A Simple Race and an Awesome Venue

July 9, 2013

The “No Frills 10 Mile Road Race” was initiated by the late Peter Jones in 1998, one of many enthusiasts who anchored the former National Capital Runners Association, which merged with Ottawa Race Weekend to form Run Ottawa back in 2009.

Peter took part in races near and far but as a race organizer (he founded the Gloucester Half Marathon back in 1985 which lasted until 2008), was less than enamored with the rising costs of staging events and entry fees.  He wanted to make a statement so he organized the “No Frills 10 Mile Race,” where runners pay a modest fee and there are no fancy extras that add costs to an event.  He picked the Central Experimental Farm as the venue, that rural jewel that lies in the heart of Ottawa and chose to hold in on a Wednesday evening in July.  Sports 4 has been a partner since year one, supplying the race with prizes and a few extras, the perfect complement to the theme of the evening.

The “Cowpattie Relay” was added in 2011 as a means to broaden the base of participation.  Ten miles may not be one’s preference but biting off either half or a third of the distance and doing so with some friends can make for a great way to spend a midweek evening in the summer.

Race day this year is Wednesday, July 17th.  The 6:30 p.m. start allows participants to finish off the work day and ample time to make it to the Farm.  We run on closed roadways along the Farm’s southern quadrant and pathways that run parallel to the Scenic Drive.  All events start at the same time.  Relay teams can be comprised of teams of 2 or 3 with all male, all female or combined male/female team categories.  Our partners are the “Friends of the Farm,” an organization of committed volunteers and supportive members who care about the Central Experimental Farm and the Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa.  They provide us with volunteers on race day in return for funds which are used for various initiatives.

A traffic free route with plenty of runner support, an idyllic setting and likeminded souls is a welcome change of pace for a solitary workout, especially if in the dregs of a training schedule.  All details are posted at and just look for the link on the home page.

Run Ottawa’s Canada Day Road Races

Where Families Take to the Streets

July 7, 2013

The 2013 edition of Run Ottawa’s Canada Day Road Races, presented by Bushtukah, continues to be an event that engages runners of all ages.

It started off back in 1987 as another 5 and 10K race, albeit held on what is arguably the biggest day of the year for Canadians.  In year three, we added a 1K fun run for children under 12 that enjoyed a modest debut but quickly became an integral part of the event.  In 1994 we added the “Tot Trot,” for children under 5 years of age which has also grown quite popular.  With these two events, along with one or both parents racing the 5 or 10K race, we have a true family affair.

Not lost in all this was the amazing energy generated by an enthusiastic crowd of runners on a Canada Day morning where the weather was perfect for all.  It was sunny, warm but no oppressive humidity and a gentle breeze to keep us comfortable.  The 10K race was the first event of the day.  The 406 runners assembled at the start line were greeted by Ottawa mayor Jim Watson, Kanata north councillor Marianne Wilkinson and Run Ottawa President John Halvorsen, who wished everyone a happy Canada Day and then sent them off at precisely 8:00 a.m.  Dan Kremske of Woodstock, Ontario, was first around the one loop course that winds through the Beaverbrook and Kanata Lakes neighbourhoods with a time of 31:40.  First woman was Joanna Brown in 36:26.

The 5K, which started at 8:45 boasted 539 participants.  The first to cross the finish line was none other than 10K winner Dan Kremske, who pulled off the double by virtue of his 15:19 performance.  Anna Crawford led the women in a time of 17:46.  Both the 10 and 5k races attracted a good number of participants across all age groups and an almost even split of male and female genders.  The number of participants under the age of thirty for these two races was close to thirty percent, a very encouraging sign.

This year, 341 children participated in the 1K, almost one hundred more than last year, while the Tot Trot almost doubled in size from 2012 as 163 children scurried the 100 metres down Kanata’s Parkway.  To watch both events of unfold was great entertainment.  It was quite a sight!  Besides the attraction of being part of the action and snagging a medal at the finish line, the youngsters took advantage of the face painters and balloon artist we had on site as well as the bounce castle attraction.

Finally, special thanks to the management and staff at both Bushtukah stores, who helped us with race kit pick up prior to race day and provided some great prizes to our winners.  They have been great partners and supporters these past four years and will continue being part of our events.

Now Available - Club Running Gear

The Run Ottawa Club is pleased to announce the launch of its line of club apparel.  Club members are now able to order a variety of performance clothing through the Club's supplier, Race Merchandise.

Ordering is easy!  Simply click  here (1) select the piece(s) of clothing, corresponding colour and sizes you want; (2) tell them where to ship the items; and (3) arrange for payment.

Club logos will be automatically added to the front of each item and a maple leaf with "Run Ottawa Club" will be added to the back of certain of the items.

Area Running Getting Stronger

Ottawa has a healthy running community, perhaps the strongest in Canada. No matter the weather or the time of day, it's almost impossible to go for a run on a major road or path without encountering another runner coming in the opposite direction.

Unlike Toronto, which is engaged in a divisive debate about its two marathons three weeks apart, Ottawa has one strong annual running festival and weekend of races that unites runners, is celebrated by the city and is supported by thousands of volunteers.

