NikeWomen Victory Tour 2016

On January 19, Nike announced the 20 international locations for their NikeWomen Victory Tour in 2016.

Athens, Greece
Atlanta, USA
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Beijing, China
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Guangzhou, China
Hong Kong, China
Istanbul, Turkey
Jakarta, Indonesia
Los Angeles, USA
London, England
Manila, Philippines
Mexico City, Mexico
Nagoya, Japan
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Seoul, South Korea
Shanghai, China
Sydney, Australia
Taipei, Taiwan
Tokyo, Japan

NikeWomen Victory Tour2

It was announced in December that the Nike tour would not be returning to San Francisco, which was a host city for over a decade for the Nike tour.

Although Toronto saw 10,000 runners at the Nike Women’s 15K Run last year in June, it’s also absent from the list.

Without any local tour stops, Canadian women interested in participating in an infamous Nike Race will have to plan a destination race with the closest races in Los Angeles and Atlanta in the USA.

Tour dates and registration will be announced on January 29.

xoxo,

B.elle

Nike Women’s 15K Toronto Run – Race Report

I did it!!! I actually ran a 15K race when I couldn’t even run 5K this time last year!

I entered and ran on my own because I didn’t (and still don’t) know anybody close to my area who would want to train with me. All of my parkour friends who also run are so far away! ūüė¶

Anyway, here’s my take on the Nike Women’s 15K Toronto!

Training

I had about 11 weeks to train for 15km, but I was already running at about 5km as “long runs” because I was¬†being ultra careful with healing a shin splint while doing parkour at the same time.

So, I more or less followed Hal Higdon’s Novice 15K Training Guide as a general guideline rather than a schedule since I’m still searching for that delicate balance between work and home life.

Luckily, I managed to do a 14km long run to the Eaton Centre’s Nike store to pick up my race packet! Yay! Two birds with one stone!

Race Day

Yup, I bought a separate tank top because I knew I’d likely overheat in the tshirt that they gave out!

Nike Toronto Run

Bright and early and pre-gear drop off on the Toronto Islands!

Nike Toronto Run

Selfies are part of a healthy, pre-race breakfast

Even though the race started at 9:30am, I was slotted for the 7:30am ferry since it was probably dedicated to Wave 5 runners. Luckily, the Island had lots of music and amenities that Nike organized pretty well. They had a ton of photo op stations, a really awesome drumline by the name of 416BEATS (who were really impressive), a warm up location, MuscleAidTape tent, tons of Nuun stations, heat sheet tents, gear drop off and, luckily, a MASSIVE amount of port-a-potties to accomodate so many people!

Nike Toronto Run

The course was amazing to go through even though it had rained while we were in our corrals, but it dried up during the race. My absolute favourite part was running on the Billy Bishop runway while the planes were landing close by!

Combined with a pee break at the 3km part, it added about 5 minutes to my chip time, but it was totally worth it.

Nike Toronto Run

Courtesy of Nike Women Toronto

Courtesy of Nike Women Toronto

Here’s my official results:

City: Toronto

Province:ON

Bib#: 3429

Division: F25-29

Division Rank: 1284/2256

Overall Rank: 4707

Split Times: Avg. Pace: 0:06:44
3k:0:19:52 Start Time: 09:58:30
6k: 0:42:03 Gun Time: 2:09:09
9k:1:01:13 Chip Time: 1:40:50
12k: 1:21:13 Finish Time: 11:39:19
Betty L, aka me, courtesy of Nike Women Toronto

Betty L, aka me, courtesy of Nike Women Toronto

The gun time is so different from the chip time because it took about 30 minutes for Wave 5 to get to the start line.

Does the Nike Women’s 15K Toronto Run’s medal look awesome?

Nike Women Toronto Medal Nike Women Toronto Medal

HELLS YEAH! I’ve already worn it a bunch of times! It looks amazing and definitely wearable for all occasions!

Of course, I thoroughly enjoyed a glorious post-race meal of dumplings, noodles and delicious soup.

