Every Thursday, Svveat Stories tackles your most pressing fitness questions—this week, managing editor Lindsay MacAdam explains why Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend should top your list of spring destination races.

I started running a few years ago, and I’m already bored of Toronto’s local races. I feel like I need a change of scenery this spring to keep things interesting on race day and keep me motivated throughout this season’s training cycle. What destination race would you recommend?
— Bored Of The 6ix

Ottawa Race Weekend runners
Photos courtesy Run Ottawa

Hey, Bored.

I can totally relate to that feeling of growing tired of your local races and wanting something different, even when you live in an incredible city like Toronto that boasts a huge selection of world-class races. You train year-round on these streets and sometimes it’s nice to get away to less familiar territory.

Destination race planning can be tricky because you often have to enter lotteries and register nearly a year in advance to get a spot in the covetable global races. So by the time you figure out what race you’d like to run, you may have already missed your window.

Luckily for you, we have some pretty awesome race destinations right here within our Canadian borders that don’t require quite as much forethought—one being our nation’s capital, which hosts an epic multi-day running event every spring. So, without further ado, here’s why I think you should stop pondering and register ASAP for this year’s Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend:

Ottawa Race Weekend Start Line

  1. It’s Canada’s 150th birthday.
    And we’re all invited! In case you missed the memo, 2017 marks the sesquicentennial anniversary of Canadian Confederation. Translation: Race Weekend in Canada’s capital city is going to be extra-special this year.
  2. No need for expensive flights.
    Sure, you could fly if you’re really tight for time, but one of the major perks of making Ottawa your spring race destination is that you don’t need to. Hop in the car and you’ll be there in five hours flat.
  3. Race options for the whole family.
    Ottawa Race Weekend doesn’t leave anybody out. With 2K, 5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon options—and even an adorable kids “marathon”—it’s a fantastic way to encourage your friends and family to set some fitness goals and join the fun. Plus, the races are split between Saturday evening and Sunday morning, so you can take turns cheering each other on.
  4. Run with a view.
    With a marathon route that takes you along the Rideau Canal and the Ottawa River, across the Chaudière Bridge into Quebec, and past museums, art galleries, historical monuments and Parliament buildings, I challenge you to find a more culturally relevant Canadian race course.
  5. Community support.
    When I think back to my first Ottawa Marathon, I recall enthusiastic children doling out freezies, encouraging adults offering up everything from Kleenex and Vaseline to orange slices and banana chunks, and smiling police officers and firemen as far as the eye could see.
  6. Named the best race of 2016 by Canadian Running.
    And I quote: “Ottawa embraces its race weekend like no other in Canada. The event takes over the city starting on Thursday with a street party that rages all weekend, leading into the world-renowned and super fast 10K on Saturday night. The big 42.2k race on Sunday morning sees some of the biggest crowds outside of Boston and New York for a North American marathon.” Need I say more?

If that’s all the convincing you needed, register now before it’s too late, and then join the Svveat team this Sunday, March 19, at RUN-TO-BEER’s free Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend Tune-Up Run at C’est What.

Ottawa Race Weekend medals

Contest Alert

If you still need to give your spring race destination a little more thought, why not enter our social media contest in the meantime (on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) for three chances to win an Ottawa Race Weekend entry for the distance of your choice? The contest closes on March 18 at 11:59pm and is open to residents of Toronto and the GTA only. See full contest rules.

And that’s not all—because we feel so strongly about Ottawa as a running destination, we’re also giving away three entries for any other Run Ottawa race of your choice, like the Scotiabank Canada Day Road Races or the Cookie Run. To enter our Run Ottawa contest, simply comment below telling us which Run Ottawa race you’re interested in and subscribe to The Svveat Drop weekly newsletter (via our homepage) if you haven’t already. This contest closes on March 31 at 11:59pm and is open to residents of Toronto and the GTA only.

Have a fitness question you’d like us to answer? Email us at stories@svveat.com or ask us in the comments below.


  1. Allison OMara

    The Scotiabank Canada Day Road Race would be amazing! Thanks for the opportunity to win & run.

  2. Fang Lu

    The Scotiabank Canada day road race sounds like an awesome race!!! ?

  3. Kim

    I would love the opportunity to run my first 1/2 at the Scotiabank Canada day road race.

  4. Kerri

    The Canada Day race would be incredible! Plus a great excuse to be in our nations capital for the big 150! 🇨🇦

  5. Regan

    thanks for sharing a great opportunity to race in the Canada’s capital ☺️ 🇨🇦 ✨

  6. Andrea Somers

    Would love to get back into race mode after injury by running the 10k at the Ottawa race weekend

  7. manu agnihotri

    Would love to run the 21k

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