Change in leadership at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

Robinson retires; Halvorsen welcomed as new Race Director and President

January 29, 2013 – OTTAWA – The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend Board of Directors today announced its long-time Race Director and President Jim Robinson will retire effective February 28.

Ensuring a smooth transition in leadership, the Board welcomes John Halvorsen to the role effective January 28. Halvorsen is a familiar and respected figure on the Ottawa road racing scene and has been actively involved in volunteer roles in Race Weekend for more than a dozen years, including serving as Chair of the Board of Directors.

“I look forward to the challenge of this new job,” says Halvorsen, who leaves a long career in the high tech sector to join Run Ottawa. “The Race Weekend team is the best in Canada, and having Jim Robinson helping in the transition period will ensure we deliver the high quality Race Weekend events that everyone has come to expect.”

Robinson leaves after 17 record-setting years in the job. He is credited with growing the race from a modest 4,000 runners to the largest road race event in the country and a major race destination. Last year, the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend welcomed 42,600 participants in seven races and generated nearly $28 million in economic activity in the region. “It has been a privilege to contribute to Ottawa’s running community for so many years,” says Robinson. “I know John will bring his own vision and energy to the job, and I am happy to help him during the transition.”

While the jobs of the former and new Race Director overlap by one month, Halvorsen is hopeful that Robinson will agree to stay on in advisory capacity. “The Ottawa running community owes Jim a debt of thanks for being the driving engine of growth and success behind the Ottawa Race Weekend and developing it into a truly world-class event,” he says. “We anticipate that he will continue to bring us invaluable guidance beyond his retirement date.”

About the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

The 2012 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend welcomed more than 42,600 participants in seven races, including the Marathon, the Half-Marathon, the 10K, HTG Sports 5K, 2K and Y Kids Marathon. The Ottawa Marathon and Ottawa 10K are both designated Silver Label IAAF events by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF). An economic impact assessment produced by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance in 2012 estimated that the event generated $27.8 million in total economic activity for the region. Run Ottawa, the organization behind the Ottawa Race Weekend, is dedicated to promoting the sport of running and enhancing the health and well-being of our community by organizing distinctive world-class and local races, and managing an active, membership-based running club. Information:

Annie Boucher
Media relations
Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend
[email protected]
@runfuse | @ottawamarathon

volunteer with the run ottawa club

Make the Run Ottawa Club's 2010 Bushtukah Canada Day Road Races a success!

Volunteers are needed to assist with advance registration, kit pickup and on race day. This includes finish line, water stations and course marshalls.

If you can't run, please give us a hand.

Please contact:

Joe Du Vall
Race Director
[email protected]

interested in improving your running?

The Run Ottawa Club's weekly training sessions will resume Tuesday, January 19, 2010 at 6p.m., open to members of all abilities. We will meet at the Arboretum Parking lot off Prince of Wales Dr. Our group is primarily made up of half and full marathoners of a variety of abilities, but 5 and 10k runners are also welcome. Come on out! All members are welcome.

For more information, please visit the Training page

richmond road races - 28 years running

The first Richmond Road Race was staged in January, 1983 as part of the village’s annual winter carnival. The 10K attracted 87 runners and one of only a handful of races a runner could find during the winter months in the Ottawa area. It was a sunny day, not too cold and many runners hoped that the race returned for a second edition.

In 1984, a balmy three degrees Celsius greeted a field double in size of the inaugural event and continued to stay at that number for the next three years until the 5K was added in 1988. The race grew gradually until it reached a peak of 505 runners in 2001.

The race was organized under the auspices of Goulbourn Township with support from Motionware Sports. This arrangement continued until 2003, after which the National Capital Runners Association took over the event. It is now a property of the Run Ottawa Club. In 2007, Bushtukah Great Outdoor Gear came on board as a partner. The Richmond Lions Club has been involved since the race’s inception and provides vital volunteer support on race day.

Needless to say, despite some nasty conditions, including frigid temperatures, thick snow and the odd mild spell (that no one complains about!), the race continues to thrive. After twenty six years of using the same courses, a change was required by the city of Ottawa and the new route premiered in 2009. It’s as flat as its predecessor.

Richmond comes at a great time for local runners for a myriad of reasons. Firstly, everyone comes out to dust off the cobwebs as another year of races gets underway. It’s also a day where people put in a hard effort, then catch up with one another at the post race scene. Runners sit at tables enjoying the hot soup and other grub that is served then await the awards ceremony and draw prize giveaways. Things wind up at noon and within minutes the crowd disperses as quickly as they descended, many making a final stop at the Richmond Bakery before heading in all directions.

Race information can be obtained at with links to online registration and if you want to get a glimpse of who ran in 2009 check out the race results on the same site. Contact Joe Du Vall, race director through [email protected] or 613-234-2221.


Click the link below to check out the latest ROC newsletter, featuring news about upcoming races, field trips, training sessions and other noteworthy happenings!


Download English Newsletter Download French Newsletter