2021 Virtual Race FAQs

Additional Virtual Run Details here

Where do I get my chip?

Your chip is on the back of the race bib and can be picked up at the runners expo — with your race shirt.

Where is my timing chip?

The timing chip is now on the back of the bib. The bib must be worn on the front of the participant with the bib facing forward on the outside of all clothing. Holding the bib in your hand, covered under your clothes, or elsewhere on your body may result in missed timing detections.

Are there finish line photos?

Marathon Photos

Marathon Photos is the official photographer for the Bay Race. Are you ready for your close-up? Marathon Photos will have an army of photographers on hand to make sure you can chose from several great photos of your heroic effort. Smile when you see our photographers in the bright yellow vests and make sure your bib number is visible. View and order your photos within 1 to 3 days after the race HERE.

When, where and what are the awards?

Finisher medals will be distributed to each participant upon completion of their event. This will take place inside FirstOntario Centre. Relay finisher medals for all members of the team will be given to the final participant of that team.

Age Group Award Certificates will be distributed to the top three individuals in their age and gender category. The 30K categories are Female/Male runners 15yrs and over — 5 year increments up to 75+. Age Group Award Certificates will be mailed out to the Top 3 finishers in their category for the 5K race starting from 9 and under up to 75+ years old in 5 year increments.

Are there entertainment and bands on the course?

Various groups and individuals are along the course, some playing music, some in costumes to entertain as well as encourage the runners every year.

Where does my event start?

  • 30k starts at York Blvd at Bay St N
  • 5k starts on Bay St. just south of York Blvd.

Are the kilometres marked?

Yes, each kilometre will be marked along the route.

Where are the toilets located along the route?

There are port-a-potties located at every water station along the course.

Where are the aid and water stations?

Water and Nuun Hydration stations will be available at approx. every 5k along the course as well as the Finish. Water and food are located in FirstOntario Centre upon finishing the race.

What is the 30K course like?

The first 20k of the Around the Bay Road Race is an exciting, scenic, and fast route. The last 10k includes rolling hills through scenic North Shore Blvd.

The race begins on York Blvd west of Bay St. The race proceeds east on York Blvd then turns left, (north) onto James St. N. Runners run north on James St. N., east on Guise St, east on Dock Service Rd, south on Ferguson Ave. N, then east onto Burlington St.

Runners proceed east on Burlington using the overpasses to the Woodward Ave. on ramp.

Runners exit north onto Woodward Ave. and then turn right onto the Beach Strip.

After crossing the Canal lift bridge the race turns onto Eastport Drive to Northshore Blvd. The race turns west bound onto the rolling hills of Northshore Blvd., and then west onto Plains Rd. Runners continue on Plains Rd. to Spring Gardens Rd. up the Valley Inn Rd Hill, entering Hamilton on York Blvd. and finish into FirstOntario Centre at York Blvd. and Bay Sts.

Is there parking?

FirstOntario Centre parking map

There is parking all around FirstOntario Centre. Look on the map at right (click to enlarge) for the green ‘P’ where lots are available.

When should I arrive?

You should arrive an hour before your start time to do any last minute things, i.e. warm-up, washroom stop, etc.

Are there Pace Bunny times? What are the times?

There are Pace Bunnies provided by the Running Room. Visit the Running Room booth at the Expo for more details.

What are the starting times and course closure times?

Starting times: Sunday March 29, 2020

  • 30km RUN and RELAYS — 9:30am
  • 5km — 9:45am

Where and when do I turn in my Charity pledges?

For pledge information please see the St. Joe’s Healthcare Foundation page.

Is there a pasta dinner?

Many local restaurants have Bay Race specials but Host Hotel Sheraton Hamilton Hotel has an amazing pasta dinner buffet. Here’s the menu.

Can I still register?

Online registration closes Midnight March 15, 2020. You can still register at the expo on race weekend assuming that the capacity of the race has not yet been reached. Again, Expo times:

  • Friday March 27 (3:00pm – 8:00pm)
  • Saturday March 28 (9:30am – 5:30pm)

What is at the expo?

The expo showcases many vendors who are associated with running and such activities in some way. There are approximately 70 vendors that will be in attendance during race weekend. This is also where you pick up your Race Packet, (t-shirt, number and chip) if you are participating in the event.

Is there an expo? When? Where?

Yes, the expo will be held Friday March 27 — 3:00pm to 8:00pm and Saturday March 28 — 9:30am to 5:30pm. The expo is held at FirstOntario Centre located on 101 York Boulevard, Hamilton, Ontario L8R 3L4.

Can I pick up my friend’s run packet? Can someone pick up my packet?

Yes — BUT … you will need to produce the following two items in order to pick up a run packet that is not your own:

  1. A printout of the registration confirmation of the person you wish to pick up for; AND
  2. Email or written permission from the person you wish to pick up for.

If picking up for friends, you can do so for a maximum of three, after which you’ll have to line up again.

