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The Ottawa Race Weekend
By:  Anna Geiger-Whitlock   (2011/06/07)


The Ottawa Race Weekend

This spring I decided to compete in the Ottawa Race Weekend half-marathon. I have always wanted to compete in something that had “marathon” in the title! This race was particularly key because I was not really able to ski race last winter due to being sick August to February. So to get back into skiing shape I thought that having an early summer event to plan for would be beneficial. This worked out well: I got back into shape and I woke up Sunday morning very excited to race.

My race bib and top

My goal for the half was to do it somewhere around two hours. Although I am not a very fast runner, I have always enjoyed it. Because so many people in Ottawa participate in the race weekend I had tons of fun talking about the marathon with classmates, friends and co-workers.

I decided to bike to the start so that I didn’t have to worry about parking. Unfortunately, although this idea was great, a car drove by me and splashed me with a Hollywood worthy puddle. I was soaked on one side of my body including my running shoe. However, judging by the clouds it wouldn’t be long till the weight in my shoes balanced out and all my fellow runners were drenched like me.

Picture of the crowd running by

The Ottawa Race Weekend is amazing. 39,735 people compete over the whole weekend and 11,054 people competed in that half-marathon. Off the start my group didn’t even move for 4 minutes. The race did spread out a bit but there were always tons of people around you motivating you. The crowds were also amazing; they lined the streets with cheers and signs and kept a smile on my face the whole way round (well maybe not km 17-19 where I had a small death)! I don’t think I ran 10 meters without running into someone cheering.

The last 3km you came over the Alexandra Bridge back into Ottawa up the canal and into the finish. The streets for that last km were lined with so many people I felt like I was running the last leg of an Olympic Marathon.

My splits ended up going a bit quicker than anticipated!

I ended up finishing in 1:54, which I was happy with for my first half marathon. A huge congrats to all the finishers particularly Brad Jones who finished his 30th Ottawa Marathon! Thanks to the organizers; you put on a brilliant race!

Me racing a few years ago at OUA's (unfortunately I didn't get a picture of me running this weekend)

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