Trek and Run were supported during this event by;
The course didn’t change too much since when we did it in 2016 so here’s the film we shot then, to give you an idea of what’s in store for you.
Dave (took part in the Full Marathon) – Hopefully the film above and my team-mates reports below will give you a firm idea of what you can expect if you enter this event. I’ll just add a few thoughts to pad the view out a little.
The pre-race communication was in depth, leaving us in no doubt of what to expect on race day. That’s good, I want race day to be as simple and enjoyable – with as few unknowns – as possible. Virgil was able to pick up our race numbers on the Saturday as we live in Toronto, a little way away and a bit of a journey from Mississauga if you don’t have a car (which I don’t). A couple of hours before the race started we parked at a community centre and got a shuttle bus to the start line. There were plenty of toilets available, free coffee and hot chocolate and a good buzz from the large crowd.
The route has a net downhill and is very scenic, considering it’s a city marathon. The roads are wide, well surfaced and flanked by a lot of greenery. I was meant to be taking it easy as I’d just come back from the Marathon des Sables and was pretty tired out but this course doesn’t make it easy to go slow, it really invites you to give it all you’ve got.
Aid stations with water and Gatorade were frequent and at 2 of them we were also handed gels. There was an out and back section at about the 25 to 29km mark that was relatively exposed and a headwind made things tough for a couple of km but otherwise the route was sheltered from the wind, which was coming off the lake in a north-westerly direction. The end section was fun, skirting around Lake Ontario on the narrow waterfront trail and finishing in a wide paved area where there were tents with plenty of toilets and food on offer. It was here where I also met Lanni Marchant…
…and picked up my kit from the baggage truck. Mississauga is a fun, fast race. The organisation is first class, the medal and t-shirt is cool and the race volunteers are well trained and friendly. Go do it in 2018.
Virgil (took part in the 10k event and the Full Marathon) – The first marathon and first back-to-back race on my schedule were once far away in the month of May, but it came up all too quickly for my liking. I definitely was not impressed with the blizzard forecast for Sunday (not snow, but a blizzard?) mixed with continuous rain.
I dropped by the expo on the Saturday and was impressed with the variety of booths exhibiting there, though I came too late to meet up with my old lunch buddy and running partner, Lanni Marchant. A friend bought me snazzy LED shoelaces and I picked up a compact phone pouch with bib dongles. The Catelli booth was rather generous with giving away pasta samples and I saw some people walking away with whole cases of the stuff. Talk about carb loading!
I picked up the bibs and shirts for my team and headed to the 10k start line. There wasn’t much to do at the race start so I took shelter at the DQ just up the road. I may or may not have bought some potato skins for some last minute carb loading. Some people were leading some stretching exercises, and I took a selfie with a photographer who was climbing into the ladder of a fire truck to shoot overhead race photos later. When the gun went off we all burst out of the start gate like marbles. That’s when I noticed a lot of kids running the student relay. I didn’t want to be beaten by kids half my height so I stepped up the pace. We ran through some nice neighbourhoods and along the Waterfront Trail.
As soon as I had put some kids in my rearview mirror, they tagged their next runner and they would inevitably shoot out in front of me. Not fair! Inside the last kilometer we did a short in and out along the waterfront and you could hear the announcers calling out runners at the finish line just across the water. That gave a good incentive to up the pace a bit.
A free cup of Tim Hortons hot chocolate was a welcome body warmer in the post-race glow. The 10k medal was a nice sparkly medal to add to my expanding collection!
The next day my Trek and Run teammates and I drove down to the Carmen Corbasson Community Centre. We got there early, so I got some shut eye in the parking lot, which was badly needed after a 2.5h sleep the night before. A quick shuttle brought us to the start at Celebration Square where once again some people were leading stretching exercises. I wasn’t able to find a 4.5h or 5h pacer, so I started running when the last of the runners were crossing the start line.
The first few kilometres went by some spectacular million dollar mansions with triple garages and iron gates and intercoms. The weather, while cold, warmed up after an hour and I had to take off my jacket. My knees, which were still having issues stemming from ATB, started acting up around 18k, and by 29k I was reduced to a fast walk. We were in some industrial park roads at the time, before heading to the Waterfront Trail. The last 10k I had a strong sense of déjà vu as it was the same 10k I ran yesterday. At this point just making it to the finish line was my goal, and I was chatting with some runners along the way.
At the finish line the announcer called out my name, I collected my marathon medal, which had a nice little 42.2 spinner on it, then went to the prizing tent to pick up the Race Weekend Warrior bonus medal. I heard that last year’s double racers got a bandana for their efforts, so it was nice to score some hardware instead. I met up with a bunch of Markham Running Room friends at the finish, who were waiting for some other friends to finish. I saw some of them were toting cases of Catelli pasta, and was debating the merits of heading back to their tent to try to get a box. One runner decided she didn’t want to carry her box anymore, and gave it to me. What a bonus, as any additional walking requires serious cost/benefit analysis, when done after a marathon!
The shuttle bus brought us back to the community center, where my team mates were waiting for me. It’s a good thing that I have the car keys, otherwise they would have left a while ago! We sat down to a well deserved vegan lunch at Grasshopper in the Junction, that lunch was a taste sensation.
The crowd energy and spectators at this event was great. The route was clearly marked and easy to follow, though I know some friends inadvertently did an ultra after missing an arrow. Water and gel stations were well stocked with the exception of one, and the weather held up miraculously. The only thing I would suggest for improvement would be to have more of the race route along the waterfront, there were sections of road that weren’t that scenic. Also, I was disappointed that the race shirts did not have the year printed on them, I fear they will use the same shirts next year. Other than that, the Mississauga 10k and Marathon are well organized races.
Pamela (took part in the Half Marathon Walk) - This has been a challenging spring for me, and my training had not quite gone to plan. Family responsibilities intervened, and although I was looking forward to speedwalking the half at the Mississauga Marathon, I had low expectations of my performance.
I have to admit that I also had low exceptions of the course, and of the weather. My weather app was predicting rain, and I was ready to grit my teeth! However, race day morning, the skies cleared, and we had perfect racing weather! Not too hot or cold, just right for a PB result. I started to feel more confident about the day.
We all got ready and stayed warm at the community centre. They had superb facilities and it was a great place to use the washroom one last time to get rid of those pre-race jitters. The starting line was also well-appointed with port-a-potties.
There was a lovely, festive atmosphere at the start, including an inspirational message from Lanni Marchant!! She is, of course, a hero of mine so I was so happy to hear from her at the start of my half. I will admit it – I was SO wrong about this course. This is one beautiful course!! So leafy and green. Wonderful houses line the streets and there was quite a bit of crowd support.
It was a fun and festive atmosphere, and I enjoyed the gently meandering route so much. Plus, this is a downhill course! A great place to PB. And – PB I did!!
I was surprised but I ended up with a time of 2:43, just slightly below my previous personal best. I was 7th of 105 walkers. I’m so happy with that result, and inspired to speed-walk Mississauga again next year. Thank you for having a walk category!! I wonder if you might consider giving walkers a ‘walker’ sign for our backs? It helps other race participants to know what to expect when passing us, and it also helps keep walkers accountable to walking the whole race. A brilliant day. One of my favourite races. Thanks Mississauga Marathon!