Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
The flat and fast features of this event (includes the marathon, half and 5k) have consistently been the reason for so many people reaching a personal best, qualifying for Boston, having a memorable but good first marathon or an outstanding one. Even power walkers or slower runners love this course because of its 6 hour time limit.
There are bands and Neighbourhood Entertainment Centres every 2 kilometres, cheerleaders, and numerous aid stations. Overall, there’s a great, festive atmosphere.
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Start Date/Time October 22, 2017 @ 8:00 am
End Date/Time N/A
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This was my 5th year in a row running STWM (2 marathons and 3 half marathons) and it's hard to believe but every year they just keep getting better. Some improvements from last year: better race kit pickup process where you get your chip first, activate the chip, and then get your goodie bag/tshirt. When you are picking up multiple kits this makes a huge difference so you don't have to juggle multiple bags while trying to activate your chip. Another improvement was to the finisher line where the food was pre packed in bags which really sped up the process of feeding the racers - well done!
There were fewer people cheering than normal but that's to be expected with the bit of rain in the morning (which actually did a great job of cooling things down) but still plenty of spectators to help keep spirits up! Aid stations were well staffed/stocked, the course was in great shape with marshals advising which areas were slippery. Great T-shirt, great medal and incredible atmosphere.
See you again next year!
This was my first half marathon and I was very glad I chose STWM. The expo was convenient to get to as they offered free shuttles from the downtown core; and the vendor selection was quite nice. The race itself was very well organized, from the starting corrals to the pacers, finishing chute, and the post race food bags. I carried my own Gatorade and gel but saw plenty along the way. The crowd support was amazing and the volunteers were really friendly. The medal was the best I've seen and the space blanket handed out after the race really helped to keep me warm. My only complaint about the day was the freezing weather but that's really out of anyone's control. I have already registered for the full next year.
Did my personal best in this half marathon. The weather was great, the crowd of people were great. Its the biggest race I have ever been in but I knew the streets very well as Toronto is my home. It is nice to have said that I completed this half marathon and ran up Bay Street to the finish line. Was a great accomplishment for me in many ways.
I did the half marathon in 2014, I had intended on doing a full this year but didn't get my training in. I am glad that I was able to do the 5k it was very cool to be able to run through the same finish as the marathoners (I understand previously the 5k finished elsewhere). The shuttle to the start was fast and organized, would defiantly recommend this race.
By far my favourite race to do. I've been apart of this one for 5 straight years now (2 half's, 3 fulls). The organization is impeccable and the crowd is always lively. I'm proud to cap my racing season off with STWM!
Overall, a well-run event. I ran the half in 2014 and PB'd by 4 minutes (1:55), and ran my first full this year in 3:55 at STWM.
I would not recommend booking your hotel through the event website. It advertised late check out until 3pm (no issues with the Sheraton last year), and was at the Doubletree this year, they charged $40 (there was no mention of a fee on the STWM website). Hotel was unsympathetic. Not to future runners, don't book Doubletree. No hot tub, rooms are very small with no room for stretching. Book far enough in advance to stay at the Sheraton or Hilton which is in the heart of all the activity.
Packet pick up was only avail at the Expo, which was pretty large, and had a variety of vendors. Some good deals to be had for sure.
The start and finish is at Nathan Phillips Square and is quite well organized. There are local hotels near the corrals, which was nice to keep warm in before the gun.
The course is NOT flat, but it can be fast, and is definitely festive. How they advertise as flat is beyond me. There are a few uphills, overpasses, and bridges on the course. The first couple of kms is a steady uphill on University Avenue until the left on Bloor Street. It is downhill or flat for the next 12kms or so. The out and back stretch along the lakeshore is long, but at least scenic, and depending on your speed, you can see the elite's passing on the other side.
One negative about the course is that you are constantly having to watch your footing due to the street car tracks.
The half splits off and the full marathoners reach the "point of no return" and the crowd thins out quite a bit. Km 22-28 are rough...it's in an industrial area and there are next to no spectators.
The final 10kms are uneventful, no major uphills, and fairly good crowd support. The final stretch into the finish line is phenomenal with the excitement and crowd support.
Decent bag of food goodies at the end, no worrying that those that finish ahead of you have picked the food clean. Each runner gets a bag with the same stuff.
Excellent medals, and great volunteers.
Having done the half and now the full, I likely won't do it again only because there are others out there, and while this was a good race, it wasn't a WOW experience. I would recommend it to others who have not done it before.
I have run the Half in 2012 and in the 5k in 2014. This year(2015) I decided to run the Full.
It was a great experience and accomplishment that is still sinking in. Overall it was a great race weekend from the expo to race day itself.
It was a very long day, starting with getting down to the event early to avoid the chaos and get a parking spot as close to the event as I could.
The start area is still one of the best out there, having the event site in one corner, the washrooms (port-a-potties) lining one side of the starting chute.
The corrals where well marked and the course marshals and volunteers in each corral where excellent and well informed, at least in the green corral.
I decided to run the race with one of the pace bunnies, the 4:25 marathon run/walk bunny. I was able to keep pace with her and the group of fellow runners for the first 23km, before I had to slow down to shake out some muscle stiffness.
Somewhere in the following 2 km my knee started to act up, so it slowed me down, to a pace that made me doubt if I'd be able to finish. At the first aid station I went to the First Aid workers did not have any tape. I was finally able to get it taped up around the 32km if I remember right. They got me taped up and i was able if not for the tape I know I wouldn't have been able to finish.
