Having medical staff on course is great-but if there's no way to reach them, they aren't used to their best ability. Watching runners drop in the 37-42km range with no one to help them besides spectators is sickening. This race should take a lesson or two from Boston and step it up. This is a disgrace, the REAL Toronto marathon (Scotia) is much better organized.
Terribly organized, bad km markers and hard to find start. Not to mention lack of prizes.
I've been running the 5k for 3 years in a row. I love that they changed the course and now takes place along lakeshore. Last year (2012) there was no clear direction of where the starting line was and we walked around for a good hour before finding it...none of the volunteers could tell us. This year it was nice that we got karbon technical shirts but I'm very bummed that they ran out of medals for the people doing the 5k....do they not know how many people were in the race?
This is my favourite part of the race and it was ruined for me. I am going to be participating in the scotia bank toronto marathon and if I like it I'll start supporting that race going forward.
Glad I missed making this 5k my first
After reading the reviews on here, I'm extremely glad I didn't make this run my first-ever 5k like I had planned. I tried to register on the last date before a scheduled price increase, but the website was down at least an hour before the deadline. I emailed the race support to ask if I could still register for the previous rate since the site wasn't working and was told quite rudely that I shouldn't have waited until the last minute. I might have been willing to pay the higher rate if they'd politely declined, but not after being lectured that it was my fault I couldn't register on time.
I ended up doing my first 5k at another 5k-only race and was so glad I did. My positive experience at the other race was what encouraged me to believe I could become a runner and train for a half marathon. Now I've run four halfs and am prepping for my first full (with no plans to ever run the Goodlife).
This was the 2nd time i did this race, and most likely the last time I will be doing the 5k. This and last actually were very unorganized, but this year took the cake.
I agree that the start line was very confusing and should have corals. When I got to the 4k water station at approximately 30min marker they ran out of cups so they were pouring it in your hands.
When I finished the race I waited for my best friend to finnish. When we went to get our medals we were told they ran out and will be mail. From the looks of the 5k medals they are the same from last year, so did they just use the left overs and not make new ones ie. with year of the race engraved on the front like other races do.
Then when we went to the food station,all they had left was a few boxes of bagels and oranges NO bananas (51min marker) there still would be 5k/half/full marathoners out there. I would he annoyed if there was no food when I finished.
So since was the 2nd year I did this race, I won't be back next year. Probably going to try the Mississauga one, unless the Toronto Marathon changed a few things. Cheers
I did the 5K for the first time today. I was a little worried after reading some of the reviews but overall it was good. A couple of things, mark it clearer as to where you are supposed to go to start the 5K. Second, I did this race with my son as he turns 16 and I turn 40 this year. At the end of the race we are told that our medals are going to be mailed to us - for real? Still, it was a beautiful day to run so who can complain about that!? Lots of food at the end as well as water and gatorade. I would definitely run this again although would probably move up to the half.
Frustrated 5k runner
My friend and I participated in the 5k run today.
It was an okay run but seemed unorganized. We had a hard time finding the start and there was no corals so everyone was all mixed in. The first 2k was not easy because it was so crowded and you had to try and get with the people who run the same pace as you. When we finished the race they had run out if 5k medals and told us they were going to mail them to us, another runner told me we just didn't get them even though other runners had them and it posted on the torontomarthon site that every 5k runner will receive a medal. I hope I do because I ordered an Itab thinking I was going to.
Oh and they were out of bananas, or at least I was told they were.
The 5K event was the worst organized event that I've attended in my running career. I've run many different events in the last couple years and this one definitely was considered an after-thought (as it is a part of a marathon event). It's not easy for a 5K runner to find the start as there are no signs to mark the start area. I was one of the first few hundred people to finish and was probably the last to get a finisher medal. There were likely 1000 people who didn't get a medal...shame on the organizers leaving a bad experience for so many first time runners. I always state I'm there to run, not eat lunch, but if you are providing food, maybe having enough for everybody should be the plan. The lack of organization resulted in walkers starting up front and blocking runners from achieving better times. The 5K event needs the same attention as the others or it should be dropped. It's apparent getting the registration revenue was important, but it needs to be an organized event. Shame on the organizers of this event.
