The Boxing Day Run had it’s 99th race this past December. The event takes place in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Jenn from our team took on the 4 miler. There was also a 10 mile option available. 2020 will bring their 100th event!

1. Pre-event info

In addition to the detailed information available on the event registration page, participants received a pre-race email with all of the pertinent race day details, including extra notes on getting thereby transit, car, carpooling and available parking.

2. Event Location (parking, facilities/washrooms)

This event partners with the Hamilton YMCA. $5,000 is donated annually from the run to the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign. This campaign helps local children participate in YMCA programs such as fitness, day care and camping.

Getting to the location was extremely easy; the GO station was right next to the YMCA, and if you drove, the area offers ample free parking nearby and a pay lot across the street from the event. The race event info also offered information for those who wanted to arrange carpooling.

The event location also offers a gymnasium for waiting around pre-race, and indoor washrooms with lockers and showers, which is a lovely perk for a December run. This year the weather was very mild, but that’s certainly not always the case for the time of year.

Bib or soup?

3. Aid Stations (snacks and water/fuel)

GU gels were available in the bib pickup area, and water was readily available throughout the YMCA.

Hanging out at the 10 am opening time before the crowds arrived

4. General Atmosphere of the Event HQ (event staff, volunteers, other runners, what’s there for spectators)

This event had a leisurely start time of noon, with the bib pick up and pre-race area opening at 10am. The pre-race area was full of good spirit and people visiting while we waited. Volunteers were readily available to assist with getting participants their bibs and swag, and the YMCA staff were very helpful in pointing participants to the change rooms.

5. Course (length, technicality, scenery)

The race course was very well marked. It was made up of mostly city streets around downtown Hamilton and park pathways in and around Bayfront and Harvey Parks. Both distances offered nice views along the waterfront area and of course the holiday decorations made for a little extra scenic fun.

Shoe choice: I wore my road Hokas and found them perfect for this course.

Start area
Seasonal decor at the park near the finish area

6. Race Kit, Medals and Awards

Participants in Boxing Day Run received a ball cap, and finishers earned a race medal with the event logo, the seasonally appropriate and fun Running Snowman. Category winners won cash awards (the race information noted $3,000 in awards for overall winners) and age group winners were awarded snowman belt buckles.

Our bibs and caps

7. Post Race

The post race area was lively. Participants were enjoying being back inside in the gym, for some warmth after the cool weather during the race. The awards were being presented and there was the standard race fare; assorted fruit, water and buns plus the added bonus of hot soup. Additionally participants could present their race bib at one of two local pubs for a post race pint.

The 100th running of this historic event takes place in 2020.

If you’d like to discover more about the Boxing Day Run, or enter for 2020, check out their website –  https://boxingdayrun.ca/index.html