As far as each aid station, water/Gatorade stations were great but found there were a few station that could have used extra port-a-pottys at the station.
There were a few people out on the course that were there to run people in to the finish, so I had one of them run with me to help me with that final push. I finished the race in 5 hours 5 minutes and 43 seconds.
By the time I was done and in the event area most of the vendors at the site seemed to be closing up if not already closed. The food in the post-race kit was typical of what most races give.
Overall it was a great day, the course volunteers, law enforcement, pace bunnies, the spectators and everyone else involved all deserve a special thanks for an event of this magnitude
This was my first half marathon and I'm glad I chose this event. I had fun from start to finish, the race staff and spectators were fantastic.
I absolutely loved this event yesterday! High energy, organized and exciting! I just completed my first half-marathon and cannot wait for the next one!
This was my third time running the half marathon. This race is amazing, for several reasons. It is the largest race in this area, probably all of Ontario, and has the best crowd support and volunteers, organization, and overall enthusiasm and excitement compared to any other race I have been in. The medals are always attractive, although the race kit could be better. I will run this race every year.
Great event. I did the half Marathon and my friends did the 5 k.
Very structured website, timely alerts and the course is great.
The food afterwords was OK
Over all quite good and will do it again for sure
Loved this course and great race expo. Loved the shirt, the medal, and the food (given in bags to help clear the finishing chute faster). I recommend this race to any and everyone!
stream oscars live
Little did I know that one day he would become one of my favorite actors.
Brandon Beemer (Owen, B&B) and Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe, DAYS).
He was previously Oscar nominated in 1999 as Best actor in supporting role for Shakespeare in Love and in 2001 as
Best Actor in a Leading Role for the film Quills. In no time, you'll possess a
wholesome go of head of hair once again. From the long
tutu down to the ankle to the pancake tutu, tutus become shorter to show off the legs and emphasize the silhouette.
Well organized race even with such a huge amount of runners. Best organized corrals ever. Excellent cheering along the way.
This is my 2nd time running the marathon and it did not disappoint. The event is very well organized, lots of volunteers, and overwhelming crowd support. The organizers make the runners experience their first and foremost priority. Love this race, see ya next year!
First half marathon, and I'm so glad I chose this race.
Very well organized, a ton of water/gatorade on the route, and it was a nice run through the city and along Lakeshore.
My favourite part was definitely the volunteers - they were so encouraging and amazing - and the final km or so down Bay, where a huge crowd had gathered to cheer everyone on. It was an experience I will never forget!
I did the 1/2 marathon this year and overall really enjoyed the experience. Canada Running Series are definitely very organized (i.e., corals) and make great efforts to ensure there is excellent spectator participation.
Overall, I had a positive experience on the course, however the expo was disappointing. By the time I arrived on Saturday, a few of the vendors had packed up and go home - definitely not worth the $14 in parking! I also agree with a previous reviewer that the lack of smaller vendors that offer items we can't get anywhere else a selling feature of the expo.
It was also disappointing that by the time I picked up my race kit, they had run out of swag bags - so having paid as much as everyone else, I got considerably less than what others got for the same amount of money. Definitely a big negative on my part.
It is very possible that this is my favourite race OF ALL TIME! The route is scenic and quick, tons of volunteers and people to support you along the way, good bag check, and the finish line is something I will never forget.
As you take the turn into Bay Street off of front, you can hear the roar of the crowd. As you get closer it gets louder as your heart begins to race and your adrenaline gives that one last pump. For that last 100 meters you feel like an Olympic athlete, crossing the finish line in record time. That alone makes this race the best in the world.
My first full marathon and I wouldn't have it anywhere else. Thanks again STWM for another amazing race.
Did the half last year and then again this year with a big group of our powerwalkers. Great Great course and fun. bit of a hill at rowing club going east back and a bit at BAY after tunnel but otherwise flat and fast. Only disappointing point is THERE are still people who run in the WALK divsion that org. so nicely have for us. Great start, they keep us back until half runners go...walk us up, then we go at gun. BUT there is always about 5 or 6 who run or they start in with runners but say they walked (run/walk). So when are hard trained walkers, walk the whole way, they are lower in the results....but its a hard thing to police. VIDEOS at the end are very helpful to prove who ran though. Excellent work STWM!!!!!
Great Experience. I have run over 10 half marathons and this was by far the largest. The Expo was good, I enjoyed the speakers that I was able to see. The booths were good, prices a little high, but Oh well.
Race day was good, pretty easy to find my was around. Volunteers were easy to find and helpful. The course was great, this race had a big city feel, as it should.
My day was simple, great weather, great course, I did a P.B. Thanks I will be back.
Incredibly well-organized. Excellent route, straighforward and user-friendly. Great for good distance and good time. Pleasant atmosphere. Helpful and attentive volunteers. A+ in every way!
Barb from Ottawa
This was my first time doing this particular Half Marathon event in Toronto and I LOVED it, running a PB! It was extremely well organized and was so well attended by both participants, sponsors, volunteers and those that line the route. As a visitor to the city, I had the luxury of staying in a race hotel in the downtown core, so I participated in activities all weekend, including the friendship run and two visits to the Expo. I really appreciated the Shuttle service to the Expo and would highly recommend keeping it. I saw the parking situation and was happy that I didn't have to deal with that. I loved the design of the race shirt, but echo comments from others that the quality of the shirt needs to be better for this high calibre event. The route was spectacular, the cheer stations were awesome and the crowds were feverish. I think you need to add a few more cheer stations along the Lakeshore part of the route as it's pretty quiet at times. The post-race food was excellent and well organized. Overall, an excellent event and I would definitely return and hopefully with more of my running buddies.