This is my first year doing this race, and I did the 5k. It was okay, but the race kit did not even come with a bag. Not even a plastic grocery bag. I found the start/ finish area to be very confusing. It was good that they had security there so it was for runners only, but they should have had more entrances in the fencing, especially for the porta-potties. The start area was pretty crazy because there were 2000 people and no corrals. I think that they should introduce corrals because I was forced to weave in and out of slower runners for my entire first km. There were lots of water stations, and the spectators were great, but I think it needs to be more clear which volunteers are giving out water, and which ones are giving out Gatorade.
Race was more organised around Marathon and Half Marathon.
5K race was a fiasco. Did not start at Remembrance Dr. where website stated. Instead thousands of people congested in a narrow walkway next to Inukshuk. No finishers' medals - although I saw some had them.
5K is where most beginners in Running start and left a bad experience on organised race event.
What I like about the half marathon is the great support along the course, especially along Yonge Street and in the last stretch before the finish. If you can run downhill well, it is a fast course! My only criticism is that it got congested when the half marathon merged with the marathon at Rosedale Valley Road. Faster half marathon runners are forced to dodge and weave around the slower marathon runners and getting to the aid stations is difficult.
Good and Bad
I am pretty new to races and this was my first half marathon after finishing a few earlier 5 and 10km races to prepare. I think that overall the half seems to be pretty good, a fast course and everyone around me agreed, the finish was well organized and there were lots of bananas and drinks except I think the chocolate drink was terrible. (: My only comment after reading the website again and thinking back was there were very few entertainment stations! Maybe I missed them or did not hear them or they were in the second half of the marathon, but I was not wearing ear phones and for sure do not recall more than a few sections that stood out, and some water stations were poorly staffed and definitely not very entertaining to pass by.
My previous two smaller events were way better (Around the Bay 5km and the High Park spring run).
I come to this marathon from out of town and was looking forward to a first class marathon since this is Toronto and the website says "35 years tradition" so I expect something very big and organized.
It was not very organized from poor signage and instruction everywhere I went (volunteers, staff, at the expo and on race day). Since the race starts in one place and finishes in another and has limited public transportation it should be very easy to determine how to get around, etc. Plus at the finish of the marathon it was crazy with all the cyclists, walkers, dogs and non-runners, I think we were on a bike path for 10km. In my country they close roads and give runners plenty of room since this is why we pay so much money!
The medal was nice (big) and the crowd at the finish was fun but overall I think this race needs better management.
After convincing my not-so-athletic boyfriend to run a race with me in Toronto, I was very disappointed with the structure and organization (better, lack there of) as well as the lack of signage for this race. It was poorly organized and the volunteers were not helpful. Sure, they're mostly highschool students attempting to cover their volunteering requirement, yet it was clear they had not been conditioned to answer questions nor direct us to anyone who could. I urge the organizers to take a look at/attend the Ottawa Race Weekend, next year as they have much to learn. The single speakerphone gentleman instructing us 5k'ers to form ourselves behind him was pathetic, not an attack on him as an individual, but the lack of organization was evident in the fact that nobody could hear him. The fact that the race was structured and set to run on the same path as those Sunday recreationists, rollerblading and biking on the exact same path as the race, is absolutely unacceptable. It truly felt that the organizers just wanted their cut after the necessary proceeds were allotted to the respective charities. I'd rate lower than 1 banana if I could. My boyfriend and I will not be running with you next year, or any after, for that matter.
Yes to Scotiabank Marathon being Toronto's signature marathon. Excellent course. Excellent organization. Half marathon a very good course as well. 5k race was totally unobtrusive to longer races.
Wake up Goodlife. Abandon your marathon aspirations and produce a kick-ass Toronto spring half marathon.
