My Profile

@amichellemac

CANADA Raving since 2014 Seven Continents Club active 2 months, 3 weeks ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):
  • Rave race:

    The Cape Town Marathon

  • Race that's calling my name:

    Le Marathon du Medoc

  • I run because:

    Nothing compares to the freedom, joy, and gratitude that overcome me during a great run.

My races

Organize, track & review your races and personal bests here.

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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon &/or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Personal Bests (4)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Marathon Ottawa, Canada 2010 4:02:27
30K Hamilton, Canada 2009 4:01:52
Half Marathon Montreal, Canada 2010 1:48:18
10K Montreal, Canada 2010 49:46

Future Races (0)

Race Distance Location Date Paid

Past Races (31)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Marathon Pauillac, France Sep 7, 2019
Half Marathon Napa, CA Jul 21, 2019 3:28:00
Half Marathon Levis, Canada Oct 14, 2018 2:44:00
Half Marathon Montreal, Canada Apr 23, 2017 2:22:38
Marathon Rotorua, New Zealand Apr 30, 2016 5:57:00
Half Marathon Montreal, Canada Sep 20, 2015 2:16:16
Marathon Rio, Brazil Jul 26, 2015
Half Marathon Windsor, Canada May 3, 2015
Half Marathon Montreal, Canada Apr 26, 2015 2:24:24
Marathon Cape Town, South Africa Sep 21, 2014 6:29:00
Half Marathon Montreal, Canada 2014 2:16:20
Marathon King George Island, Antarctica 2013 6:28:00
10K Outremont, Canada 2013 55:23
Marathon Toronto, Canada 2013 5:32:40
Half Marathon Montreal, Canada 2012 2:10:01
Half Marathon Niagara Falls, Canada 2012 2:30:22
Half Marathon Chateauguay, Canada 2012 2:06:19
Marathon Lake Buena Vista, FL 2012 4:50:13
Half Marathon St Catharines, Canada 2011 2:03:59
Half Marathon Ottawa, Canada 2010 2:17:42
Half Marathon Montreal, Canada 2010 1:48:18
10K Montreal, Canada 2010 51:31:00
10K Montreal, Canada 2010 49:46
Marathon Ottawa, Canada 2010 4:02:27
Marathon Istanbul, Turkey 2009 5:16:44
30K Hamilton, Canada 2009 4:01:52
10K Montreal, Canada Jul 1, 2008 58:48:00
Half Marathon Montreal, Canada 2008 2:11:18
Marathon Prague, Czech Republic 2008
Marathon Montreal, Canada 2007 4:51:20
Half Marathon Montreal, Canada 2007 2:24:05

My Raves

Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon

Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon

I'd been wanting to run this race for years, so expectations were high. And the scenery didn't disappoint! I also quite liked the course, which starts out with rolling hills, … MORE

I’d been wanting to run this race for years, so expectations were high. And the scenery didn’t disappoint! I also quite liked the course, which starts out with rolling hills, and ends flat. Certainly downhill overall. Many of the roads are in poor repair, and prime for ankle sprains. However, with growing up in Nova Scotia and living in Quebec, they didn’t bother me.

Being a countryside run, the lack of spectator support could be expected. But I was disappointed the race organizers put up mile markers and called it a day. Motivational signage of some sort would have been appreciated.

The Nuun along course made many runners nauseated. Should definitely change that up. Facilities were impressively plentiful along route. I was pleased they had gels at one rest stop, but they should also offer natural items, like orange or banana slices. The volunteer kids at the water stops were a huge highlight.

My absolute favourite moment was hanging with the llamas next to the course. There was even a baby one!

We were quite disappointed there was no race bag at the expo. We saw a few people with them. So they may have been a VIP perk. But at $180 an entry, that’s ridiculous.

Be prepared to get up early, walk a ways from the parking to the shuttle (with no signage or markings), and to get dropped off further away after the race (which was not as indicated.) The race map left a great deal to be desired. So you had to scour the website for information. The volunteers knew next to nothing.