This was my first marathon. I thought it was completely organized. The water stations were well managed. The end was very smooth. I was really glad that the food bags were done for us, just had to hand it to us.
I will most definitely be signing up again for next year!
First time running this Marathon. The organization was top notch and kudos to the organizing team.
Fan participation was awesome.
I normally start off talking about the good but I want to get the bad out of the way first.
1. Parking. I had to pay $14 for parking to get the race kit. I thought this was a rip off. I prefer the organizors chose a place near a subway stop with parking close by. This is a constant complaint and not a good way to start a race.
2. Massages - most races have free massages. Here - you buy them. I just did PEC a couple of weeks ago and massages were free. Just a thought.
Here are the positives:
1. Shirt - most shirts from Canada are like Canadians - low key, quiet, and a shade dull. This was not the case! This is a great improvement over the past years.
2. Medal: I will take everything back if they make this the defacto medal every year and race shirt photo. I love that they chose Honest Ed's as the TO symbol. It was a special place for minorities in the 70s and 80s before chain grocery stores sold spices. My parents would take me there on the weekends in winter when Gerard Street was too far and cold. Nice Touch. Rename the race to Honest Ed's and I will be back next year.
I ran the Half Marathon. I haven't run this race in several years, so I decided to do it again as it is in my own city. While I agree this is a very well organized event, that brings in wonderful elite athletes, I feel as though it has an overall corporate vibe in comparison to other big events I go to in North America. Having not been to the expo in a few years, there was a definite shift in vendor participation. Of course, the big names are always present, but I didn't see any small outfit/startups. I find that unfortunate as it's these small outfits that sets expos apart, as they offer customers goods that can't be found in mainstream running shops across the city. Perhaps the organizers have priced small companies out of the market. Any hoo, as for the race itself, it's fine. I do enjoy the newer race course that goes down Bathurst. There was a lot of spectators along the beginning of the route and of course at the end coming up Bay st. Unfortunately, while there are a few more spectators along the Lakeshore, it still is a lonely route, which makes up most of the course. I wish there were more spectators to cheer runners along the way. One last note about the race shirt, while it is a nice design, the material could be better. Many events have stepped it up in terms of quality material. I found the race shirt material that old runner's knit and quite thin. (holding it up to the TV, I saw right through it.) Given the price runners pay nowadays for these bigger events, aside from the bigger crowds, I feel as though the organizers should be offering a little more for the money. Despite what I sound like, I don't hate this event. I would run it again. The vibe at the finish is fantastic though. Great spectator support. I would definitely recommend it for a first time runner's experience.
1st time doing the Scotia Half. For such a big race the organization was top notch. Kit pick up, parking on race day and after race food pick up was excellent. Will do it again next year.
This event is so well organized and so well attended by both participants, sponsors, volunteers and those that line the route and encourage and motivate we marathoners to do our best.
I had the experience of a lifetime and simply want to provide a shout out to all involved in this first class running event.
Once again the Canadian Running Series has done an outstanding job. My thanks to them.
Special thanks to MyNextRace. To Doug and to Peter and to the entire staff thank you for making this an event I shall always hold close to my heart.
Think half marathon should get long sleeved shirts as well, it is a fall run after all
Great route, loved the caribana dancers and steel drums, lots of support.
Marshalls need to watch and correct people walking crossing in front of runners.
Finish line a bit congested getting into dundas square.
To start with, the race kit pick up was a breeze. Headed over on Friday afternoon and avoided any line ups. The expo was a lot of fun, lots of vendors and memorabilia.
This was my first time running the half and I was ever grateful to keep warm inside City Hall. Knowing this was a huge event, I gave myself plenty of time to head over to the corrals. Plenty of easily identifiable volunteers to steer you in the right direction.
The course was great. Pace bunnies were awesome and full of encouragement. Although the water stations could be a scramble at times, lots of people to hand out water and Gatorade.
This was a fun one to run. With so many enthusiastic people lining the course, the km seem to fly by...yes, even to a newbie like me.
Great race and energy. The course is set up for best results achieved. It was well organized especially for the number of runners. I did the 5k this year and will be back next year for the half marathon.
This was my second year running the half marathon and it did not disappoint! This race has an energy and excitement that you just don't find in the smaller races. It is the reason that I have become addicted to running and have now completed 7 half marathons since last year. The crowd support seemed even better this year. It was so motivating watching the elite runners coming towards you on Lakeshore. The medal was very nice, however, there could have been more post race food in the bag!
I have never attempted running, and so, on a whim, I decided to sign up for the STWM 5K.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had at this race. It was cold, but the cheering from the volunteers and the spirit of all the participants kept me going!
I will say however, it was confusing to exit City Hall after the race. There should have been better signs guiding people out.
By the time I finished the 5K, it was still before 9AM and so we could not go back to the Eaton Centre through the Sheraton Hotel exit. To get out, I walked Northwest of City Hall, and got on Elizabeth Street.
i did the 5k.
start line was much better than 2012.
but it's not a loop course so you gotta get back to the start once you finish.
line to get shirt/bag @ expo sucked.
have to pay for parking for kit pick up and on race day.
post race food was lame.
i'm crazy for the finisher medal.
it's a huge even and i love participating in it.
This was my first year running in the 5K discipline of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon event.
I set a new PB for a 5K with this run.