Attention race organizers. Running ANY race on a pedestrian trail without proper security is a very bad idea. Mississauga did in 2010 - Do they still do it? - and NOW Road2Hope is going to do the same thing in the fall this year?
I ran the half. This was my first half and first goodlife race. Many bad points, and a few good ones:
1. The website had the old map when I signed up. I was under the impression that the race would finish at Queens Park! Guess what I felt when i was passing CN Tower!
2. My kit did not have the bag tag! I thought the organizer did not have a baggage handler system in place.
3. There was no small male T-shirt by Saturday noon. They had only medium or large! I believe they expected all the fatties to run the marathon/half! Anyway the shirt design/color was a good fit for a clown parade!
4. The portable washroom were in front of the start line! There seems to have been some very serious thorough and strategic thoughts in doing so! The starter said "...clear the way... Race is to start soon!"
5. Route was great and scenic.
6. Weather was excellent. May be the organizer can take some credit for that!!!
7. Some aid stations had only Gatorade. No water! Some aid stations had only 3 volunteers!
8. There was no water at the finish line!
9. Getting to the TTC subway line was a challenge!
This is the most brutally run race I have ever had the misfortune of entering.This year I elected to run the 5k I have previously run the half.Myself and countless others were given the wrong size shirts at expo.Was told that there would be a shuttle bus to take friends and family to finish line.There was but the driver was not given a route and was turned back by police as a result my wife and 19 month old daughter missed the race.No water.No km markings.to top it off the medal was the exact same as 2010 medal are they kidding.Will never run it again.
Great race - I PB's on the half. Really well organised with water, bananas, and massages at the finish. I loved being down by the water.
I would not run this race again. The course was boring, I was not able to get a shirt and still have not recieved one. I had a bicyclist who was with a half marathoner tell me to get out of the way at mile 16 or she was going to hit me!!!! Then the race was 1/4 mile longer than 26.2 and there was no water to drink. You had to walk all the way through the collection area to get water. There was no family meeting area either. I thought after Scotiabank that it would be worth the drive from Albany but it was a huge disappointment.
I ran the 5k and was a bit disappointed. They didnt seem to be organized. There didnt have anything set up so that we could hear what they were saying before the run and there was no water at all. There were people with pitchers but they were pouring them on peoples hands. This was hard because this run took place at noon. It was very hot.
A very nice route and very well organized bag check. I'm walking to the bag check and someone read my bib and got my bag before i got there....that was impressive. Course support was good.....the new location had a lot of spectators and space for tents.
a little disappointed that the finish was not in queens park but actually loved the whole route and would not be upset if it was exactly same next year
This was my 6th half marathon, but first Goodlife Half. I enjoyed the point to point course more than the out and back course of the Scotiabank Half. However, there were start and post-race issues that need to be improved upon. I had a goal time of 1:52, which equates to a 5:18/km pace. So, I dutifully joined the under 2:00 corral at the start. After crossing the start line, the pack was quite tight and slow, but I expected it would thin out and speed up fairly quickly. About 2 km into the race, I was still stuck at about a 6:30/km pace despite trying my best to dodge around slower runners, so I was already over 2 minutes behind my goal time at that point. By the time the crowd thinned out more at Hoggs Hollow, it was hard to make up the lost time. Is there any way to have corrals set up to minimize such traffic jams at the start? I know slow starts are a fact of life in these bigger races, but I don't recall such a pack at the start of the Scotiabank Waterfront race. At the finish, there was was absolutely no signage to direct me to the bus that was to take me back to my hotel. A volunteer was able to point me in the general direction, but when I got there, the buses were parked in no particular order and there was no way to tell which hotel (Courtyard Marriott or Hilton) any given bus was going to unless you went up to the bus and asked the driver. After running a marathon or half marathon, I don't think runners should need to walk from one side of a large parking lot to the the other and then from bus to bus in order to find out if the bus is the one you are looking for.
So, I would have to say I loved the half marathon route, but not so much the start and the finish. I would recommend this race, but some bugs need to be worked out.
