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Join us this weekend! XC Ottawa's Community Fun Run Event - Saturday August 23rd!
By:  Mark Rajack   (2014/08/22)


   So instead of writing another article describing a new set of trails to run in our region, we thought, "why not just invite people to run the trail with us"?

It is therefore with great pleasure, that XC Ottawa announces a fun run event for all athletes and trail runners in our community, in support of a wonderful organization. The event takes place Saturday, August 23, 2014.

   As endurance athletes that spend copious amounts of time outdoors, many of us feel a special connection to all the plants and animals around us. We are extremely proud to announce this event will be in support of the Wild Bird Care Centre, an organization dedicated to the welfare of the wild birds in our region.  

   This event consists of a run, looping through the NCC trails leading to the Wild Bird Care Centre, where will briefly pause to drop off a one-dollar donation. Your loonie may very well end up saving a real loon!


More About the Wild Bird Care Centre

   The Wild Bird Care Centre is a wonderful, community funded, charitable organization dedicated, as their website states, “to the rehabilitation and release of injured, ill and/or orphaned wild birds”.

   They received permission to build their centre on NCC property to meet the growing need to care for the wild birds in our region. Located at 734 Moodie Drive, in the heart of the Greenbelt, they are perfectly located to fulfill their mandate.

Here is the link to their brand-new website.

   Entering this centre is just like entering a hospital. There exists several wards dedicated to specific birds and their immediate needs. For instance, there is a triage room, a room dedicated to insectivores, waterfowl, baby birds, raptors and a general flight cage for birds on the mend.

Me feeding a baby grackle

Lots of hungry mouths

   The most amazing part, is that this centre is 100% community funded! No help from any level of government. It proves just how caring and tight-knit this Ottawa-Gatineau community is. It would be hard to find a centre like this, running off the donations of people in the community, in any other place.

    Because of our support through the “Spend a Buck to Save a Duck” fun run event, I was granted special permission to visit the centre to document some of the amazing work that goes on here.

Baby crows have lovely blue eyes

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck... NOPE! It's a grebe, about to get its cage cleaned.

   The Wild Bird Care Centre is always looking for volunteers. But don’t get the wrong idea, volunteers aren’t here to play with the birds. Minimal contact with humans is necessary to prevent them from imprinting on us. In fact, only employees have the authority to handle the birds. So how then did these pictures come to be? Well… I used to be an employee and I have a lot of experience doing this!

Volunteers do help with prepping food dishes

... and cleaning cages, among other helpful things.

   When people ask me about my experience working at the Wild Bird Care Centre, in once sentence, I say that "the experience truly enhanced the quality of my life”. I’m sure a visit will do the same for yours. So please, drop by the centre during their daily visiting hours and please make a donation.

Your dollars save me!  #quack

Event Overview and Information

   Our “Spend a Buck to Save a Duck” fun run will be through the NCC trails surrounding Moodie and Hunt Club, in Ottawa’s West End. It is an excellent opportunity to learn a new trail network in your community, support an excellent cause and of course, to meet some of the team.

   The run will start and end at the NCC parking lot adjacent to Bell High School, close to the baseball diamond (more details below). It is approximately 15 kilometres of mainly flat, trail. See the route below on Google maps.

Here is the link to the NCC map of the area. According to this map we will be at P13 #notGatineau


Before deciding on attending this training session, please ensure that:

1.  You can keep up! This trail run is approximately 15km and we estimate that we will be finished in around 1.5 hours.

2. Print and sign this waiver (one per participant).

3.  At a minimum, bring a loonie.


Itinerary - (Saturday, August 23, 2014)

845am – park in the NCC lot P13 #notGatineau, adjacent to Bell High School close to the baseball diamond. Bell High School is located at 40 Cassidy Road in Nepean, K2H 6K1.

850am- hand in waivers and have your loonie on your person

855am- group dynamic stretching session

900am- departure

Final Remarks

   We are always excited to meet new athletes in our community who share our passion for skiing and the outdoors. Even if you’re not a skier, we’ll be more than happy to have you join us. It is however, a wonderful opportunity to connect you with the right people, if you’re open to the idea of transforming winter to your favourite season and your body into a super-fit organism.  

  We might also just have some Eload samples available to those who choose to join us, so that they too can also experience the magic of Eload.

We really hope to see you there!

.."me too!" - baby sparrow
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