Spartan Race Toronto 2015 – Everything You Need To Know
The weather forecast is out, and heat warning is in effect for both Saturday and Sunday. I am changing some of my earlier recommendations:
– do not wear long pants, you will be way too hot. Some scrapes are better than a sun stroke. – given that it’s been raining in Southern Ontario in the last few days, you may want to consider a grippier shoe – wear a hydration bladder for BOTH distances – consider NOT racing if you are sensitive to heat
The upcoming Toronto Sprint/Super weekend will be taking place at the Brimacombe Ski Resort – same as last year. I may or may not have snuck into the resort to scope out what we are in for.
May… or may not.
Brimacombe 4098 Regional Road 9 Orono, ON L0B 1M0
You can go ahead and enter the above into your GPS. Note that this may also come up as Oshawa Ski Club. As long as the address is the same, you are fine.
The universal law of any race dictates that no matter how well marked the race, someone may get lost. [Although this is rarely a problem for shorter races].
That being said, the race location is very easy to find, only two turns from the (401) highway. There are multiple gates that allow you to enter the ski resort, so follow the signs.
If you are coming from Toronto(ish), you are looking at 60-75 minute drive – give yourself two hours before your start time, and you should be fine.
Spartan Race Canada is working with Trumin this year. Once you register for the race, you should receive an email with the link, which you can follow to “check in”, sign your waiver form and get your event pass.
While I loved the convenience of being able to fill out the form online, the process was not the most intuitive – it took quite a bit of clicking around. Once you complete the process, the event passes are sent directly to your email address – you can either print them out, or they can be scanned at the race off your phone, using QR code.
As Spartan Sprints go, this venue allows for a fairly fast race. The terrain is grassy. There are some groomed trails. Some gravel. In other words… tame.
I do not anticipate this to be the most spectator friendly course, as most time will be spent crawling up the nearest hill. Not the most exciting thing to watch. Given that the hills are not that steep, there will probably be obstacles set up at the tops – a rope climb and the rig both seem like logical choices here. [Check out this post on how to get across the rig].
There is water around the resort, but I doubt we will be getting into it – too scary looking, and too many signs around. And too deep to be safe for thousands of people to be in simultaneously.
Same goes for a small creek that runs through the resort- too small and narrow for thousands of people to be passing through safely.
The hills are as steep as you can expect them to be at a ski resort in Ontario. So not very. The sharpest inclines can be seen on narrower hills marked as Black Diamond – if the course goes through those, it would be later in the race, as the racers are further spread out.
There are a couple of hills surrounding the ski base, varying in how steep they are. I see the race course primarily taking place on the gentler slopes with cut grass.
The widest hill facing the base is probably where we will head up from the start. It is about 400m to the top, and it took me six minutes of leisurely walking (note here that I suck at the uphill, and I can see faster male elites covering this distance in three minutes or less).
I predict that we will be running up the hill(s) two to three times for the Sprint on Saturday, and four to five times for the Super on Sunday. The Super most likely will not have too many more obstacles than the Sprint, but more hill climbs and more distance to cover (well, obviously).
Given the terrain, you will not need anything too aggressive or supportive. For a short course, SpeedCross will be an overkill, unless you race in those regardless of distance, and could use extra ankle support.
I will be racing in my S-Lab Sense Ultras – both regular and Soft Ground editions would work well. Soft Ground has significantly more grip, but because the terrain is fairly forgiving, you’d be fine with the regular version.
In fact, you may even get away with your road shoes. There is lots of green around, so I expect this to be a clean(ish) course, compared to many. Save perhaps for an intentional mud pit.
I will probably run without water for the Sprint, and with my hydration pack for the Super (there will be multiple aid stations on course, but I do like being able to drink when I need to on longer distances, rather than waiting for the next aid station). I will throw one energy gel into my back pocket for the short course, and 2-3 gels for the Super.
If you are a slower racer, and expect to be out on course for couple of hours for the Sprint, I would strongly recommend bringing the hydration pack for both distances.
Nothing special. My default outfit would be a tank top and 3/4 length racing pants. With vegetation and tall grass, you may want to wear compression socks or longer pants, if your skin is sensitive, or if you want to avoid cuts and bruises.
There isn’t a whole lot of shade, so you know what that means. Wear sunscreen. Wear sunscreen. This is especially important if you are a slower racer or are racing with a team (because you are slower when racing with other people, and so you will be spending more time outdoors).
The current weather forecast is showing a chance of showers on both Saturday and Sunday, but I wouldn’t count on it. Double-check the weather forecast in a week, or do what I do – show up ready to race. In any conditions.
I am expecting to see lots of familiar faces out there. If we have not yet met, and you happen to recognize me, please do come up and say hello!
Do me a favour and send this blog post to all your friends doing this event. If I can do even a tiny bit to optimize everyone’s experience at this event, I’d be one happy girl.