Every big city race weekend has its niches, but what makes Ottawa a one-of-a-kind marathon city is the unique cultural experience, alongside a fast and scenic course surrounded by renowned parks and historic architecture.
For years, Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend has been Canada’s biggest race weekend, hosting a 2K, 5K, and the national 10K championships on Saturday and a half marathon and marathon on Sunday.
There are many reasons Ottawa continues to be the premier race weekend in Canada, according to race director Ian Fraser. “When you attend Tamarack Ottawa Race weekend, you really get to experience that “big race” feeling. There’s unparalleled support from the city around the race, everybody in the city knows what’s going on, and it’s not often that you have the entire road to yourself in the nation’s capital.”
last year Kinsey Middleton became the first Canadian woman since 2007 to win the Tartan Ottawa International Marathon, taking the victory in a personal best 2:30:08, earning her a spot on Team Canada for the 2022 World Championships in Eugene. Pray.
The organizers take a lot of time designing the routes to best reflect the city and its culture. “Our goal is to hit as many neighborhoods as we can while passing by all the historic landmarks and monuments that mean so much to our cities,” says Fraser.
Outside of the marathon, the biggest spectacle at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend has been the Canadian 10K Championships on Saturday evening, which draw some of Canada’s top runners and Olympians to compete on a flat and fast 10K course along the Rideau Canal—a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“Our goal is to make your Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend experience as seamless as possible and to help celebrate what our incredible city has to offer,” says Fraser, ”For 2023 you’ll be able to take a free shuttle from City Hall to and from from our dynamic Health and Fitness Expo at its new location in Lansdowne Park. We’ve also added more cheer stations along our routes to make sure the hype never stops!”
The race is also affiliated with many local charities and groups that organize cheer and support stations on the course. “A point of pride for them is to be out trying to be the loudest and most vocal,” Fraser laughs.
If you’re looking for a spring road race, there’s still time to register and be a part of Canada’s biggest–Ottawa Race Weekend on May 27 and 28, 2023. Discover more or sign up for the race here.