Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Toronto Waterfront - 2011 Finale

What a day!

The Toronto Waterfront Run marked the finale of our first year running the Fit with Phonak program, and what an event it was.  The weather on race morning appeared ominous as grey skies and harsh winds threatened to make the day very, very uncomfortable.  Although this is a well organized event the sheer number of participants made the simple act of getting to the start line a bit of an effort.  I was happy to have fellow Phonakians Steve Mahon, and Brad Caves with me on the way to our designated “coral’.  A small case of race nerves had been brewing, but were quickly put in check when we passed a small crowed of fans surrounding 100 year old Fauja Singh, pictured below, who was about to embark on his 26.2 mile mission to become the oldest man to ever run a marathon (a feat that he accomplished that day in 8hrs 11mins.)  We managed to see quite a few of the over one hundred Phonak/CanHEAR teammates at the start, but with thousands of people in the queue it was near impossible to make contact with anyone.  

I'm officially out of excuses.....

I didn't hear the starter’s pistol but noticed the sea of people starting to move around the massive U-turn towards the start; it was at this point that Phonak/CanHEAR teammate Stefan was nervously headed in the wrong direction.  As he passed he mentioned that he had dropped his car keys.  As proof that miracles can happen, Stefan caught up with us shortly after relieved to have found his keys somewhere beneath the stampede of on-coming runners (he really should have bought a lottery ticket as the odds of finding his keys must have been similar). 

Out on the course we had a pretty stiff, but steady head-wind once we started making our way west.  The festive atmosphere amongst the spectators really did wonders in keeping me distracted from the task at hand.  On route there were a variety of bands, cheerleaders, and I’m pretty sure I even saw the cast of the Wizard of Oz at one point along the Lakeshore.  What amazed me about his run was the density of the participants.  For the entire 21.1km route there was no point where the crowd of runners really thinned out.  When nearing the city there was a divide in the road for those who were continuing on to do battle with the full marathon.  As I followed the half marathon route to the left my thoughts ran to Gail Dornan and Maxine Armstrong who would be taking the split to the right to complete the full marathon (which they both did a fantastic job of doing).  On a day like Sunday, I have to admit that I was quite relieved to be making the left towards the finish. 

After the finish I hustled to get some warm clothes and a camera to snap some pics of the finishers.  Although we had a plan to meet at the Friends and Family area, it was nearly impossible to manage the crowds and get everyone in the same place at once.  I was thrilled to be able to snap the following pictures, but if any of you have any that you would care to share, please send them along.  In summary, I couldn’t be happier with the response to Fit with Phonak in our first year.  A big thank-you to all of you, and everyone who helped make this a success.  Stay tuned for a wrap-up and plans for 2012....

Congratulations to you all!!!!


  1. Adam - you have outdone yourself once again! On behalf of CanHEAR Uganda we would like to sincerely thank you for supporting our new group and for helping to increase awareness in such a effective and unique way. Congratulations to all the runners and keep up the good work!

  2. It was a great experience. Thanks to Phonak for sponsoring this event. One of my favourite moments was around the 19 km mark when I felt a tap on my shoulder and a man running next to me said, "I'm from Uganda!". We had a nice chat until I realized that I needed to choose between running and talking.
    Karen Gordon - SickKids