- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, Other
- Road Race
- Event Website
I am so conflicted with this race!
First the positives! The race benefits the Quebec Lung Association which made running it a no-brainer as my father passed away from pulmonary fibrosis, a little known and studied lung disease which seems to be on the rise. So yeah...this one’s for you pop! The morning turned out to be beautiful, a breeze off of the water and cool temps made for a pleasant run. The race had small-town vibes (more on that later), a decent course through the local streets (again, more on that later) and a very flat out-and-back course.
It was also a great early season half-marathon to get primed for a summer of running and racing!
Overall though I left feeling pretty neutral. I was stoked to finally break 2-hours and PR in the half-marathon + finished 14th overall! Ok so there were only 38 entrants but I’ll take it!
I was a bit underwhelmed from the moment I arrived. Let’s just say the curb appeal left a lot to be desired as the start/finish area was in a construction zone.
Race packet pickup was super easy as most local runners picked up the night before. The race was a 1h45 drive for me so pickup the prior day wasn’t much of an option. There were a few kiosks set up promoting the local triathlon and running store but that’s about it.
Prior to the start there was a brief group warm upanimated by a local cardio trainer.
The half-marathon started at 9am. The 10k went off at 9:10am. The race itself was on local streets which followed a waterfront off and on and ran through some farmland. Sorel-Tracy is a smaller town with a very suburban feel. It felt much like I was running on the streets near my house. The views along the course were kind of underwhelming; it’s probably a good thing as the streets were not closed to traffic so you had to pay attention to people pulling out from driveways and cars travelling at 50 MPH a few feet from you. There was not one spectator along the route either...if it wasn’t for the bib safety pinned to my shorts I would have thought I was on a training run occasionally passing others out on their Sunday AM run as well.
The website for the race had links to the course but unfortunately the links were dead...I had no idea where the aid stations were or really where we’d be running. There ended up being 2 aid stations along the half-marathon route...one at the 5k mark and one at the 10k mark. As the race was an out-and-back you technically had 4 chances to get water or a sport drink (I think it was Gatorade in throw-away paper cups...c’mon races! Go cupless!)
I like using Tailwind so I ran with a 500ml Nathan handheld and drank most of it by the 10k mark, emptied it out, added fresh water and the powder I had in a baggie in my pocket and was fine like that. There were supposed to be gels available but I did not see those anywhere...a good reason why you should carry your own stuff!
The course was flat and fast with volunteers encouraging runners at major intersections and turns. Really easy to follow...especially since the majority of the course followed the same road.
I have one piece of constructive criticism. Start the 1k a bit later or have the 1k course go a different direction. Myself and a few other runners were dodging the kids at the end of our race...not the end of the world but could have ended badly if a kid darted out in front of a runner.
As the race was a fundraiser there were no finishers medals for the 5-10-21.1k distances. The kids in the 1k race did receive one. The t-shirt was a cotton one that was basically sponsors logos and not much else. Everyone who finished regardless of distance was given a reusable plastic bottle.
All-in-all it was an ok experience. A decent race if you want to help contribute to the Quebec Lung Association ($8000 was raised which is rad!) but not a race I would suggest as a destination race if it is your only one for the season.