The post-race had some good fuel, and a lot of long lines for small tastings of local wines. The souvenir glass was nice and I’ll certainly use it again.

As this is the 12th consecutive year this race has sold out, the organizers know they can just phone it in. And, to a large extent, they do. I won’t be back. But I still enjoyed my experience overall, and would recommend it on that basis.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3
My Media

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Rotorua Marathon

Rotorua Marathon

Who wouldn't be interested in running a marathon that goes completely around a lake with a circumference of 42k? It's so cool to be able to gauge how far along … MORE

Who wouldn’t be interested in running a marathon that goes completely around a lake with a circumference of 42k? It’s so cool to be able to gauge how far along you are the whole way.

The expo and shirts were fine, a really cool thing happened at the expo though… I met a local journalist who asked if she could interview me about my seven continents experience. We ended up running a good section of the course together the following day. She even researched all my races over the years to get the info for her story.

The thing that made the Rotorua marathon special to me, besides the incredibly motivating haka we were treated to at the start line, besides getting to run around this gorgeous lake with such a rich history, besides the breathtaking views and besides completing my nine-year long quest, besides having the finish line just a few hundred meters from one of the world<s top ten spas, was the warmth, enthusiasm and hospitality of the locals. I've never in all my years of running, experienced such spectator support. I was given candy at least 10 times and at least twice as many high fives, not to mention all the great signs and words of encouragement.

As for the course, it’s mostly rolling hills, and then one killer hill, conveniently placed around the 30k mark.

I made a conscious choice to savour this marathon, to soak in the experience and not to rush it. I finished with more energy than I’ve ever finished any race.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3
My Media

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Rio de Janeiro City Marathon

Rio de Janeiro City Marathon

First off, I (unexpectedly) fell in love with Rio right away so that certainly colours my perspective on the race. It was hard to leave when the time came. The … MORE

First off, I (unexpectedly) fell in love with Rio right away so that certainly colours my perspective on the race. It was hard to leave when the time came.

The race expo was big, fun and easy to find. They had a section just for international runners where everyone spoke English (you don’t find that many English speakers in Brazil). I actually really liked the race swag and have worn the shirt a few times, although the race bib was printed cheaply and the shirt I wore on race day got ruined from the ink rubbing off.

We were staying near where everyone stays by Copacabana beach, and took a taxi to where the buses would be going to the start. It was a cab ride neither of us will ever forget. The guy ran all five of the red lights we hit. Every single one. And had a near accident at a pretty high speed with a van, though we all emerged unscathed. A cab ride to get your adrenaline pumping for sure.

Since the race was a point to point ending in the city, it was quite the drive. They had tons of buses and were well organized, except that the driver didn’t know where to go because of all the construction so we kept driving in circles until a local on the bus went up to act as navigator, from which point we got right on our way. Since we had to be there so early to get a bus, we still had plenty of time before the start. The atmosphere on the bus was electric and everyone was getting pretty excited and taking selfies.

While on the bus, since we left at 5:30am, we got to see Rio’s wilder side with late night partiers and ladies of the evening. It was fascinating and a side of the city we would never have otherwise seen. We considered it like a tour of the city…

The start ha lots of porta potties, some reserved only for women. They were in a terrible state inside but we got our business done and got out of there.

I enjoyed the start, the energy and the enthusiasm. We went around for a little bit and then ended up running next to the beach, which we’d be doing for a long, long, long time. I liked it because I got to see another side of Rio,with the early morning exercisers, and yet more partiers who were still going strong at 8am. Crowd support was, as I expected, nonexistant until we got into the heart of the city. There were absolutely no facilities available for our use from the start of the race until the halfway point, the start for the half marathoners. Fortunately there were plenty of bushes nearby.

The other runners more than made up for the lack of crowd support. I really felt the vibe and the energy throughout the race. By the time we hit the tunnel I was very relieved and excited for the change of scenery, so much so that I got a crazy burst of energy and felt like I was flying, after the beautiful, but monotonous, stretch by the beach.