The first half was downhill and then it got worse!!! I ran the full marathon and was generally happy with how the race went up to the halfway mark (the scenic city tour is quite nice and relaxing). I was lucky to have some training partners to keep me company up until that point and we cruised along well aware of the course with no problems (although there needs to be a water station along Rosedale Valley Rd). The middle km's from 21 to 26 were oddly vacant for being through the downtown core with no crowd support or marshals. Things got really bad as I left Fort York Blvd and headed onto Remembrance Dr and continued toward the Martin Goodman trail. There were absolutely no marshals or any indication that I was indeed in a running race, let alone a marathon in a major city! I had to battle with citizen traffic and navigate the course from memory from the map on the website. I know others who either went off course or were led off course and even my watch finished with 42.42k, some 200m longer than expected. Things are indeed lonely at the front of a race and with no one directly ahead to follow, I was lucky to have a marshal cyclist show up and ride slightly ahead of me from about 32k right to the finish (thank you kind stranger). I was also displeased with several aid stations who were unprepared to give me fluids and a few who even gave me the incorrect beverage (Gatorade) after I specifically asked for and was assured to be getting water. Crowd support was terrible on the out and back section along the Lakeshore but picked up at the finish. The shared lane for half and full finishers was not so much a problem when I crossed the line but was likely to get very crowded as more people finished. I was disappointed not to find any fluids (chocolate milk doesn't count!) at the immediate finish and after trying in vain for several minutes, gave up completely as I wanted to see some friends finish. The medal is ridiculously large and I also saw that the ugly t-shirt we all got costs upwards of $100,000. Time to get rid of both I think! It's time that Toronto seriously (re)consider whether it needs two marathons and I'm sorry to say but Scotiabank should be the winner and take it over. No reason why Goodlife can't be a great Spring half, as again, the first half of the course is great. despite the fast and scenic course, the almost perfect weather and an incredible personal result (5th overall), I will NOT be racing this one ever again and would not recommend others to either.
This was my first half marathon and it was a great race. The scenery was very nice, especially for someone who doesn't tour Toronto much. The crowds were amazing and it was such a rush to run to the finish line with so many people cheering you on. I LOVED the fact that our names were on our bibs, b/c periodically someone cheer for me using my name (motivation). The only downfall was after the finish. The athletes were completely closed off from family members, so it took me quite some time to find my husband. More importantly, the water station was placed furthest away from the finish having the message station and food station ahead of it. Also, I was disappointed that the water station was only using small cups and not actual water bottles.
All in all though, a great run! I will definitely be doing it again next year.
I completely agree with the poor marshalling, Ted. I ran into the exact same problem and it was my breaking point. I couldn't get through the crowds and was already having an off day - all the marshalls that were so helpful for the first 24 k seemed to just disappear. It seems as though they forget that people at my speed may actually want to finish!
I ran this marathon in 2012. Unfortunately I did not finish. I will say that it wasn't my day and I was completely under the weather however there were some key issues that pulled me right out of it, that they could improve for next year.
I agree with the other people in that the support is fantastic and so many people come out to cheer us on. I did the half last year and PB'd it and loved it. But I felt completely abandoned after splitting from the half runners and continuing on my way to the full. At the 28 k mark I was already hitting the mental wall and my body had had more than enough, but it was the hitting of a literal wall that took me out of it. They were setting up for the 5 k ON THE MARATHON ROUTE before I was able to make it past that portion and I wasn't able to negotiate my way through the hordes of people waiting for the 5 k and coming off the half marathon that were completely unaware that the part of the waterfront trail they were on was the marathon route. There wasn't any signage or guides to tell them so, and I was unable to find any crew to help me get through that part. Needless to say I wouldn't recommend this race to any marathoners that don't feel they can finish in less than 5 hours (or just have a bad race and get slowed down substantially).
I would however recommend the half marathon, they seem to put a lot of effort into that part of the event and it's quite nicely done.