Post race area was great and i had a blast helping out with the My Next Race booth.
I would consider doing the 5K discipline or might do the half again
Wow great race. Well organised expo and start Sadly the food give out changed this year _ loved the bag of food but it was difficult to get to the tables and then even worse getting back out! Will I do it again? Oh yes!
I ran the 5k just to see what a big, international race is like. I am happy to report that it was exciting and flawless.
From race kit pick up at the expo, which had lots of discounted retail sales and free samples crucial to the actual event, everything ran smoothly. There was lots of parking, very short porta-potty lines that were only 1-2 deep, free McDonalds coffee, a flat course, lots of music and cheering, enthusiastic volunteers, chip time results available immediately at the Sportstats booth, and very well-organized post-race food pick up, again with short lines only 2-3 deep.
The only logistical problem was getting from the 5k finish at City Hall back to the parking lot at Exhibition Place, but the subway was open by 9:00 AM, although the 509 streetcar from Union went only as far as Spadina Avenue. Bit of a walk from Spadina/Lakeshore along Lakeshore Drive to the Exhibition grounds, but you could see the half and full marathon runners along Lakeshore so it was not a boring walk.
Highly recommended if you want to experience the spectacle of an international race.
I've ran this race full and half marathon
Cons- Very difficult to get to the start line
- Both distances leave at the same time (which in a way is ok because it creates huge hype with so many people you get really pumped) But it takes forever to break away from the crowds.
-I've never been able to find the finish line porta-potties!
Pros- Finish line is very well organized
- Good spot for families to hand out in the square as they wait for you, great freebies, music etc
- Good race route (sort of felt in the middle of no where at times during the full) flat, fast, good spacing in the water stations, awesome cheer station, volunteers were adorably excited!
- There was a timer at the full marathon km markers which was great
-Overall high moral, its a big scene, big news coverage, tons of people at the finish line, all of it makes you feel kind of like a big deal
-I choose this race over the Goodlife Fitness Toronto race in May (ran both distances of that one too)
Ran the scotiabank Marathon 3 years in a row. This is where I started my "running races career" lol. I started of with the 5k which was my first race ever and became addicted to running. I ran my first ever half marathon in 2012 and ran my first every Marathon last year. I enjoyed the races very much and love the medals, race expo was ok and race kits were great. Love the T-shirts also! I would recommend this race to anyone :)
Loved everything about this race. It is so well organized, its a great route, volunteers were friendly, post race food was just what I needed. Only negative is my finishers picture never appeared online. I called and they said it was too low quality to put online. Really disappointed the photographer did a terrible job, she even took 2 pictures and both were bad.
Team Tiara C
I did the 5K, my second. My first was the 5K at the Goodlife Toronto Marathon in May. What a world of difference! At the Goodlife Toronto Marathon the 5k looked and felt like an afterthought and nothing more than a cash grab. This was totally different!! Loved the corral start at Exhibition Place - very well organized. Enjoyed the course, although there were few spectators for most of the 5K route. And loved the finish at Nathan Philips Square! Best of all, even though my medal was smaller and bronze, I was not made to feel less of a runner just because I didn't do the half or the marathon. (other than not getting a post race blanket and it was cold for the 5K runners too...) I will be back!
This was my first half marathon race and I found the energy and excitement of the event very motivating. I loved every minute of the run and will definitely do it again next year, but I will try and get there before 8am, as with the road closures, finding parking and the washroom line-ups, I barely got to my corral in time. There was plenty of fluids provided and lots of cheering along the route. I'll never forget the excitement of the last kilometer and getting my first half marathon medal.
It was my very first race. I was told to get the 6:00 am shuttle to arrive one hour prior to my start time. I absolutely FROZE for almost 2 hours. I ran the 5k and started in the blue corral. There wasn't any place open to get warm or bathrooms available; only portable ones by the starting area. People were very friendly. GREAT atmosphere and energy. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of young children with their parents. A little too packed for people to follow race etticate. Had to do a lot of weaving. Finisher's medal was spectacular! Post race venue at Nathan Philip's Square was great. Great first experience!
Ran the 5k this year. It was a good route, good race, however I really think they need to re-consider the finish line. There was no shuttle service to bus the 5kers back to Exhibition Place, leaving us to either have to take the train or a taxi back. Not the easiest thing for out-of-towners who are unfamiliar with the train system, also you would have to carry money on you during the race. I ended up deciding I would walk back (and it was freezing cold). Luckily, a really friendly mother with her 2 kids who ran the race offered to drive me back to Exhibition Place.
This was my 49th marathon! First off congratulations to Dr. Rick Raymon on his 300th full marathon! I loved crossing the finish line with you. It meant a lot when you called me a Hardcore runner.
The race has some logistical problems that I want to address first. The subways start running at 9 on Sundays and I think it would be better if the 5 k started at 10 AM so that the parking could be freed up downtown for people. I also thought the second half of the marathon was a bit dull and needed more bands or something (go up Church street for some fun and run down Danforth?) I also thought there were enough volunteers but not enough signs to point runners to the baggage check. Just my thoughts. A good, not great race since I am still stinging from paying a $14 parking fee to get my race kit. I would prefer a location off the subway line instead.
Loved it. I achieved a personal record for the full marathon on a beautiful course through Toronto's various neighbourhoods. There were great crowds throughout. Excellent organization... to the point of having volunteers stand beside raised manhole covers to point them out to the runners coming through. Small concern.... and this seems common for races that have full marathons starting at the same time as half marathons.... Not enough food left at the end for the marathoners. I finished in 3:15 (so there were a lot of runners behind me) and they had already run out of bananas and spoons for the yogurt (Really?)
