This is the first year of the Whitby International North Marathon.
I signed up for the half marathon back in December, as I live in Whitby, ON, and there was a good incentive for early registration.
At the time, the course presented was net downhill and fast. I immediately thought this would be a great course for a personal best!
Fast Course, begone!
Well, it would have been... but a few weeks ago, the maps on the site changed to a significantly different course. Gone is the point-to-point net-downhill, replaced with multiple out and backs.
It's their first year, so I get that there could be some difficulties and challenges... but the moment I looked at the original course I thought "wow, that's a lot of road closures". Every east-west road north of the 401 in Whitby would have been effected, including Highway 7, it would have paralyzed our town of 110,000. I'm surprised they would publish a route that was clearly going to be a struggle to get approved.
The New Courses
The new half course is down by the lake, which is really quite a nice area. It's flat, and should be fast (assuming proper road closures!). Not generally keen on out-and-backs, but at least they're in decent areas.
Despite my initial disappointment, I think it should be a good time. At least it's close to home!
The full marathon course... well, that's another matter. Let's say it isn't something I would ever choose to run, not with all the other spring options out there (Toronto, Ottawa, Mississauga). The first half is similar to the half, but the second half is pretty rough. Not only are there several out-and-backs, but there are some tough hills and a long stretch of commercial/industrial wasteland. Not my cup of tea.
I want to get the sub-1:45 personal best I've been gunning for. I was close last race, 1:45:26, and that was early in the year, colder weather, and a few pounds heavier! I think I can do it now, my heart rate has been lower in training at the sub-5:00/km pace I need.