RACE REVIEW: Hypothermic Half-Marathon, Montreal – “Look Ma, I Still Have All My Fingers and Toes!”
Winter running inspires a special kind of devotion. Even some of the most dedicated runners are all like, “Screw this” once the temperature drops, so we have to tip our hats to the participants who turned out for the Hypothermic Half Marathon on February 18. Especially the dude who raced in full Batman garb. Mad respect, brother. Check out what some Mobsters had to say about the race in the video.
The weather was much better than it could have been, with bright sunshine and temperatures flirting with zero degrees Celsius. There was a brisk wind but overall, conditions were about as pleasant as you could ask for in the middle of February.
It wasn’t a huge race, which might have accounted for the relatively calm overall vibe. The crowd of supporters did their best to keep participants’ spirits up, but the course was designed in a seven-kilometre loop that runners and walkers had to circle three times, which made for lots of downtime. From the participants’ perspective, that made for plenty of time to crank up their iPods, set their pace and try not to kill themselves on the ice.
Oh, the ice. The not-so-hidden hazard of winter. Just navigating your driveway can be risky enough between November and March, so you can imagine what it’s like in a little-travelled park. Yak Trax and other types of shoe grip aids helped for runners who had them. The others just had to be extra careful – and judging from the fact that we didn’t see any stretchers, apparently prudence pays off.
The ice didn’t seem to have a huge impact on finish times, though. The first runner sprinted across the finish line at an impressive one hour and 18 minutes and within an hour; the bulk of the racers had joined him.
Entertainment along the course was a little scarce. Aside from sporadic music and a very enthusiastic Training Mobs cheer station; this wasn’t the race to turn to for fireworks.
Overall, if you’re looking for a race to carry you over until spring or just to provide some midwinter incentive to keep training, this is a good one.
And to finish, our breakdown of Rants, Raves and the Rest of it:
- - The black ice: many runners thought the course was insufficiently salted
- - The windbreaker that came with the race kit was neither functional, nor fashionable; not many people actually wore it on the course
- - Official finish times were available online within three hours of the end of the race, so for the runner eager to see how he or she did, there was no wait
- - Race started more or less on time, important when it’s cold out!
The Rest of it:
- - Fees: between $60 and $75, depending on when you registered
- - What the fees got you: post-race snacks, windbreaker
- - Race kit pickup: conveniently from the Running Room at Place Ville Marie (downtown), or onsite, race day
- - Location: Parc Jean-Drapeau. Bit tricky to get to by car; metro / subway was the best bet. Parking was plentiful as was the $16 price tag
- - Charity: proceeds benefitted Le Phare/The Lighthouse, a charity that provides support and guidance to sick children and their families
We hope you enjoyed this race review. See you at the next event!