I ran the 5K and I will not run it again. Clearly the 5K isn't important to the organizers. There was no signage at the tents as to where the bag check was, nor as to where the start line was. Only 1 km indicator along the way. I had to ask where to find the water station at the end--which was AFTER the food station. Hugely disappointing.
This is my first half marathon with Goodlife on May 6th 2012. From the Expo to pick up my race kit, I had everything I needed. Missing bag tag was quickly resolved at the spot. The race route was long but smooth, polic officers as well as the volunteer are great for us. There were signs to show distances as we ran which provided so much comfort. When we finally headed to the finish line at Ontatio Place, more fun and joy there. I received 10 mins free massage, bananas, apples, bagels, sport recovery drinks, water, yogurt and samples. I stuffed myself with these free gifts and I was also on the "candy camera" too! Boy, I had so much fun although I was running with lower back pain half way through the race. I managed to finish the race with the help of willpower. Overall, I believe Goodlife organized very well. Yes, I will do it again. Thank you for having me there along with 14,000 runners.
I did the full Marathon, and what a terrific race ! The course was very fast with a mostly downhill run (though in most cases not too steep) with a couple of manageable uphill sections. The course was also generally very pretty with a nice mix of urban, nice neighborhoods and park settings. There was one ugly stretch, but it wasn't long and it came in the first half so it wasn't too bad. I thought that the fact that the streets weren't totally closed might be a problem, but it wasn't an issue at all. The organization was excellent; I was pleased that the half-marathon runners started at a different time. I've been in mixed half and full marathon races where everyone starts at once and the huge crowd of halfers make the start too packed. The course was fantastic and the crowds were pretty good (Canadians are wonderfully nice and polite, but a bit reserved). Overall this was a first class event.
I did the 5K run. The only other run I've done was the Sporting Life 10K a few years ago, which I thought was a lot more organized. I liked that this 5K was along the Waterfront, but there are a few areas for improvement that would be very helpful.
- The barricades were confusing. Was not obvious where to enter as a runner, and need clearer directions to the 5K starting point. We were wandering around looking for the starting point. Volunteers couldn't give us specific directions and there were a lot of barricades blocking our path to the starting point. Found it 2 minutes before the noon start.
- A note on the website about suggested parking spots and suggested routes to take to get to parking. If runners are crossing the road and cars can't pass, it should be closed. We got stuck on the Lakeshore and ended up taking a half-hour detour to park at Direct Energy Centre.
- Clearer markers for each kilometer. Didn't see any. More music along the way would have been nice too.
- Agree with other comments, it would have been nicer to receive water/Gatorade first before the milk chocolate.
Great race up to 24k and then poor marshaling, no security along waterfront trail and last two aid stations ran out of cups! In general more aid stations needed. From 28k onward runners had to dodge inline skaters, pedestrians and cyclists. I actually had a cyclist ring his bell behind me while crossing the last bridge. He wanted ME to get out of HIS way!
Sorry Goodlife. Will not be doing this one ever again.
Overall; a great race. I found the start area to be a little disorganized (not enough port-o-potties) and not a lot of direction. This was my first time doing the Goodlife Half and the course was more challenging than I expected -- there are couple nasty uphills.
But overall, a great race!!
I took part in this year's half marathon. Have ran it a few times before and the main change this year was the new finish. Lots more space there which was good but I felt they could have organised it a bit better.
No water until a good bit after the finish line - chocolate milk was offered first!
Unlike in previous years there was no obvious place for the awards ceremony and I was told that it would take place at 4pm - not sure if that was correct but I left anyway!
The half marathon K markers seem to disappear after 17K but maybe I just missed them. Also felt it was a bit long going by my GPS and a few others and also the times some people did but who knows.
The expo was pretty good, maybe not quite as good at the STWM but not far off. I personally will not wear the male t-shirt because I find it disgusting but that's just personal taste.
Ran the half.
Good course, fast, positivity from crowd... but not well organised.
- Didn't see any clock at the start for the half marathon.
