It is one of my favorite Ottawa weekends coming up – Ottawa Race Weekend! So many people run this race every year. This is my fifth year participating in the event, and my first year having a race on Sunday morning rather than Saturday night. I have run the 5K, the 10K and will attempt the half marathon this year. Most Ottawa runners have this race on their calendars, so there are very few people that are NOT running the race. There are also some out-of-towners coming as well. If you are running the race, let me know – I usually do a shout out a few days before.
Please visit the Ottawa Race Weekend website for all your race info needs.
Race Start Times:
Ottawa 2K – 3pm on Saturday
Ottawa 5K – 4pm on Saturday **this is a new time for the 5K** There are two waves going for this event
Ottawa 10K – 6:30pm on Saturday
Ottawa Marathon – 7am on Sunday
Ottawa Kids Marathon for CHEO – 8am on Sunday
Ottawa Half Marathon – 9am on Sunday – There are three waves for this event
This week I will post some more information about the 5K, 10K and Half Marathon routes. I’ve run the 5/10K routes so many times that I could probably run the race with my eyes closed. I have run most of the half marathon course, with only about 5K of the race route new to me. I will also write my goals post probably on Thursday/Friday. I haven’t tried running yet this weekend and may go out for an easy 5K before class tomorrow – depending on how that run goes, my goals may change.
1. If you can – pick up your race kit on Thursday in the early evening. This is what I did last year and there were zero lines and the expo was really slow. I’ve never had a problem with race kit pick up for Ottawa Race Weekend though. It is probably one of the smoother Expos out there! If you have some cash to spare – visit the expo! Lots of vendors and lots of sales! I will be going to the expo first thing on Thursday if anyone is interested in expoing with me.
2. Do not wear long sleeve shirts! The 5K and 10K are known to be super warm – This year it looks to be a bit cooler, but be warned that wearing a long sleeved shirt while running in 20C weather means you will probably bake 2K in. For the half and the full marathon – it is looking like a sunny, warm day – It will probably be chilly in the morning but as soon as the sun is up, it will be warm. There is very little shaded areas along the routes – the last 5K for the half marathon is very out in the open with little to no shade. Bring a throw-away layer instead. This is probably what I’m going to do, although I’m sure I won’t even need it.
3. Please respect the corrals. Big pet peeve for the bigger races is when people do not go into their assigned corrals. There are three waves for the half marathon. I am in the front of wave two and that is where I will be. It is understandable that it is really hard to get near the corrals for most of the races, but do not just wander to the front. You can easily go around and just find a place in the back and then move forward. Most of us are not elites, right?
4. Practice safe ‘walking spot’ procedures – Many of us will be taking a walking break during the race – I will for sure, as I will probably be sticking to 10 and 1’s. Please ensure that when you want to take a walking break that you check behind you and move to the side. Do not just stop in the middle of the road.
5. There is more than one table at the water station – This usually brings a giggle amongst the volunteers when planning for the water stations, but everyone stops at that first table. There are more than one table! Usually the volunteers at the back of the stations are all lonely because no one wants to drink their water 🙁 Keep moving! Also, gatorade is served first. The water stations are about every 3K or so and do have portapotties (YAAAAAY)
6. Bring your own fuel – I carry gels with me that I know don’t mess with my tummy. There are gel stations serving Power Gel at 11K for the half marathon and 14K and 28K for the full. Also – you might want to have your own recovery food with you in your baggage or with your friends/family. The food at the end of the bigger races has been ‘interesting’ to say the least – but this year the recovery stations are sponsored by Farm Boy (local eastern Ontario grocery store based out of Ottawa) – so here is hoping the food is better!
7. Bring water for before the race if you are picky about water fountains. There are a few water fountains in race start area, but if that isn’t your thing – bring your own water. Bottled water is priced at a premium.
8. Have specific meeting areas for before and after the race. My area is always the Laurier Street Bridge. The recovery area is nuts! If you happen to have a stroller with you – do not even attempt to go into the recovery area – it is super crowded.
9. Just like I mentioned last year – have your parking situation figured out before you make your way downtown. I strongly encourage public transit. Same warning about strollers – the OC Transpo gets very crowded right before the Saturday evening races and you may find it very difficult with a stroller – I did a few years ago and will never do that again! The University of Ottawa has many paid parking spots available that are really close to the start/finish area – and you will not have to go downtown.
10. HAVE FUN – Ottawa Race Weekend is lots of fun. It was my very first race four years ago and a must on my race calendar! I am probably going back to the 5 or 10K next year though 😉
I’m thinking about cheering on the 10K runners on Saturday. Anyone want to join me?