It was a chilly overcast day as I drove from Toronto to Niagara Falls. After picking up my race kit, I hopped on to the race bus to be driven to the race start. The field was sizeable and there were a lot of foreign runners. The whole race was run along the Niagara Parkway along river Niagara and finished beside the falls. The crowd support on the course was not that big, probably because the entire race was outside the city. It was my sixth race in 8 weeks and instead of being tired I was feeling quite fresh…maybe because my legs had gotten used to long distance running. I finished the race a little over 2 hrs which was my personal best. We were given thermal blankets after the race and then transported back to the race hotel. The medal was actually quite nice. This happened to be the last race for 2002 and am already looking forward to the races in 2003.
It was beautiful sunny day in Toronto as I stood at the starting line at Mel Lastman Square. Being one of the biggest marathons in Canada, the turn out and festivities were amazing. It took me about 5 minutes to cross the starting line. The route was simple and downhill most of the way apart from a tough climb on Hoggs Hollow and the last km up to Queens Park. There was plenty of support on the way and running through Forest Hill and Rosedale Valley was a treat. Nadia was there at the finish line taking photos. The post race party was quite elaborate. We stayed around for a while and then took the subway up to Mel Lastman square to pick up the car. The best part of the race was receiving the half marathon medal which was literally half a medal (quite fascinating).
The race was held at the beautiful Cumberland Heritage museum on the outskirts of Ottawa. I drove with Yasser on race day from Kingston and got lost on the way to the race site. Luckily I got in about 20 minutes before the race start. The field was small (capped at 500). It was a chilly overcast day with a little breeze. The course was quite hilly but the scenery was unbelievable. It was fall colors at it’s best. There was minimal crowd support on the way and felt quite lonely at times. By the time I finished the race, it was raining. The medal was quite basic but got a nice massage and a hearty meal. After the race, I had to wait half an hour for Yasser to come pick me up as he had gone to drop off his friend to downtown. The worst part was that my warm clothes were in his bag, so had to shiver in my wet running clothes for that time. He did get a mouthful from me in the end!
Ziyad Rahim is an adventure-runner from Pakistan. He currently holds 10 Guinness World Records in long-distance running, ranging from marathons to ultra-marathons.