Race Report – Oasis Toronto ZooRun 10K 2015

It’s a little late for a Race Report, but it’s better late than never! And, this will be my first Race Report to commemorate my first anniversary of running!

I ran the Oasis Toronto ZooRun 10K by myself, but my mom, cousin and Christine did the 5K Run/Walk at their own paces. Since the 10K started at 8:15am and the 5K was scheduled for about 10am, I would wait for them at the finish line!

I wanted to see if I could finish under 60 minutes, but I gave myself a realistic time between 1:00 and 1:10 since that’s about the pace that I usually run. I figured that it’s possible that I run faster since it’s a race and the weather forecast shows that it’ll be a lot cooler, but it also predicted some rain and I hadn’t run this course in about a year, so it’s just as possible that I’d run slower! Gah.

Zoo Run 10K Map

Toronto Zoo Run 10K Course – Courtesy of Canada Running Series

Pre-Race – Night

I ran an easy 3.5KM the night before to gauge how I was feeling overall. I didn’t feel awesome on that run, but I hadn’t eaten in over 5 hours, so that could have been a factor! After a quick check on the ofrecast, I stuffed my daypack with some things I figured I’d need:

  • Spare change of clothes, including socks
  • Tiny umbrella

Since I couldn’t really predict what would happen during and after the race, I also packed:

  • Extra KT Tape strips
  • Extra granola bars (for post-race waiting)
  • Camera + 2 lens

I was surprised my 10L daypack could fit all of that. Thank goodness for baggage check!

Pre-Race – Morning

7am: It’s 7 and I’m still at home and just finished changing. Crap. I was hoping to be at the Zoo by now!

7:30am: Waiting at the Zoo for a parking space. Craaaaap. Hoping I can get to the baggage check on time or else I could be doing an extra km just to get my bag into the car and back to the corrals.

7:45am: Bag is checked in! It’s raining kind of hard at this point so I’m desperately hoping that my camera isn’t going to get wet even though it’s in its own protective case!

7:45am – 8:10am: I slowly sip on a cup of water since I was rushing out the door, which was a terrible, terrible idea at the time. There’s huge lines for the portables, but I figured I could stop at one along the route somewhere. I do some dynamic lunges and pace around to try and keep myself warm, but it’s just so damn cold and wet!

8:15am: Gun starts and the Red Corral is opened. Damn, they’re fast! I wonder what the winning time will be…

8:25am: Damn. I’m starting to feel that pee signal.

8:30am: My corral, Green, is let through the starting gate. Woo hoo! LET’S DO THIS SO I CAN FIND A PORT-A-POTTY.

1 – 2KM – I spot an older gentleman in front of me, who’s much taller, wearing a neon green jacket and going at a nice pace for my liking, so I’ve dubbed him my Pacer for the rest of the race.

It’s pretty interesting running on the highway that I just drove on. The incline isn’t too bad so far and the pavement seems pretty good.

3KM – My Pacer is so far ahead of me! GODDAMN IT.

A lot of people ran ahead of me by now, but now I’m starting to pass them. Yay for pacing!

We turn from the roads back into the Zoo property now and it’s really, really muddy back there. That rain isn’t making anything better…

4KM – Just passed the water station. WHERE IS THIS PORT-A-POTTY?!

It dawns on me now that they probably don’t have any on the route because the Zoo has to stay open to the public afterwards and they might not have the resources to take them away before the anticipated crowds.

I still have to pee but I gotta wait until the end now! Aggghhhh.

5KM – Oh, right. There’s HILLS in this course. And I haven’t trained on hills since… well, ever. I’m screwed.

But, what’s that ahead? I see my Pacer and pass him as he walks. PROGRESS!

And, at least the hill doesn’t look as scary as last year! MORE PROGRESS!

6 – 7KM – Were the hills always here?! Holy crap, man.

7.5KM – Left foot and right lung/ribs are starting to hurt in some really strange ways, so I decide to start doing some walking to catch my breath and to make sure I don’t cross the finish line with a branch crutch.

Ooh, an arctic wolf!

8KM – Pacer catches up.

NO. I will cross the finish line before you, sir!

I start picking up the pace back to 6’10” even on the inclines, but I start to worry about how my legs will be afterwards.

Ooh, camels!

9KM – I’m slowly dying. This feels like the longest 10km I’ve ever run and something doesn’t feel right somewhere in my body, but I refuse to give up.

I remember how I’ve passed by dozens of runners who started before me and I see an older gentleman chugging along ahead of me.

I can do this. Just one more incline and curve and I’ll be done.

10KM – I DID IT! I crossed the finish line just ahead of a couple of other girls who I was following for the past 300m or so(gotta finish strong, right?).


I quickly grabbed my medal and then immediately doubled back to the Canadian Ski Patrol medical tent to get someone to check on my foot. Luckily, the bone was still in place but they guessed that I had strained the tendons too much, so they rebound my foot and firmly agreed with me that I should see my physiotherapist soon after the race.

But, here’s my final results!

Chip Time: 65:05.1
Overall Place: 1398
KM Pace: 06:31
Place in Gender: 664 / 1504
Place in Category: 148 / 324
Category – 10 KM F25-29
Zoo Run 2015

I MAINTAINED MY PR! Seriously, it’s almost exactly the same time as my PR and I’m not sure if I’m proud or annoyed at that. I’m super proud that I managed to run those hills that fast, but it’s SO close from breaking a PR!

The food and amenities were quite generous and there was a lot of port-a-potties available at the finisher’s area. They offered some Liberté Greek yogurt, bananas, some cookies and Pita Break’s Morning Rounds.

As the main sponsor, Oasis set up a huge sampling tent for their juices and handed out bottles of their NutriSolution, which is a meal replacement product.

I waited around for my mom, cousin and Christine to finish their 5K and cheered them on to the finish line!

I had a great time at the Oasis ZooRun this year and I’m definitely planning on making this an annual race.

Have you been on the ZooRun or another Canadian Running Series race?




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