Ottawa Marathon - Lindsay Borden

Lindsay Borden.jpeg

This is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon (my first World Major):

Ottawa Marathon

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

    • Hotel Indigo

    • 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

    • Pure Kitchen

Why Ottawa?

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.


Susan Arruda