Monday, May 28, 2012

Ottawa Race Weekend 2012

So the annual Ottawa Race Weekend just took place! Canada's largest run festival - and one of the biggest on the continent - with over 40,000 participants running a variety of distances from a 2k family run, the elite-filled 10km, the marathon, and everything in between! I guess it's not by any stretch the largest single race - especially if we compare it to The City 2 Surf which draws over 80,000 runners annually - but, hey, you celebrate what you have, and not that which you don't.

It was my first time actually taking part in the festival. I was a "pace rabbit" for the 1:30 group in the half-marathon. I had initally signed up to race it but got the offer to be a pacer and took it up - it made sense on a few different levels. After a solid and consistent winter of running I knew 1:30 would be a solid tempo run and wouldn't shell my legs during an important training block for the race which I'd say is my "A" race of the year, Mont-Tremblant 70.3. As expected, running 1:30 was a good workout and I was able to be very comfortable the entire run. 

Crowd support was unbelievable with over 100,000 people lining the streets on Sunday for the half and the full marathon events! I didn't quite look the real-deal, though, as the group was unable to provide me with a bunny-eared hat or a proper-fitting shirt and my sign busted after 6km's. Wasn't to matter though, much of the group who began with me didn't finish with me, dropping off at about 17kms as hit the "uphill" coming onto Alexandria Bridge.

Check out some photos (some of me and my group) as always, stolen unashamedly without permission:

Elite women in the 10km race

Geoffrey Mutai, 2011 Boston Marathon winner (ran a 2:03, by the way!) won the 10km race in 27:41!

Elite men crushing it. It was won in a sprint finish in 2:09:xx

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