B&O Yorkville Run
The B&O Yorkville Run saw well heeled runners participate in one of the loveliest runs this city has on deck. From the race kit pick up, to the well appointed volunteers, this race is scenic, well organized and a ton of fun. Read on why this run makes my BlogTO race list every year.
Race Kit Pickup
Signs dotted the way leading you to the brand spanking new Yorkville Village Food Hall. Race kit pick up boasted more than just grabbing your bib and going, there was Nuun sampling their latest flavours, free cookies from Equinox (and information to join I’m sure, but you had me at cookies) and free coffee. All the swag aside, picking up the kit was hands down the fastest race kit pick up of my life. A concierge greets you, requests your bib number and poof! like magic, your kit is presented in a shiny tube, stuffed with goodies (like a New Balance Windcheater Jacket, neon socks, B&O Race T) and other run necessities, like the bib and official chip timer. Also stuffed in there was a $50 credit voucher for spa services at the glorious Four Seasons Spa.
After congregating at Jesse Ketchum school, doing a little warm up with one of the Equinox trainers (who also happened to win the race this year!) runners were directed to the nearby starting line, right on Bay Street. With most races, this is the moment of anxiety- find your wave before it closes, cram yourself in there and then hope to take flight before being barreled over. Wrong waves, slow waves, too fast waves, it’s part and parcel of any big running event. But not this one. With only about 1,000 runners, the B&O Yorkville Run is exclusive. Limited number of runners means more pavement for you, no jostling for position or getting kicked in the ankle while being overtaken. Here, it’s sophisticated and simple. Signage is posted on nearby utility poles, find your pace and you’re all set.
The route was south on Bay Street to Dundas, then from Dundas to University and then back up to Yorkville. It’s very flat and fast, with only a slight hill coming up University near Queen’s Park. The roads are all pretty well paved so there wasn’t many potholes to watch out for. One lane on each road was closed to accommodate for us runners, with volunteers and police guiding us at all the turns.
I hadn’t run a proper 5K since my youth, it’s been mostly 15K and up since then, so when I saw the signage marking the 4th KM, I knew it was time to kick things up a notch. But I half expected another sign at 500m, or even 100m, which I didn’t get. I had more gas in the tank and that’s what I get for running ‘blind’. I use my TomTom Spark religiously but intentionally didn’t use it for the race- I’ve been trying to listen more to my body then the metrics of running lately. Overall, I was pretty happy with my result, but a sub 24 minute race would have been dope!
After crossing the finish line and snagging the snazzy medals, runners were treated to Flow Water, coffee from Starbucks and a virtual smorgasbord of eats and treats. Cinnamon Buns- check. Pizza- check! It was a bounty of food streamlined by the hordes of volunteers in adorable tuxedo style shirts all back at Jesse Ketchum PS. The charities were onsite (including the cute dogs from the Golden Rescue Club) which meant for a meaningful connection to our important cause. Too often with runs like these you don’t get a chance to see where your dollars are going, but here, it was onsite and engaging.
Free race pics are my new favourite trend in runs. I was stoked to get the email with my free images, I hope to see this continue with bigger races doling out freebie photos.
So, will you be signing up next year? Hope to see you at the starting line!