- My friend doing full marathon found they ran out of water at a station half way round.
- Resources at the end were a joke - you cross the end and there's no water?! After the bagel tent(?!), the gatorade stall just had gatorade, no water, for a time. Not great when it was hot as h*ck.
- Bus driver seemed to get lost on way back into town after.
- Design of stalls etc/space not great. Crazy busy.
Expect some sort of bag w/ water/food at the end - more use than at the expo?
This is a great race because of several reasons:
Great new finishing area, fantastic organization, great cause, awesome speakers and of course the best medal!
The only downfall was that I recorded 26.58 miles on my garmin. And I hugged all the tangents. Maybe the new route needs to be re measured.
I have run the 5k in previous years, and granted the course is more level this year, I was very disappointed. The 4k marker was in the wrong location and I was running hard to the finish line. I slowed down because I didnt think that I had enough gas to go 1k. Then I discovered that the finish was only a few hundred meters away. That cost me from setting my best time.
Furthermore what's with the noon start time? I get the feeling that the 5k is not a real event for the organizers just an easy add on to make extra money.
The clock at the finish line displayed the marathon time. Someone told me there was a 5 k clock but I didnt see it.
Unfortunately these issues caused me to lose the joy that I should have felt for winning the age group.
ran this one five times and I think its great. Like running through the different neighbourhoods and the lakeshore. Its a smaller marathon with a few thousand runners, so dont expect massive crowds or entertainment along the way. Overall well organized. Also very weather dependent. 2011 was a complete nightmare with cold rain and very strong headwind (=no people out cheering). 2012 was perfect with 14c and sun and just a nice cooling breeze.
It was my first real marathon race and I really enjoyed it. It made me want to run even further in the futuree
This is my first time running the Goodlife half marathon. Overall, a good experience but when compared to some bigger races there was a lack of pacers and timers at the km marks. This totally threw me off.
To be fair there are thousands of runners involved in the Goodlife Marathon,Half Marathon and 5km Run or 5km Walk. However I don't think Marathon runners should be subjected to irate Toronto drivers. I know it is costly, but it would be nice if there were Police Officers along the marathoh route. This is a fundraising run to raise awaremess and financial support for Cancer research. In regard to the 5km run - there should be no strollers allowed, walkers should stay to right and more big orange pylons put closer together showing where the 5km route and is and also as an indication to bicycle riders not ride their bikes into the joggers. I would like to thank Loblaws for providing the food and drinks, I would like to thank McDonalds for the free coffee and Burt Bees for the fee samples.
This race needs help, or at least a more fair description on it's website, overpromise and under deliver by far. More music and more fun??? Seriously...that's a complete lie. Cars honking at us all day, running on a bike path in the latter part of the marathon? What other big city races have this?? There are some good points to be sure, race goodie bag and a decent shirt this year (2010) but for the money it's way overpriced and I can see why it has to move their date and become second fiddle in the city (Scotia).
I did this race in 2011 (marathon) and I liked the route, the race was pretty organized but there is no crowd support compared to the other marathon. The turn around could be more exciting.
I have ran the goodlife full marathon in 2009 & 2011 and am signed up for 2012. It's my favourite marathon beacause its a pretty fast down hill course. This was my first marathon ever and scored an PB on my second try(5th marathon).
I ran this back in 2007 as my very first marathon. The main thing that sticks out in my mind is how it changed my opinion of Toronto. I saw the warmth and support of the people from the different communities.
I did this half once maybe 2004), fast course, great goodie bag, course needs improving as the city and cars honk at you the whole way, showering after at U of T was a perk.
A great race, very well organized. I will run it every year.
very well orginazied, good run great course
Good marathon with plenty of water stations. Gels also given after 28K. Relatively flat, easy route. Can definitely run a pb HERE!
I ran this marathon a couple of years ago. I really enjoyed this marathon. It was well organized and the route is great. There are some hills but for the most is flat. It takes you through some really nice spots of Toronto. Aid stations are of abundance during this route.