This was a phenomenal experience!
The race is on a flat course, which is very conducive to getting a personal best. It's extremely organized, so you never feel out of the loop.
The expo and post-race festivities are also really great to enjoy.
Also really nice to be at a race event with so many Canadian greats; it's really inspirational to be present when records are being broken.
Can't wait for next year!
This was my first time at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. it was an awesome idea to also give back to community through charities. I did the half-marathon event. The energy throughout the event was high with awesome cheering crowds, rock bands, Caribbean dancers, cheerleading squads, etc, all along the way giving you support. I thought the event was well planned out and well prepared with the huge number of participants! The only thing that I had wished was the the timing was done by chip start, not gun start.
I had a great time at my first half-marathon. The course never felt too crowded, and was very well organized. Before the race you can duck into the Sheraton hotel lobby to stay warm and use a real bathroom. No waits at the bag check. A very nice race T-shirt and the nicest medal I've gotten. Will definitely keep running this race.
I ran the 5k for the Scotiabank Toronto marathon and I thought it was wonderful. The most organized 5k I have ever run. I love the Corral start. I just might attempt the half next year.
This race keeps getting better. Well organized race pick up, pretty decent expo, well marked start line, bag check. Pleasant and helpful volunteers. Every city kilometer added, taking the race through the city streets, pulls this race closer to the kind of "Big City Marathon" it can be. We avoided the crowds at the race exit, by arranging to meet at the friends and family area. It worked well.
Awesome organization an fun race to run top to bottom. The expo and packet pick-up was great, the course map was fast and flat as advertised and the finishing chute was a great last 500m as well as blankets, medals and obligatory banana and bagel. One suggestion is to give better driving instructions on getting into town in the morning and where to park. Also at the expo, parking was $14 to just go in and pick up race packet for 15mins - there should be a 30min free parking for that. I saw people getting parking tickets for stopping along the street in front of the Direct Energy Centre - what a damper on the race weekend.
All in all a great experience - definitely helped by having fantastic weather too.
Ran my first half marathon this morning.
Had a great experience here. The race was very well organized and volunteers were very helpful.
Also despite the amount of people the bag check was very quick and easy. Very efficiently organized run and I will definitely do it next year.
Such a great race! I love the thunder of footfalls when running under the Gardiner Expressway.
The finish area is so well organized, it is a treat to walk though and see so many volunteers.
One suggestion to the race organizers. With 1300 racers running sub 30min times I think that the red coral could be split into two parts,sub 25min (400 runners this year) and sub 30min. Thanks.
I did the half in 2011 and decided to do the 5k this year, I thought it was really well organized and the end of race swag and medal was great! Definitely doing one of the races again next year!
Best organized marathon I have ever been too! Strongly recommend this to anyone that is passionate about running a marathon in Toronto!
This race was alright. There are a lot of people since it is a huge and well known race. It is very organized and the medals are quite nice. Just get there really early if driving in the city as road closures will make your commute a nightmare!
If you live outside the city, stay in a hotel the night before. It was too stressful to drive the morning of and the race starts before the subway is active on Sunday mornings.
I liked it because it was so large and I could feel absolutely anonymous. It's a good testing race, but it lacks warmth. And certain areas smell bad.
Great Race :-) Ran a fast PR and event was well organized.
I'm a bit biased here because I got a massive PR, but it's a great course for posting a fast time. I thought the race was very well organzied and the atmosphere was surprisingly festive. The crowd support was more plentiful than I anticipated and, as soon as the gun went off, the weather was perfect for racing. One of the gravy points for me was getting to see the elites a few times throughout the course. They're so motivating.
I really liked the shirt I received at this race and my medal is beautiful. It will always have a hallowed place in my closet. :)
Thanks to the all the hard-working organizers and volunteers. I'll be back!
great event it was my first time and i will do it every year
My friend and I did the 1/2 marathon, had an amazing time and took 15 minutes off our last 1/2 marathon time. My only complaint was leaving the event where family and friends were blocking the runners from exiting.
Very well organized for its size.
No race kit pick up the morning of the race. With that said I had to pay for parking to pick up my kit and on race day.
This is the 2nd year I have competed on this course and was really pleased with the changes that were made. The course was better, there was still quality food and drink and volunteers. If you are in Toronto in October do this race and it is something you will not regret. Quality
Great fun and much better organized than last year's half! I especially enjoyed the Bloor Street portion and the organization for the food. It was nice to see many spectators cheering along most of the route. There were three major drawbacks though: The pace bunnies were VERY hard to spot, the kilometre markers seemed sporadic, and the exit area was very narrow and crowded with friends and families of the runners. Despite these two things, I'm still planning on running the half again next year.
It was my second half marathon.
- Well organized, good support from fans and volunteers, good route, lots of water and gatorade stations, all around had a great time, even considering the wet weather.
- Paying $14 for parking at the Direct Energy Centre to pick up my race kit.
I would do this race again.
Well organized event. Great energy from the crowd throughout the whole race! My friends and I travelled from Calgary and we all qualified for Boston again, whoo hoo. I would like to see more cowboy hats next time.
Best Scotia Toronto Maraton as yet. I loved the whole thing from packet pick-up to the very last minute of it. Loved it! Loved it!!!!
