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Ontario’s Run for the Toad trail race celebrates 15th year with big turnout

More than 1,200 runners took to the trails of Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area in southwestern Ontario for the always-popular Run for the Toad.

Run for the Toad

Thru mud, hills, rocks, rain and pain we finished 25km without dying!!

A photo posted by Vanessa Brown (@nessabrown_) on

One of Ontario’s signature trail races took place just north of Paris, Ont. today. The 15th anniversary of Run for the Toad was held at Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area as runners took on the 25K, 50K, 50K relay and 1K kids run on the trails of southwestern Ontario. There was also a 12.5K walk.

RELATED: Canada nears completion of world’s longest recreational trail system.

Runners in the 25K complete the 12.5K trail loop twice while the 50K involves four loops of the conservation area. The four-person relay also offers runners the chance to shorten things up a tad by splitting the legs into 12.5K segments. After each loop, runners return to the start/finish area, known as “tent city.”

As is tradition, one of the race’s talking points is the post-race meal. Runners will have the chance to refuel with items catered by St. Jacobs Catering including lemon ginger chicken breast, Asian slaw, Greek penne salad among a long list of choices.

RELATED: VIDEO: Breathtaking trail running footage at the Sleeping Giant in Ontario.

The race had 1,220 entrants as of mid-September when online registration closed. The children’s 1K was free for all entrants to encourage the next generation of runners to participate in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

In the 25K event, 26-year-old Patrick MacKinnon took the win in 1:34:11, averaging 3:46 per kilometre for the event. Oakville, Ont.’s Dominique Rousseau was the women’s 25K winner in 1:53:00 (4:31 per kilometre).

Doubling up on the distance in the 50K winner’s circle was Jack Sikkema who ran 3:42:18 (4:27 per kilometre). Julie Hamulecki was the women’s 50K winner in 4:06:00 (4:55 per kilometre).

Full results can be found here.


Mid-race motivation in the form of a penguin cheering squad

Dancing penguins cheering runners at #RunForTheToad!

A video posted by Whole Health Mudcat Marathon (@mudcatmarathon) on

Onlookers at the top of skeleton hill

Race medal

Toad crossing

Road Crossing. #runforthetoad #pinehurstconservationarea

A photo posted by Runners' Choice Waterloo (@runners_choice) on

An event for all-ages

A possible appearance by two-time Olympian swimmer Martha McCabe

The whole crew was out

Spotted at the 1.4 and 5.3K junction (submitted by Michelle Lewis)

Got photos from the event? Send them to tim@runningmagazine.ca or tag @canadianrunning on Twitter or Instagram.