It felts like there was a water stop every time I opened my eyes. I was really impressed by that, and by the baggies you could just tear open with your teeth and suck down the fluid so you didn’t have to worry about spillage. Also, the sports drink was Gatorade, so it worked well for me. I have never, ever drank as much during a race as I did there. Though it was hot, I never felt dehydrated.

I’d heard about the laser show but was unprepared for how hard hitting it would be.The music, the lights, it was incredible and a really great idea. Gives you a lot of pep halfway through the race!

Right after the tunnel we came across a bay that, for me, was the most scenic spot of the entire course. I felt like we were flying over it and that was my absolute favourite moment of, not only the entire race, but the entire trip.

I’d heard the entire race was flat. That’s not true. It’s mostly flat, until you come to the one long hill (reminiscent of Cape Town). I wisely decided to walk the uphill, but I still lost my legs on it and ran using mostly arm strength for the next 15-16 kilometres. Still, we got to go through a favela at the top of the hill and I really enjoyed that, seeing the people and interacting with them.

The downhill was very welcome, though my leg muscles were really throbbing at this point so the pounding was quite painful. At one point I saw a runner off to the side, obviously in exruciating pain, with two of his fellow runners tending to him. I thought of him often for the next several kilometres and how I was so fortunate not to be in pain like that.

From about the 32 to 40k mark we were back running along the water but in the area I was more familiar with. Here there was lots of support, but with the state my legs were in I was down to a run walk. Still going though. I somehow made it to the Windsor Atlantic, the 40k mark, and turned inland for the final stretch.

I do believe the course was long, by a significant margin. Nonetheless, I struggled but I made it to the finish line and got my fastest time since January 2009 by a margin of more than 10 minutes.

All the hard work paid off, I made it to the finish line and felt wonderful about it.

After the finish there was a really long single file corral to go through. The thing is I just needed to get off my legs but I had to wait in a long slow line behind other runners getting food and water. My stomach couldn’t take anything but I still couldn’t get past them so that was frustrating. Also, to get your bags from bag check you had to walk literally almost another kilometre. I was in so much pain that I felt that was unnecessarily cruel, especially because there was so much room closer to the start where they could have stopped anywhere.

Fortunately we were able to snag a cab back to the hotel, despite the massive throng of marathoners who went across the street from the finish to one particular pub. We weren’t sure why but they all seemed to be having a blast.

We waited for weeks after the race for an email about where we could see our race pictures, there’d been photographers all along, and when we never received anything I contacted the race organizers. They wrote me back explaining that you had to go to the Facebook page of one of their sponsors to get the pictures. I don’t understand why wouldn’t have been advised of that. On the plus side, they gave us all the photos for free and there were lots of them!

Overall, a great experience, though the organization isn’t yet quite to the standards of the world’s big marathons. Still, there are some points on which they really do shine and I’m confident they have the potential to make this a world class event.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal

Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal

This was the sixth time I'd run the Scotiabank half marathon... And there's a reason for that. Not just because it's close to home, and not just because it's my … MORE

This was the sixth time I’d run the Scotiabank half marathon… And there’s a reason for that. Not just because it’s close to home, and not just because it’s my half marathon PR, but because it’s a solid race that’s always well-organized, with a course that lets you saunter along or put the pedal to the metal as per your preference. There a swag is great, as are the posters goodies… I’m sure I’ll run it again this year 😉

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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Cape Town Marathon

Cape Town Marathon

Let's start this review with a disclaimer. I've been distance running for many years now, and what I look for in a race has evolved over the years. No longer … MORE

Let’s start this review with a disclaimer. I’ve been distance running for many years now, and what I look for in a race has evolved over the years. No longer obsessed with speed or running increasingly challenging races, I now search for races offering soul enriching experiences in remarkable environments.

After much searching, I’d settled on Cape Town as the race to complete the African leg of my quest to complete a marathon on each of the seven continents. It was the best choice for me because the city offers so much, the timing was ideal and there’s a multitude of adventurous side trips on offer.