- lots of port-o-potties at start, lines were short
- course was wide, allowed lots of room to run
- nice medal
- bag to carry food at finish was nice touch (a tad wasteful though)
- street closure a pain, can't get home if you live downtown and your legs are dead
- parts of course seemed tilty / banked, had to run the streetcar tracks / switch sides of the road several times
- first three water stations had long lines at the port-o-potties...but see this every year
- very slow to get to food (15 min for me). Spectators were crowding the exit so runners could not get out.
Great course! Bag check and kit pickup a breeze with no waiting. The start corrals were very disorganized though.
Great route to run, with spectators on route-yeh! Baggage check a breeze, finish area also great.Only negative-hard if not impossible to find pace bunnies, and the wet pre-race weather-nothing we could have done about that.
Great job organizing the marathon!:)
I thought everything was pretty awesome from great cheering stations, awesome water stations, medical people were wonderful, to super job well done by baggage checks volunteers:) thanks for an awesome race:)
This was my first Toronto Waterfront Marathon. It was an amazing experience; everything from the water stations, cheer groups and volunteers were fantastic. They were a little cheap on the goody bags though ;). Checking my bag last year when I ran the Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon was a horrible experience; I finished my Half Marathon in less than 2 hours and had to stay in the line for 2 hours to get my bag. I learned my lesson and did not check any bags this year; great idea. Overall, I enjoyed the whole experience and already thinking of running Toronto Waterfront Marathon next year. Well done to the organizers.
I ran my first 1/2 marathon this weekend, and I was pretty happy.
The course was great, even though the slight uphills after the 18.5 k were pretty tough for my first race. It was raining but if anything that helped. Who can complain about 18 degrees and overcast. I would love to see:
1) Better Fencing... it shouldn't be a 20 minute walk to get around a fence at the start
2) Washrooms during the run... everything had a decent line and were no good to some one actually running.
3) Marshaling spectators at the finish. The back up getting food and medals was caused by the bottleneck of spectators in the finish area blocking the exit, not by runners. This was very annoying.
All in all though I had a lot of fun and will be back next year. Maybe I will try running the full.
This was my second Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront event and I loved the new route up to Bloor! I remember the cheering crowds being a little better last year but they weren't too bad in spite of the rainy weather. I think the finish chute was too narrow and it bottle necked right when I wanted to keep my legs moving, and I didn't like how waiting friends and family crowded the exit so we had to push through them too. My friend also pointed out that there weren't any photographers afterwards to take pics of us with our medals - were they there? Maybe we got too distracted by the food and missed them :P
Over all it was a great race, I just wish there was more breathing room in the finish chute.
I'll definitely be back next year!
Great event. Love the new route. Well-organized.
Suggestions: Get the TTC running! Go back to a later start for the 5K.
Traffic was worse than ever. After taking 45 minutes waiting to get off the Spadina ramp from the west (no surprise there), I was directed by an officer along with many others, along Lakeshore East (not Spadina North) which forced us back on to the Gardiner. I finally exited the highway system at DVP and Bloor, made my way towards City Hall, parked, ran 2k, and barely made the start of my marathon.
This was my first Half Marathon. Race day was great! From the baggage check, to the corals , the pace bunnies, the route was organized and safe. I took the GO bus in and back and that worked fantastically. My biggest criticism is the kit pick up. I was shocked that I had to go to the Run Expo! Talk about being black mailed into going. My suggestion is to allow runners who register early enough to pick up kits at participating Scotia banks. Hey they sponsor it right?
My first half-marathon on pavement (I'm a hard-core trail runner.) I had a great time. Lovely to have wet doggy kisses when I finished too - thanks Jefferson! I didn't use the baggage check because I heard that in 2011 it was a disaster. However, it looked well-organized and seemed to operate smoothly this year. Loved being showered with bananas, apples, cookies, bagels and recovery drink afterwards.
This was my first half marathon, and I was very impressed with how organized this event was! The crowd made my day, breathing life into me when I needed it most, and I love my medal, it's the nicest I've earned so far, and hopefully just the first. I'm so inspired by all the runners in the 42.2 that I hope to be there myself next year! The only criticisms I have are that it took to long to get out of the glut at the finish line, and that the TTC should really have had the subway lines working early for this event, there were thousands of people there that had no other way to get to the starting line... isn't this exactly what public transit is for? Alas, I digress... fabulous race!
I ran my first 5km today in an organized race. I had a great time today, the event was very well organized and despite the rain me and my team of charity runners had a lot of fun. The best part was the spectators and volunteers cheering us on. It was cool to be in the center of the city finishing, and I would run again next year.
J - runner
ScotiaBank Toronto Marathon which is one of the biggest city Marathon in Canada. This was my first race in my life and it was worth first race for me. I ran 5K. Unfortunately it was a rainning start and so cold ... but it came to light that it was GREAT run. Good staff, organize, food, nice viewing!!! I didn't expect that running in city was so pleasant. Next I'll be back here with good enough training.
I have done this race a few times over the many years since 2004, when it was very small. I have appreciated how the event has managed to grow and get better (for the most part), combining elite runners, charities and masses looking for a great experience (me). I think that big cities like Toronto need ONE big marathon that the media supports, the city embraces and the spectators enjoy closing roads for. Scotia Waterfront seems to get better each year, despite some hiccups like the bag check in 2011. Having run New York, Boston and other big city races I think Toronto now has the race it needs as long as the city residents can give up a few roads being closed for one morning!
Expo - excellent. Race Day organization - excellent. Course...spectators...water stations..entertainment - excellent. Post race atmosphere could be improved so hopefully they can find a great venue and stick with it.
