The Day the World Runs

Saturday night I took part in the Nike+ Human race. I am not a night runner, but decided to participate anyway. The idea of the Human Race is that anyone with a Nike+ chip can take part anywhere in the world. All you have to do is run 10km on the same day (this year, it was 10/24) where and when you can.

Several cities hosted live events. Toronto had 2 – and both were less than a km from my house. So how could I not join in!?

I decided to sign up at the Toronto Nike Runner’s Lounge location because I thought it would be cooler than the Running Room location since I know that even for the running club Nike has out DJs. Not to mention Vitamin Water is kinda tasty.

The Nike Lounge even gave you the chance to customize you shirt for free if you picked up your race kit on the Wednesday or Thursday nights (the running room didn’t) so I think I made the right call.

The night was a little on the chilly side, but I jogged to Yorkville and found a crowd of folks in their red shirts dancing around to DJ music to keep warm. Things were lively and fun, but a little on the disorganized side of things – the route had not been published ahead of time and no one was giving us information. There were two world champion runners – and we were told each was going to lead a group. They tried to split the crowd into two based on times (sub 50 went north, and the rest of us went west) but it was really hard to tell who was where. Especially when they decided to switch up the positioning just before the race started. Not to mention, everyone had the same start line. So when they said go, I just started running and followed the person in front of me.

There were volunteers with yellow shirts on the course directing us. Eventually I was given an option of North or West – so I knew I was on the right track.  I would often see the volunteers running up ahead to direct us as we approached.

There were some cops along the route, but no roads were officially blocked off. Though with several hundred runners taking over Lowther and eventually Davenport with our flashing armbands I don’t think that cars really knew what to do with us. That was super fun 🙂 And that was the route – West along Lowther to Spadina, North on Spadina to Davenport and then all the way to Dufferin where we turned around. They were handing out water bottles which I appreciated. I didn’t realize there were no garbages to toss it in during the second half (I didn’t want to litter since I was pretty sure the “course” wasn’t going to be cleaned)!

The “race” finished at the Lounge where they had coffee, water, Vitamin water, Muffins and Granola bars. I went to use a computer to sync my run (their macs are faster than mine 🙂 ) and was given a little card. Had no idea what it was for and so asked someone. They pointed me to the VIP area and told me it would give me access. Um, okay.

Back behind the curtain (yes, there was a curtain) was more food – granola, fruit and some sort of fried thing I avoided. They also were giving out massages! It hadn’t picked up yet, so I got my rub down quickly (yes, I know it was only a 10km, but if someone offers you a free massage you TAKE it). Then I headed home, stopping outside to see if I won anything in the raffle (I didn’t – but there were a lot of prizes!!) and then ran home freezing cold. It’s amazing how fast you freeze once you stop moving!

So yes, despite the lack of organization, I’d do the race again. It was a fun way to get in a 10km but definitely wasn’t the same as the Sporting Life or another big race event. I also would not recommend it as a first race because there were no folks out and cheering, and you didn’t know the course ahead of time (at one point I thought we were going to be running north on spadina up the fun hills and was not happy) — those are things that would be important to me as a newbie. But it was a fun novel way to crank out a 10km.
Plus, it only cost $20 and they were selling the shirt alone for more than $30 in the store. AND I really like my LED reflective armband. Will definitely be busting it out in the future for early morning and evening runs. Thumbs up for the Human Race!

Ready to run

2 Responses to “The Day the World Runs”

  1. Marlene Says:

    This sounds totally fun with some great perks to make up for the lack of organization. 🙂

  2. Trainerpack Says:

    Jen you have a very interesting site, I really like to combination of bio, blog etc…I too am from Toronto and wanted to invite you to have a look at my free workouts since you are a workout buff as well…

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