As mentioned in my half-marathon race report this year 12th year of participation in Race Weekend. It has become one of my favourite events of the year and in recent years my family’s involvement in the event has grown as my two oldest daughters have started to participate.
Based on my own experience running marathons in Toronto, Philadelphia and Montreal I don’t hesitate to say that Ottawa Race Weekend is a great event and the best race weekend in Canada. The organization, volunteers and crowd support make it a great event every year.
Race Weekend started off on Saturday afternoon for my family with my daughters running the 2 km with their grandparents. That went so well that my oldest (7) is now intent on doing a 5km or even 10km race. She also came home and placed her race bib with my collection of bibs, covering my Boston bib in the process…
For the 10 km race later that evening I had the opportunity to go behind the scenes and watch from the finish line. My role was to make sure the 3rd place male finisher made it to the media area and the podium for the award ceremony following the race.
It was impressive to witness a 10km finish this vantage point. It went from being very quiet before the motorcycles and trucks came through the finish area to very hectic when the top finishers started coming in quickly afterward with some of them collapsing at the line due to exhaustion and cramps.
Once the top three men had finished I along with an assigned doping control agent followed Nicholas Bor of Kenya around as he recovered then made his way to the media area and eventually the stage for the award ceremony.
The doping control agents were present because the Race Weekend 10km and marathon are IAAF Gold Label events. For those who are not aware, Race Weekend in Ottawa is the only event in North America to host two IAAF Gold Label events. Lisbon Portugal is the only other city in the world to hold the same distinction.
Once the awards were handed out I headed back to join my family nearby as they waited for my wife’s sister to finish the 10km. Once she finished I headed home to get some rest after a long day.
My participation in the half-marathon Sunday morning ended our Race Weekend experience in the best possible way. I must be one of the luckiest Race Weekend participants because I had the benefit of knowing exactly where my would be waiting for me as I approached the finish line of the half-marathon while a friend who is a professional photographer waited nearby.