Ran it once. Won't run it again. (about: 1999)|
A Runner from Winnipeg, Manitoba (9/5/00)
This marathon books itself as the 'Canadian International Marathon' in typical Toronto style. The fact that there are numerous other international marathons in Canada seems to elude the organizers. The course initially starts off by running through a commercial area preceded by a lovely (though hilly) park. The largest section of the marathon runs along Yonge Street where the runners are subjected to the rudest drivers this side of New York. Everyone seems to be totally surprised by the road closures, even though the event was well advertised. If you run this course, you can expect to be cursed at and cutoff by the impatient drivers trying to cross the intersections. Although the police do an admirable job at trying to control traffic, they are unable to ensure your safety. The run does go in front of the scenic 'Casa Loma', which is certainly worth the look. Upon entering downtown Toronto, the course takes us through a really seedy industrial section next to the Don River, once the most polluted river in Canada. This part of the course is very lonely, with no spectators and nothing to see except industrial waste and chain-link fences. The last stretch of the course is slightly uphill, finishing at Queen's Park, Ontario's Legistative Building.
Surely the organizers of Toronto's Marathon could showcase their city by running along Lake Ontario, rather than running through crowded, uninteresting streets. Doesn't Toronto have any parks?
Needless to say, I would never run the Canadian International Marathon again.
Vancouver's and Winnipeg's Marathon are by far better organized and have spectators that appreciate runners.