Bag pickup! Ugh! They have promised to address!
Andrew from Etobicoke
I ran the 5K in 2011. There were a couple of things that annoyed me. First, despite registering EARLY, when I went to pick up my kit first thing the second day they allowed runners to do so, they didn't have my shirt size. Why ask me what size I want when I register? Second, the 5K has a U-turn on Lakeshore less than 1 kilometre into the race. The runners have not spread out so it's an unseemly mess at that point switching from west to east.
I would suggest running something other than the 5K if you wanted to run in this event.
My first marathon. Generally a good experience. Enjoyed the expo/ kit pick-up (easy process and lots of free stuff). Getting to the start is easy (right downtown). Corral system was difficult to navigate (I need to be near the front but was forced to go all the way around and ended up just jumping over some barricades). Course itself is quite good and enjoyable. Didn't like the headwind on the last 8k but not anyone's fault! Plenty of fan support on route but could be better at the end. Didn;t use it, but heard baggage check was a nightmare. Wasn't in any condition to eat so won't comment on the post-race food. Was really happy to see the elite Canadian guys go for the standard. Not happy that money is being spent on Africans to win the event or pace it. Not happy about the hype around the old guy (not Ed Whitlock, that guys' a champ...the 100yr old Brit. Gimmicks are weak). Same goes for the costume and Guinness World record business. All in all, organization is good and I would consider doing it again, but please Mr Brookes, stop profiting off of us and focus on the participants!
Very well organized race. Crowded start and it was hard to get into the proper corral. Great crowd support within the designated cheering areas - loved the way that some streets were decorated. Very nice flat course but crowd support was light in some areas. Thoroughly enjoyed the finish chute as it was packed with people in stands to cheer us on. Only area of problem was in getting our bag check at the end - took much longer than it should have!
I've done the 5km for this event 5 years now. Great race event. This past year they even had online access to all the finishing times available almost immediately. The only problem they have is baggage check nightmare! It still needs refining BIG TIME!
Let me start by saying I ran this course (the half marathon course) maybe 5 years ago.. Back then, the course was incredibly boring! It started in the city but most of the course was on the Gardiner Expressway! SO BORING!!!!! and there were NO spectators - they weren't allowed on the highway! I hear the full marathon is a little more interesting.. but never again will I do the half!!!!!! Sorry.. don't do it! :) It had decent "after party" of sorts.. so not all bad.
Great experience. Very festive and well organized except the baggage claim area. That was a bit chaotic. Otherwise its all good.
It was an amazing experience and I would recommend this race to anyone who loves to run!
Fantastic event. In my opinion, best in the country.
This race is where I got my most recent best time for 5k, even though I never thought it would happen! I had a great time, and I did NOT check a bag, which turned out to be a wise decision on my part. The course was fast and flat, and the corrals were well-organized. Even though I was about to die on the line, I still had a great day, and I loved the medals and space blanket! I could see this becoming the featured marathon in Canada. Hoping to do the half this year!
an exciting race to be a part of! the on-course entertainment and encouragement did not disappoint, and the volunteers were first class. i enjoyed the expo as well (staying longer than i had originally intended), and did not have to use the bag check which apparently saved me some headache this year. :)
My first marathon! I thought it was well organized (I didn't check a bag) and the crowds were great. Really good water/aid stations and cheering stages. This race has a great atmosphere.
I had an awesome time at this race. It was my first full marathon so I liked that it was nice and flat. I was running with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training so it was great that we had lots of people cheering us on when they saw our purple jerseys. I'll be back next year for sure!
Ben de Groot
I ran the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront 1/2 Marathon for first time this year and despite a great race, the experience as a whole was a complete disaster.
Below is my experience of the race.
-Registration was simple and straightforward.
-Race kit pick-up was smooth and the shuttle made it easy to get to the exhibition.
-The expo had a lot of vendors, but was expecting prices to be a little better. (Not a big deal though)
-Lots of porta-potties pre race
-Bag drop off was easy enough (more on this later)
-Corrals were well organized and respected by runners
-The course itself is very fast and flat. (This is the best part of the race). The only down side with the course is that there is a lot of turning early on when the crowds are thick and of course everyone wants the inside. But that isn't really a big deal.
-Water stations were great with a good number of stations and volunteers
-Cheering stations were great.
-The medals were nice.
-The medical people there were fantastic. I thought I was about to throw up after the race and a volunteer stayed with me until that feeling passed.
-Food seemed OK but I was in no state to eat anything after running such a tough pace for me.
-The bag check was a complete disaster though and ruined the whole day for me. Without getting into too much detail it took over 2 hours to get my bag which is completely unacceptable. It wasn't just the inconvenience but the fact that this was a major safety risk. I had just ran a very tough race (for me) and beat my PB by 8 minutes, and my body was quickly shutting down. I thought I was going to pass out in the line or throw-up. In addition it was quite a cold day and I was only wearing shorts and a tee-shirt that were very damp at that point. Luckily my wife found me in line and waited to get my bag for me. If I had to wait to get my bag myself I think I would have passed out and required medical attention.
I want to rate this event higher but because of the bag check the best race of my life was turned into one of the worst days of my life. I'm sure they will fix this in the future, but I don't think I would return until I know for sure they can handle 20,000 plus runners.
It was my third year at the beaches water station so my technique of handing off water to moving runners continues to improve. I brought my scotia bank cow bell . Met some other adults who did most of the tear down.Girls from a local figure skating team volunteered too.