An ill timed injury put a wrench in my training plans, so I arrived in Cape Town in less than ideal shape, however it was certainly not the first marathon that I haven’t been ready for. Race day was very difficult in consequence, but not for lack of effort by the organisers. The bag drop area was well organised, and it was easy to find the appropriate corrals. Of course the porta potty lines were awful, as in any big city race. The race both started and ended near the soccer stadium they built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The course meandered out into the country, with stunning views the whole way. The volunteers were simply wonderful, the few spectators along the course were exuberant. Most of all, I enjoyed getting to know the fellow runners along the route.

In the end, this was the slowest marathon of my entire life, and the staff even tried to convince me to stop at the medical tent about 5k before the end. Knowing I’d never get going again if I stopped, I forged ahead. Despite feeling very ill for most of the race, I consciously savoured the entire experience, and had a great time making kindred friends along the way.

Onto the more technical points: the race expo was small but sufficient, the course was well marked and water stations (where they provide water in small plastic bags, and soft drinks of all things) were plentiful. The single hill section goes on seemingly forever, but the rest of the course is pretty flat.

My favourite part of the race was certainly running along the shoreline for the last 10k or so. It’s a wonderful area of Cape Town and the views are simply phenomenal. Running along Table Mountain was also the experience of a lifetime and one that’ll enrich your spirit.

This race, much like Cape Town itself, has a lot to offer, for runners both fast and not so fast, considering both the eight hour time limit and the opportunity to test your mettle against some of Africa’s top distance runners. I certainly wouldn’t equate it to a typical big city marathon in North America or Europe, and that’s what drew me to it. It’s got a uniquely African character, unparalleled scenery and an opportunity to connect with some great people.

If you do go, I highly recommend considering a wildlife safari and a shark cage diving expedition. All in all, one of the three best trip experiences of my life.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3
My Media

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Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal

Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal

I've run this race four times now, one of which was my half marathon personal best. This was actually my first distance race ever, back in 2007. I didn't even … MORE

I’ve run this race four times now, one of which was my half marathon personal best. This was actually my first distance race ever, back in 2007. I didn’t even train for it, just heard about it on the Tuesday and ran it on the Sunday. That’s when I realized I had a talent for distance running and decided to run my first full later that year.

You run the race entirely on Parc Jean Drapeau, home to the La Ronde amusement park, which you run through, Expo 67’s famed geodesic dome, which you run by, Montreal’s casino, which you run by, and the Grand Prix track for Formula One, which you actually run on for a fair bit of the race. You cross a bridge between the two islands a couple of times as well, so there’s always something going on to keep things interesting.

In the past, there were some operational issues, for example the front runners would take multiple gels and there wouldn’t be enough for the people towards the back, and sometimes the volunteers didn’t know where to direct you to go. They’ve rectified that over the years and it’s now a very well run event, with lots of goodies at the water stops and a very respectable post race buffet. The medals are nice, and the race shirts have improved greatly. They’re actually really nice now.

In 2014, I ran the race with a first timer and he was absolutely amazed by the entire thing. He absolutely loved it and couldn’t believe how magical of an experience it was with all of the excitement and the spectators and the support throughout. That was his first running race of any kind. As a more seasoned runner, I wasn’t quite as blown away, but I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone. A great race for the speedies (the race actually serves as the Canadian 21.1k championships) and for the not so speedies.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
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Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend (Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon)

Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend (Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon)

I should start with a disclaimer. I did not train for this race, I ran maybe twice in the month leading up to it. Nevertheless, it turned out to be … MORE

I should start with a disclaimer. I did not train for this race, I ran maybe twice in the month leading up to it. Nevertheless, it turned out to be a magical day for me.

Being Ottawa, the city is quite picturesque and incredibly clean. The marathon is perhaps the best organized of any race I’ve ever participated in, with frequent and well stocked fueling stations. The spectator support is second to none, and consistent throughout the entire race.