Note: If you are picking up for 10 or more, fill out the group pickup form on our website, and we can have it ready for you when you come in.

When and where can I pick up my run/walk packet?

Packet pickup is available at the Expo at FirstOntario Centre, 101 York Boulevard, Hamilton, Ontario L8R 3L4. We strongly recommend you pick up your packet early as there is NO packet pickup on Race Day unless you have the ATB+ package.

You or a friend can pick up your packet during the following times. Please bring photo ID OR a printout of your registration email confirmation:

  • Friday March 27, 2020 — 3pm to 8pm
  • Saturday March 28, 2020 — 9:30am to 5:30pm


What am I picking up in my run packet?

In your race packet will be:

  • your bib number which has the chip attached to the back
  • your run T-shirt

*Remember, you need to bring your bib number to participate on run day.

Can I defer my entry to next year?

You can only defer your entry if you have the ATB+ package.

I’m injured, can I have a refund? I can’t make it anymore; can I have my money back? / Can I transfer my entry to a friend?

We have a no refund policy for all events. More info on transfers here.

Where and when can I register?

You can register online until Midnight March 15, 2020 or until limits are reached. Race weekend registrations will be accepted Friday or Saturday at FirstOntario Centre if openings are still available.

Do you need volunteers, and how do I sign up to volunteer?

Yes! Please visit our volunteer page here.

When and what streets are closed?

  • York Boulevard from Plains Rd West to Dundurn St. (eastbound only Hamilton bound) CLOSED 10:30am till 3:30pm;
  • York Boulevard from Dundurn to Queen Street reduced to one eastbound lane (south curb lane); all York eastbound traffic will be detoured south on Queen St. 6:00am to 4:00pm
  • York Boulevard from Queen Street to Bay Street (eastbound only) CLOSED from 6:00am to 4:00pm
  • York Blvd. west bound traffic detoured onto Hwy #403 10:00am to 4:00pm
  • Hwy 403 York Blvd On Ramp CLOSED 10:00am to 4:00pm
  • Bay St. between Main St. W. and York Blvd. CLOSED 6:00am to 4:00pm

Where are the best places to watch the races?

  1. Where: Corner Victoria Ave. and Burlington St. (approx 3.2km)
    How to get there: From downtown Hamilton, head east on Main St. to Victoria Ave. Turn north and follow to Burlington St.
  2. Where: Near ramp from Burlington St. to Woodward Ave. N. — 10km. This is the 1st relay point
    How to get there: From Downtown Hamilton, head east on Main St. to Parkdale Ave., turn north on Parkdale to Barton St. then east on Barton to Woodward Ave., turn north on Woodward and proceed to ramp area Woodward Ave.
  3. Where: Beach Blvd — 15km. Near the Lift Bridge
    How to get there: From Downtown Hamilton, head east on Main St. to Wellington St., turn north, follow to Burlington St. then east on Burlington, to the cut off for Woodward Ave. north on Woodward, which changes to Eastport Dr. Follow Eastport to the Lift Bridge area. Note: You should leave for this area prior to the race start.
  4. Where: Lasalle Park (Burlington) — 21km
    How to get there: From Downtown Hamilton, head west on King St. to Hwy 403 Toronto cut off. Proceed onto the 403 and follow to Waterdown Road in Burlington. Turn right then follow Waterdown road to Lasalle Park (approx 1.3km).
  5. Where: Dundurn Castle (York Blvd. at Dundurn St.) — 28km
    How to get there: Follow the course backwards on York Blvd. (approx 1-1/2 km) from the Start line. Parking available at Dundurn Castle.

Where do I throw my gel packs?

We greatly respect the residents that allow us to host this historic race through their neighbourhoods and communities. We strongly encourage you to please hold onto your gel packs, tissues, and other unwanted items until you reach a water station where our volunteers can collect them.

Where can I view past results?

Please visit our Results & Photos page to view previous results dating back to 1894.

How do I train?

Please see our Training page for links to training programs and race-specific training clinics.

Do you have a walking section for the 30K?

Although you can walk, there will be no separate walking category. All participants not reaching the 15km point by 11:45am or the 20km point by 12:30pm will not be allowed to finish the race. The course time limit will be strictly enforced due to traffic control and runner safety. The Finish Line will be taken down at 2:00pm.

Who receives medals?

All participants in the 30K, Relays and 5K receive a medal.

Is this event a Boston qualifier?

No, The Around the Bay Road Race (since it is not a Marathon distance) is an excellent warm up for the Boston Marathon but it is not an official qualifying run.

What kind of weather is typical for the race?

The average temperature on race weekend is a pleasant 4°C. Average rainfall for the month is 51mm.

When is next year’s run? Do you organize other running events?

The 127th anniversary of the Around the Bay Road Race will take place on Sunday, March 28, 2021. We do not organize other events, but we do assist many other races.

How far is the race?

30 Kilometres (18.6 miles)