This is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon (my first World Major):
The Ottawa Marathon is currently my favourite Canadian marathon. This was both my first and second full marathon, and a qualifier for Boston (I qualified for Boston with a time of 3 hrs and 38 min from my second Ottawa Marathon).
The Ottawa Marathon takes place at the end of May. In addition to the half and full marathons, the weekend hosts a 2km family run, a 5km run, a 10km run, a wheelchair race, and a kids race.
Approximately 50,000 runners participate in the race weekend and are cheered on by 200,000 spectators (the Ottawa Marathon feels like it should be a world Major).
What I love about this race:
The Expo is located next to the Byward Market and right across from the Start/Finish.
The race is a figure 8 that runs in Hull, through the downtown and Rockliffe, along the canal, across the Ottawa River, towards the West end, and through parks and farmland. This ensures not only a scenic route, but also takes you past many of the key sites and landmarks.
The weather is often warm and beautiful.
The race is flat and thus tends to be quite fast (a great qualifier for Boston).
Everything for the race weekend and the race day is within walking distance to many hotels and restaurants.
The Great Glebe Garage sale happens on the same weekend and is worth checking out (also within walking distance to the race events).
Spectators in Rockliffe line the streets in front of their houses with drinks and fruit for runners passing by.
The last Sunday in May: this usually makes for some warm running weather!
Where to stay and eat:
There are many great hotels within walking distance that are great to stay at:
Capital Hill Hotel and Suites (I always stay here because of a personal connection)
Lord Elgin Hotel
Fairmount Chateau Laurier
The Westin Ottawa
ARC The Hotel
It’s been a while since I have been to Ottawa and I have since become a more conscious eater. The next time I go, I will look a little closer at the following restaurants:
The Albion Room
Green Door Vegetarian
Two Six Ate
The Black Tomato
The Table (buffet style, but looks interesting)
Bread and Sons Bakery
The Ottawa Marathon is a qualifying race for Boston (that’s how I qualified). It is a beautiful, flat, well organized race with a lot of support from the community.