A record-breaking total of 49,500 participants came out to the Tamarak Ottawa Race Weekend, leading to another broken record of more than $800,000 raised for charity. The 41st annual multi-day running event hosted by Run Ottawa, Ottawa’s most prominent running organization, has raised more than $38 million over the past 12 years, with last year alone raising $625,000.
Thanks to the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, participants were allowed to choose which charity they run for, including 40 recognized charitable organizations like the CHEO Foundation, The Ottawa Hospital, Amnesty International, and many more. The event brought out 2,000 more runners than last year and featured six events to choose from, with the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon being Canada’s longest marathon among shorter options ranging from the Scotiabank Ottawa Half-Marathon all the way to the 2K and Scotiabank Kids’ Marathon.
The turnout and philanthropy records weren’t the only things broken this weekend however, as Kenya’s Gladys Cherono broke the 10K women’s record this Saturday with a finish time of 30:56 – 25 seconds faster than the previous record. In fact it seems as if all of the runners leading the pack this year were of African descent, with the first man and first woman to finish the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon hailing from Ethiopia. 28 year old Girmay Birhanu passed the finish line at 02:08:14, just shy of beating the 02:06:54 record set in 2014. 31 year old Aberu Zennebe was the first woman, sprinting to the finish at 02:25:30. This is the third year in a row that an Ethiopian man and woman have taken the top-spot of the event’s toughest marathon.
So if you want to push yourself to the limit, raise some money for charities or even just get some exercise, consider taking part in next years Tamarak Ottawa Race Weekend. Who knows, you may even break a record.