Great organization although we missed the local Starbucks donating coffee this year!
THe noise as Reid passed back westbound in first place, was deafening.
It is always exciting to see these incredible runners pass through my neighbourhood.
Lots of road closure signs throughout the east end adn no complaints heard.
One big problem was lack of porta potties for the runners.Some had to go into the starbucks.
How about reversing the direction next year so we get to see the halfers as well!!
I run the race on October 16th and it was a lot of fun – I like the fact that it was flat – I was confused at one point when all I saw around me were people who were doing the half marathon and thought I was in the wrong group. I traveled from Rhode Island to do the race – two of my friends also traveled to Toronto for the race and they enjoyed the race.
I watched this race from the sidelines for the first time, it was incredible to see the Elite athletes whizz by, followed by so many varied and different runners especially charity types. It inspired me to consider trying this myself, going from jogger to runner one day. Thanks to the City of Toronto for allowing the roads to close as these events are much needed.
This was my first half marathon and baggage claim fiasco aside I thought it was an awesome event. The course is great, the crowds were supportive and the volunteers really were the best. Now if mother nature had just co-operated I may have run that sub 2:00 I was after!
Would definitely recommend this race to a friend and will probably be back next year but will have to think twice before I check my bag again.
Congrats to Jefferson on another record run!
Awesome! My first Half Marathon experience and it was a great, well organized event. I had a great time, everyone was pumped and upbeat, until halfway through the race lol. The only complaint that I have is the race kit pick up. It was kind of a pain for the out-of-towners to pick up the kit and the STWM website said free parking, there was cheap ($5.00 for race kit pick up), but it was not free. It would be great if race kits could be picked up at certain running store locations.
Other than that, I really enjoyed it an WILL return for either the full or half marathon.
Jefferson the Dog
Woof Woof! Yes it is Jefferson the Dog posting a review on the STWM. This is the second time I have run this race. I ran it last year when I completed the marathon and actually broke a world record! This year I again broke a record – the Half Marathon World Record for Mascots!
I actually had a different person in me this year but the less said about that the better because I think the previous person is jealous!
Anyway to the race – as with last year an incredibly well organized race and the buzz and the support from the ‘fellow’ runners and the spectators was amazing. I quickly got presented with my medal after the race (although one over zealous volunteer then took it off me because I never had the correct bib on – I barked at her!) and the water and food was then readily available but I couldn’t see any dog food which was a bit upsetting.
Toronto should be very proud of this race.
PS. Thankfully dog don’t wear any clothes so I didn’t have to go and reclaim my baggage!
The worst organized run I've ever been involved with.I completed the half marathon.
I've previously completed 4 marathons & 9 half marathons and never encountered such poor organization. A 10 year old could have done a better job!
The fiasco involved with picking up ones bag at end of race was pathetic and there is no reason for such poor planning.It was taking people in excess of 1 hour to get their bags.This is not only irritating but unhealthy.I witnessed an older gentleman go very white and then almost pass out while waiting for 30 minutes, & only moving 5 metres.
I gave up after 40 minutes and hardly moving.Luckily, I was able to take the subway with 2 friends of mine from Ottawa to my mother's house where we showered & had lunch.I then drove back downtown to get my bag.I will now courier my friends clothes to them in Ottawa.
I will never enter this race again, and neither will my friends from Ottawa.
I ran in 2005. Very well organized. Fast, flat, scenic course. I'm looking forward to the new course, 2005 we went all the waaaay out the Spit and back. Neighbourhood cheer areas are great. Looking forward to getting past by Ed Whitlock yet again.
good job Toronto
Thanks to my STWM BQ I celebrated my 50th birthday in Boston this year! Nothing but good to say about this race. It truly is a World class event that I am sure will grow to be Canada’s premier Marathon. I consider myself to be a Trail Runner but I opted to run STWM instead of the last OUS Vulture Bait Race this year… one can only spend so much time in the Forest alone! The course is truly flat , festive and fast … not quite up to Boston when it comes to crowds but they are there when you need them most! This year I expect that I will knock 4-5 minutes off last year’s time with the goal of getting back to Boston in 2013.
Last year’s race report … http://westgreyrunner.blogspot.com/2010/09/stwm-sept-262010.html
2010 - STWM: A very well organized and run event. The only issue being being able to get around (especially south) after the event.
Great food after the runs. Nice medals.
This is my 4th in a row.
Flat, fast and familiar. Have run both the full and the half and really like all the recent changes; especially the removal of the Leslie Spit portion and the new finish, where you aim for Old City Hall and let loose all you've got left.
Lots of running friends count this as one of their favorite events. May have to try it myself.
One of the Best races in all of North America. This race is well organized. The track is flat and fast. I did my first Marathon at Scotia Bank and it gave me the opportunity to comfort and assist a tired walker to complete the race. I have never set my face on that person again, but it was well worth it. I only pass this way just once so if I can be a help to someone but once,so be it for I may never pass this way again.Best of luck and wishes to all at this year’s race.
Toronto's biggest and best organized marathon for sure, i had a great time doing the 5k! they have a race for everyone, great expirience
Toronto No 1 running event in my opinion. Have run the half and the full. Incredibly well organized. Marathon has a great route and fantastic finishing area. Hope this event continues to grow and grow and raise even more money for all the charities it supports.
I really like the fact I can run for one of over 120 charities….
The size and scope of this event makes for a high-energy morning for all runners and walkers, and the scenery along the waterfront makes the pain of running a full marathon somehow a little easier.