After a long winter indoors, leaving the house even for a short jog can seem daunting. Libby Roach has rounded up the top 10 Toronto runs to help get your journey started…
Running season is upon us and while the thought of lacing up and racing around Toronto’s mean streets may not be for everyone, perhaps with the right motivation you may just find a run that’s right for you. With everything from costumed affairs to more exotic unconventional venues, there’s truly a run for everyone — no matter your fitness level.
So, how do you know which run is right for you? Besides choosing between obvious things like length of race and location, there are other key elements at play. Whether you’re in it for the glory or the glorious prizes, read on to see which Toronto run is right for you.
For the Wannabe Action Hero
If getting dirty and quoting Chuck Norris seem like your idea of a good time, check out Rugged Maniac as it takes over a ski resort in nearby Kitchener on May 30. Combine running a 5K course with leaping over fire, diving down massive water slides, and jumping off enormous shipping containers before celebrating your inner bravery with a free beer at the finish.
For the Gym Bunny
If you’re in reasonable shape and are feeling spry, the Nike Women’s 15K on June 14 may be just the right shove you need to get you over your 5K plateau. While registration is now closed, if you did snag your golden ticket you’ll be rewarded with some serious bling at the finish line. While this is its first appearance in Toronto, previous prizes from this international run have been wrapped in Tiffany’s bags. We’ll take a little blue bag over a blue ribbon any day!
For the Criminal Mind
If you’ve ever wanted to be chased by the cops but don’t want the criminal record to go with it, the Prison Break race on June 27 may satisfy that urge. In a capture the flag-style game, runners are put through the paces of a massive obstacle course including the added navigation of “police” in uniform chasing you. More into doing the chasing? Apply to be a guard and you’re officially with the fuzz.
For the Germaphobe
Dagmar, just a pinch north of Toronto, is home to the 5K Foam Fest race on July 11. Don’t worry the foam is harmless; rather, it’s the series of obstacles that are laid out to (literally) trip you up along your way that are scary. The 5K route meanders through carwash-like hurdles, similar to something straight out of the Japanese import gameshow, Wipeout.
For the Amazing Race Addict
Reality TV wannabes may prefer to stay safely out of the spotlight and channel their puzzle skills to solving this series of challenges and problems all safely within the confines of the city core. While fast feet are certainly an asset for this race, so is a TTC Metropass as you’re generously allowed the provision of public transit. Each team member of the winning team r of the Capital One Race For Kids on June 6 receives a WestJet voucher for one return trip for two people to any scheduled WestJet destination, all in support of Boys and Girls Clubs of Toronto
For the Raver
Relive your raver days with neon colours and bright flashing lights at the Night Race, held at Sunnybrook Park on September 5 at dusk. With a 5K and 10K route (as well as a kids race), each runner scores an LED headlight that makes for a pretty trippy effect running through the weaving ravine paths at night. Stick around after for a family-friendly dance party. Or not.
For the Sloth
While “sloth” hopefully won’t reflect your level of athletic prowess for this 5K or 10K dash through Toronto’s Zoo with the Oasis Zoo Run on September 12, you wouldn’t be faulted for running a little slower than usual as flamingos and their flock can prove rather distracting. Little athletes in the marking will love the 1K kids run, and if you can run in an animal costume then stick around after for the rowdy awards ceremony.
For the Well Heeled
If Yorkville window shopping is your kind of scenery, this race around Holt Renfrew is for you. A super flat and fast 5K, the B&O Yorkville run on September 13 has one heck of a prize kit — last year’s included vouchers for $1250, a new Lexus, and, if that wasn’t enough, raising money for some very worthy charities only adds to the endorphin boost. This race always sells out, so if you have money burning a hole in your wallet, then splurge for this one.
For the Patriotic Do-Gooder
Continue the dream and pick up where Terry left off by signing up for your local Terry Fox Run, and join your fellow Canadians in raising money for the fight against cancer. This run is total grassroots — no minimum fee to sign up and no strict fundraising guidelines. Showing up is all that’s required. Toronto’s run is set for September 20, with satellite runs now happening in 25 countries worldwide.
Wannabe pilots and aerospace enthusiasts may want to give the Toronto Pearson’s Runway Run a whirl. On September 26, runners take flight for 5K over the tarmacs at Pearson International, getting you up close and personal with Air Canada’s fleet of aircrafts. A 2K route is also available for those who like to gawk and walk.
Which run is right for you? Let us know which of these Top 10 Toronto Runs you’ll be participating in, in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.