The Chilly Half Marathon is back and better than ever
And don't sleep on the Frosty 5K and Frigid 10K the following weekend
More than a quarter-century ago the inaugural Chilly Half Marathon took place, and everything changed. The Burlington race was an instant hit and has only gotten more popular. Now, thousands of people will sidle up to the start line on March 5 the 2023 editions with the Frigid 10K and Frosty 5K set for March 11 at the Hamilton Yacht Club.
Race director Kelly Arnott says that this year, the Chilly is adding a special Pepper Bear that will be included in the race kit for the first 2,500 people to register as new participants (not eligible for deferral registrations).
“Participants also have their choice between one of two finisher medals,” she adds.
Registrants can also choose between a black long sleeve 1/4 zip technical shirt and a New Balance long sleeve fleece lined 1/4 zip shirt.
The race boasts a fantastic atmosphere, cheering crowds in historic downtown Burlington, stunning lakeside views and a fast and fun course that is certified by Athletics Canada.
In addition, jovial participants can often run alongside some of the country’s premiere road racers, who love the event. But only if you can keep up.
It’s also about six weeks before the Boston Marathon, so attracts some pretty big names looking for a race workout. Held by the crack team at VR Pro Racing, the Chilly has been known to attract some of the country’s top distance runners past and present such as Reid Coolsaet, and Krista DuChene — both of whom won the 2020 edition of the event.
“The thing I like about the Chilly Half is the timing. To have a goal in early March, really helps me to get through January, February, the dark days and the cold,” said Coolsaet, in a video.
DuChene has also written about her appreciation of the Chilly Half and how it checks off many of her boxes ahead of big marathons such as distance, course layout, potential financial winnings and calendar timing.
Chilly regulars Krista DuChene and Reid Coolsaet
“The Chilly Half Marathon has always been a perfect choice to include in my marathon builds,” she wrote.
Not ready for a half-marathon, or want to compete on back-to-back weekends? The Frosty 5K and Frigid 10K are pegged for the following Saturday.
Joey Stel has competed on race weekend for four straight years.
"Over the years we've seen positive course changes and the addition of an awesome new event: The Frigid 10km," he says. "I enjoy using this race as a way to mark the conclusion of my winter training block, and end it with a bang! There's nothing I enjoy more than running beside a lake. As an added plus, the course is quite flat, which is helpful for running a fast time."
There is also a charitable component to the race, which raises funds for Joseph Brant Hospital's Mental Health and Addictions Program.
See you out there.