They have lots of pace bunny options and, not having trained I started out with the 4:45 pace bunny, telling him I might not be able to keep up. I just felt so great though, and it wasn’t getting wrapped up in the start line adrenaline, it was something else. I just knew I had to let my legs lead me. So, I eventually caught the 4:30 pace bunny and, to my great surprise, that pace was also too slow for me. So I kept going, and then hit the 4:15 pace bunny, at which point I really started to question myself. But I felt really good too, and I said, you only live once, let’s play this out and see where it leads. So then I finally moved on again and made it to the 4:00 pace bunny, though I ran mostly on my own.

Long story short, I never hit the wall that day, I felt wonderful the entire race. I finished in 4:02, a personal best by a whopping 49 minutes. Not only that, after the race my friends and I saw Radiya Adlo (2nd Place Overall Female), Bazu Worku (3rd Place Overall Male), Merimma Mohammed (1st Place Overall Female) and Samira Raif (3rd Place Overall Female). I muscled up the courage, walked over and asked for a picture. They were very happy to oblige, and Radiya actually gave me the bouquet she’d received on the podium. Not only that, Adam Goucher took the time to personally congratulate me on Facebook. It was the best day of my life. I’ll cherish it always.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4
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Prague Marathon

Prague Marathon

Running in the majesty of old Prague brings with it a majesty that's hard to explain. A Czech-Canadian, the city has a strong hold over me. While I trained relentlessly … MORE

Running in the majesty of old Prague brings with it a majesty that’s hard to explain. A Czech-Canadian, the city has a strong hold over me.

While I trained relentlessly all through the cold Montreal winter to prepare for the race, unfortunately I fell very ill upon arriving in Prague and did not sleep for the three nights preceding the race, plus my head was in a daze and I lost 13 pounds through dehydration. The morning of the race I could barely move, but decided I didn’t go all the way to Prague not to at least try to run. To make matters worse, it was incredibly hot, about 30 degrees celcius, with no shade to be found on the course at all.

Starting the race in Old Town square, it took about 10 minutes for us to get going from when the race actually started. The difficulty and treacherousness of running on cobble stones was more than compensated for by the stunning surroundings.

While I did ok for the first hour, the heat really started to affect me after the 10k mark and I started taking frequent walk breaks. The further we went, the more breaks I had to take. Also, the further we went out of the downtown area, the race support thinned out dramatically. By the 30k mark, I was barely holding it together, could hardly walk and had fits of crying that my sister-in-law, racing with me, was very patient with.

The aid stations were positioned every few km, offering sugar cubes, bananas, water, an electrolyte drink… even beer at one point. More importantly, they were very well stocked with huge cold, wet sponges, which offered a very welcome, if short lived, relief from the sweltering sun.

While the course is quite flat, the lack of shade and extent of cobblestones are challenging.

Though I often doubted it would ever happen, we finally rounded the corner towards the finish line, back in Old Town square. I got a rush of energy and we both started near sprinting. Since it took us 5:46 to complete the marathon, we were about the only runners in sight, and everyone eating lunch at the restaurants next to the course started cheering for us, in our Canada singlets. It was such an exhilarating feeling, having hundreds of people cheering for us, understanding the kind of pain we were in and our joy at reaching the finish line.

Crossing that finish line is one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever had. I literally collapsed on the ground just after the finish, incapable of going any further, but full of joy at having succeeded.

Eventually I dragged myself over to the complimentary massage tent set up in old town square and lay on the ground waiting my turn. Lying on the massage table in the square, looking up at all the history and beauty surrounding me, and getting the most wonderful post race rub down, I had this overwhelming feeling of contentment and appreciation for the experience of running accomplishing such a memorable personable feat in a place of such significance. Also, the run had gotten rid of what ailed me and I was fine from then on!

So, while it was a very difficult day, it ended up being a wonderful day and a wonderful experience for me, though it was my worst marathon performance. Also, this was the marathon at which I discovered that all the fun people are at the back of the pack. It’s a totally different world back there!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3
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