Founded on Christmas day in 1897 by Hamilton Herald Newspaper and cigar store owner “Billy” Carroll, the “Around the Bay” race is the oldest long distance road race in North America, predating the Boston Marathon by 3 years. The “ATB” (Around the Bay) is not a marathon, but was used to test the abilities of Canada’s finest long distance runners and boasts a tremendous history of athletic prowess. In the early 1900’s, Jack Caffery stunned Americans by following his ATB victory with a victory at the Boston Marathon, making him the first Canadian to win the prestigious race. Much to the dismay of the Americans, Hamilton natives William Sherring and Fred Hughson finished second and third, sweeping the podium for the Canadians. Caffery followed his victory at Boston by repeating the feat the very next year.
Although the race falls short of a full marathon, the ATB is the perfect stepping-stone for runners who have completed a half-marathon and are looking for an intermediary step before undergoing the full. The Running Factory is happy to announce the resurrection of the ATB clinic this January in order to prepare Windsor runners for the race that is older than Boston. Starting January 5th the ATB clinic will span 13 weeks, offer runners a training plan that includes group workouts, hill training, suggested weekly mileage plans/ calendars, and guest speakers. The 13-week plan is an abbreviated marathon-training program that will allow runners to build a mileage base, strength train through workouts, and properly taper before race day. Because of the shortened schedule we suggest runners interested to have somewhat of a running base / background before entering the clinic. Applicants should aim to be running 25-30 kilometers a week in preparation for the clinic so that the mileage increases is within reason and does not risk injury. We will provide a free 4-week training plan in preparation for the clinic so that you may better prepare yourself for the abbreviated format.
The ATB clinic will be run in the same format as our Half/Full Marathon clinic in that the majority of the mileage is to be completed on your own time. We will meet once a week (Tuesdays) to perform group workouts (interval training / hill workouts) at Blue Heron Park. At the beginning of the session we will have guest speakers to address the group in regards to general strength and core training in addition to constant feed-back and mentoring from the clinic leaders. We encourage participants to use their peers to create training groups to assist in weekly mileage allotments, as it is mutually beneficial to have training partners. The clinic leaders are there to answer any and all questions in regards to the training process, proper nutrition, hydration, footwear, and outerwear. During the duration of the clinic, all participants will receive a 15% discount on all full-priced items at The Running Factory, a training manual, and a clinic shirt.
If you are looking for that next step after the half marathon and before the full, the historic ATB road race may be exactly what you are looking for. We encourage all runners to consider joining us to train for the race that is older than Boston.