PUMA Toronto Women’s Half Marathon/10K/5K 2024 on May 25, 2024

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Karen and I before the 5K race May 25 2024
Karen and I before the 5K race May 25 2024

The PUMA Toronto Women’s Half Marathon/10K/5K 2024 took place on May 25, 2024 at Wilket Creek Park in Toronto and my sister and I completed the 5K. The race is part of the Puma Toronto Women’s Run Series, which encourages women to be fit and active in a fun and supportive environment. The race raises funds for a great cause: The Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO).

Puma Toronto Women's Run Series at Wilket Creek Park on May 25, 2024
Puma Toronto Women’s Run Series at Wilket Creek Park on May 25, 2024

The race begins and ends in scenic Wilket Creek Park and the race course is along paved pathways with only one small bridge to cross. It’s an ideal course for beginning runners to run since it doesn’t have the hills of other more challenging courses.



Despite this, the run was not an easy feat for my sister or for me for several reasons. First, my sister injured her back a week before the race and wasn’t sure if she was going to be able to run. Second, three weeks before the run, I caught a bad cold and had to put the brakes on training for two weeks. I was able to have only one practice run a week before the race. Third, the night before the run, I must have had a case of race nerves as I slept only four hours.

To make matters worse, within a minute of beginning the race, we felt drops of rain, which quickly turned into a strong downpour. Three minutes later, there was thunder! Oh great…just what we needed! The rain stopped for a bit, but then started again, and the thunder continued. I was not wearing a waterproof jacket so I got completely soaked to the skin. I was also a bit worried about running while there was thunder so I believe that made me run faster.

Karen and I before the 5K race May 25 2024
Karen and I before the 5K race May 25 2024

I found the first kilometre very easy and ran faster than I normally do, probably due to adrenaline. However, when we reached the second kilometre mark, I thought, “Have we run only two kilometres?” so I was started to feel a bit tired. In fact, I stopped to walk for 30 seconds to catch my breath. That’s when my sister passed me lol. I continued to run, although at a slower pace, and stopped again for 30 seconds at the three kilometre mark to slow down my breathing. Between the three kilometre and four kilometre stretch of the course, there is a small bridge. I did not have the energy to run up the bridge so I walked over it – again, I think I stopped only for 30 seconds.



There are volunteers along the route that not only cheer you on, but will run with a group of race participants and provide them with encouraging updates such as, “You are only two minutes away from the four kilometre mark.” I found this support and encouragement very helpful!

We finished the race and were both happy with our times considering the circumstances. My sister bested me by two minutes!

Karen and I with medals at Puma 5K race May 25 2024
Karen and I with medals at Puma 5K race May 25 2024

At the finish line, runners receive a beautiful Finisher’s medal. There are also complimentary bags of healthy snacks, fruit and bottled water.

There was also a 10K and half marathon taking place. Due to the storms and lightning, the half marathon was shortened a bit for safety reasons.

Although I told myself before the race (when I was sleep deprived lol) that I would not be doing this again, my feelings changed after finishing the race. In fact, I started thinking about how I could improve my race time, especially if I had more training. And of course, now I know what to expect so I can prepare and train better for next time.

The race entry fee varies from $55 – $75 depending on how early you register for the race. The fee includes the following:

  • PUMA technical running shirt
  • Exclusive finisher medal
  • Personalized race bib, if registered by a set deadline
  • On course aid stations
  • A post run party, with post race snacks, samples and activities provided by sponsors
  • A timed race and results provided by Sportstats
  • Chance to support kids with cancer by supporting POGO

I’m so glad that my sister found the strength to participate in the run! Despite all our obstacles, it was a fun and challenging experience! And thanks so much to her husband, Joe, for driving us there, cheering us on, picking us up, and taking us out for a post-race breakfast at Pablo’s Coffee House at Shops at Don Mills!

Light Breakfast and Classic Breakfast at Pablo's Coffee House at Shops at Don Mills
Light Breakfast and Classic Breakfast at Pablo’s Coffee House at Shops at Don Mills

Running in the Puma Toronto Women’s Run Series with my sister is one of the highlights of my year! But for now, I’m going to put my feet up and recover for the next several days lol.

Have you done a 5K, 10K or half marathon before? What was your experience like?

You may be interested in reading, “Toronto Blue Jays Reveal City Connect Night Mode Jersey at Lavelle“.

 

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