Post-Race Meal

I actually felt great the day after the race, so that means I’ll be training to do the Oasis Zoo 10K Run in September in under and hour!

Well… Not completely great.

I literally injured myself on the finish line and ended up with a dropped cuboid, aka cuboid syndrome. More on that later!

xoxo,

B.elle

Toronto Information for Nike Women’s 15K

Okay, so it feels like Toronto’s going to be seeing a LOT of people from around the world this year!

The Pan Am and Parapan American Games, FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Nike Women’s 15K Toronto Run are joining the lineup of the usual internationally known events happening in Toronto like the Honda Indy, NXNE Music Festival, Luminato, Pride Toronto, Caribana, Rogers Cup, Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto International Film Festival and a whole lot of other events that I can’t even remember right now.

The Run Nike Women Series’ Facebook page gets dozens of the same questions about hotels, transit, parking, and other local information that they can’t answer it all!

So, as a local Torontonian, here’s a quick FAQ for the Nike Women’s 15K.

Q: Where is the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal?

A: More commonly known by Torontonians as the “Queen’s Quay Ferry Docks” or some variation of that, it’s located¬†on the southern side of downtown Toronto and best accessible by TTC by two streetcar routes:

509 Harbourfront¬†from Union Station, the most southern subway station on the yellow line. It’s a little confusing because of the renovations, but feel free to ask a volunteer in a bright orange vest where to go!
510 Spadina from Spadina Station, one of the transfer subway stations between the green and yellow lines. It’s one of the stations right in the middle of the map.

Both streetcars go to Queen’s Quay¬†(pronounced like Queen’s KEY), where you get off and head towards the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel, which is right next to the ferry terminal. You can ask for directions from a friendly Torontonian or you could probably follow the massive crowd heading to the ferries, too.

HOWEVER!

The TTC (our only public transit system in Toronto) opens at 9am on Sundays! So, since our ferries start at 6am, your best bet to get to the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal is most likely going to be a cab or someone driving you. If you’re staying a hotel in the downtown core, you can ask the front desk for directions and you can most likely walk straight there. The city itself is pretty huge, but downtown is very walkable.

Q: I’m going to be driving to the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal. Where can I park?

A: Nike recommends parking at the Harbourfront Centre, which is pretty close, but there’s only so many spots available and it’s more on the pricy side of parking rates over there.

I’d recommend¬†looking for a Green P Parking lot or an Impark lot by searching¬†the “Queen’s Quay Ferry Docks.”¬†You can check out their websites right now to see where they have lots so you don’t waste time circling around downtown!

Green P Parking –¬†http://parking.greenp.com/
Impark – http://www2.impark.com/Pages/default.aspx?lang=en&region=toronto

Q: Why do we have to get to the ferries so early when the race starts at 9:30am?!

A:¬†Usually, the ferries don’t see a lot of traffic because the Toronto Islands are very tourism-driven. There are some people who live on the Islands, but the vast majority of the businesses there are only open during the summer.

So, even though our 5 ferries have small capacities ranging from 220 to 975 passengers, this works for the city the majority of the time.

Q: Alright, I have a 7am ferry time. What’s there to do on the Islands¬†until I get into my corral?

A:¬†You’re about to run a 15K race! Why not spend some time warming up on the lush green lawns of the Islands while taking in the fantastic view of the Toronto skyline?

From Wikipedia

Nike has also mentioned that they’ve set up some activities on the Island to help pass the time.

Still bored? Take a short walk around the Start/Finish line and you’ll find a lot of scenic points to get away from the city.

Q: I don’t have a spectator ticket but my friends/family/dog want to come and watch. What should I do?

A: The Nike race has booked out all the available ferries until 9:30am. After that, the ferries will go back to their usual schedule.

That means, if your friends/family/dog don’t mind getting on a later ferry than you, they can simply get a ticket from the Terminal and board the next available ferry like a normal traveller.

(This is what my family and friends are doing. They can’t be bothered to get up that early!)

Q: Speaking of dogs…

A: Yeah, they’re allowed on the Islands. Just make sure that they’re leashed and that they don’t come off the leash while on the ferry.

