When you’re planning your race calendar for 2019, I strongly recommend considering making Montréal part of it. As I mentioned the other day, this is RunTOBeer’s third straight year at the Banque Scotia 21k de Montréal. Plans are already underway for the fourth.
Whether you’re a serious racer or just want to experience running on a Formula 1 track, where Expo 67 and the 1976 Summer Olympics events took place, Canada Running Series has created an ideal event. And it keeps getting better.
For the first time this year, runners were rewarded for doing “The Double,” meaning if they completed the 5k or 10k on Saturday, followed by the 21k on Sunday they received third medal to recognize their effort (and discounted race entry).
Also a first: Canada’s very own Endurance Tap made its debut on the race course, giving runners some welcome fuel around the halfway mark. The salted maple energy gel was a very popular choice.
Even community recipients were better off this year. The Scotiabank Charity Challenge was already the biggest fundraiser in the entire province, collecting more than $1.2 million for 79 charities last year. This year the total is already over $1.3 million with 30 days left to donate.
This trip was extra special for us, as the participant shirt logo design was the handiwork of RunTOBeer’s very own captain and graphic designer. Richard Kuchinsky (The Directive Collective) took inspiration from the lines that make up the iconic geodesic dome at Parc Jean Drapeau (where the races are contested), and fused it with his own running philosophy of staying bold and strong, keeping it simple.
Of course, not everything happens on the official calendar. Saturday evening saw lululemon host a shakeout run with members from several different Montreal crews. They welcomed our Toronto contingent, and treated us to gnocchi and local craft beer. OTT City Run Club (Ottawa) and East Van Run Crew (Vancouver) shirts were were also spotted at the free event, which featured several coveted caps from Ciele as door prizes.
RunTOBeer may just be visiting, but that doesn’t stop us from hosting a brewpub crawl every year. In a past life I frequently crossed Canada, scouting for the top modelling agency in Canada. The agency is headquartered in Montréal, so I was here most often, and got to know the local craft beer scene quite well. It’s how I ended up with the social media handle @BrewScout. This year’s crawl also included members from Montréal’s run crews, as well as five very deserving members of the Canada Running Series team that had just wrapped production of race weekend.
In addition to getting to the races and community events I also picked up a bit of extra work, getting the Elite runners from the Novotel to the Quartiers des Athlètes. I ended up in the same shuttle as Tristan Woodfine and Sasha Gollish, who won their respective divisions in the half marathon. Woodfine crossed the line in 1:05:43 (more than a minute ahead of his nearest competitor). Gollish cruised to victory in 1:16:14.
In total, approximately 7,000 people participated in the 21k, 10k, 5k or 1k Kid’s Run, in gloriously sunny conditions. You really couldn’t ask for better.