FYI, there’s been a rash of off-leash dog incidents recently, so the police are doing a crackdown. If you are bringing your pup down to the Islands, please keep this in mind and don’t take off the leash. (Read more here!)

Q: What if I miss my ferry?

A: That would suck so bad. Aim to get there 30mins before your ferry time since it is a real pain in the ass to travel in this city these days!

If you’re running super late and it looks like you’ll miss the race, you can try to take a Water Taxi. But, don’t rely on them since there really aren’t a lot of them available. (See reason above for lack of water transportation.)

Water Taxi Information: 416-203-TAXI (8294)

Q: What else can I do in Toronto after the race?

A: Depends on what you like! Toronto’s a huge city with lots of hidden gems and a ton of things to take in. The tourism board and websites aren’t the best, but if you reach out to a Torontonian forum like on Reddit, you can get some pretty decent answers.

Personally, I’d recommend checking out the food here. There’s something delicious for everyone!

Have another question? Tweet at me @cafelilium or leave a comment! ūüôā

xoxo,

B.elle

Nike Women’s 15K Toronto Run + Window Displays

Hey everyone!

Here’s what The Bay’s window display looked like on Sunday in preparation for the Nike Women’s 15K Toronto Run! If you’re in the area, go check it out!

Nike Women's 15K Toronto Display

I’m going to be running the Nike Women’s 15K Toronto on June 14th in Wave 5 and I’m aiming to finish the race in about 01:45 even though I was incredibly optimistic in my running time when I signed up to finish in 01:30. So far, the weather forecast looks amazing and it’ll be taking place on the Toronto Islands!

Nike Women's 15K Toronto Display

I want those tights. And those shoes!

I am really loving the colours that they picked for the Toronto run! It takes place on the Toronto Islands, so I can totally understand the aquatic blues (even though it’s Lake Ontario) and the greens are so characteristic to how Toronto is so lush and green for a large North American city.

Nike Women's 15K Toronto Display

That mannequin on the far left? YES PLEASE!

I’m thinking of getting some of the exclusive gear, but I’ll see how my wallet’s feeling when I go pick up my race packet! Of course – me being me – I’m planning on running 14km through some urban trails¬†to get to the Eaton Centre to pick it up.

Nike Women's 15K Toronto Display

We’re getting a bit closer to body equality here with the different body shapes!

In case you can’t tell by now, I’m really super excited for this race! I’ve been to a couple of smaller ones, but this Nike Race feels like it’s going to have a lot of fun activities pre- and post-race for both participants and specators, and the finisher’s prize is a necklace exclusively designed by Tiffany & Co.!

Will you be at the race? Let me know!

xoxo,
B.elle

Fitness and Running

So, I realize that I haven’t been posting in a long, long time, but I do have reasons for it!

I’ve been super busy with work since it’s almost summer, but I’m also sort of in a transition period so it’s tough to balance it out with a relaxing home life.

Or I could take up long distance running, which is exactly what I did!

I still go to parkour, but I haven’t gone as often because I actually signed up for the Nike Women’s 15K Toronto without really realizing that I could barely run 5km at the time. That was in early March and I’ve been roughly following Hal Higdon’s 15K Novice training program to get a good running base so I don’t absolutely die during the race.

Luckily, I’ve been blessed with high endurance, good pain tolerance and a stubborn streak a mile wide because I just managed to do a 12km long run on Sunday without feeling terrible in the morning! (Yay!)

I also happened to see the new Nike Women’s window display at The Bay on Queen Street in downtown… I don’t think I’ve seen those clothes before! (GASP!)

I’ll post pictures of the window display soon! ūüôā

xoxo,

B.elle

Running Progress!

image

I’m getting there! I actually ran over 6km last night!

I’m finding it really useful to use my Nike+ watch and the shoe pod during my indoor runs to track my progress. There’s also a ton of great fitness and track apps out there that don’t cost anything, either!

But, this is by far the longest I’ve EVER run before and it it feels GREAT.

xoxo,

B.elle