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Ian Fraser will be the new executive director of Run Ottawa and Race Director of Ottawa Race Weekend

It was announced in April that Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend director John Halvorsen would be stepping down. Today, Ian Fraser was announced as the new executive director of Run Ottawa and Race Director of Ottawa Race Weekend.

Fraser is a local bike shop owner and triathlete. He grew up in Ottawa in the Orleans area and now owns a store in Hintonburg. Fraser says he’s thrilled about his new position. “It feels incredible. I did the Ottawa Marathon for the first time back in 1986 or 1987. It kind of feels like everything has come full circle.

I grew up in Orelans, I was born just off of Montreal Road and now I’m the executive director of Run Ottawa.” Fraser has run the marathon six times, the 10K 10 times and was a marathon pacer for several years.

The executive director’s favorite spot on the Ottawa Marathon course is Hintonburg. “It’s where my store is, and it’s my favorite neighbourhood in Ottawa. We’ve seen this area of Ottawa go from a difficult place to an amazing area.”

Fraser loves Ottawa and loves running in the area. His favorite route straddles both Ontario and Quebec and runs along the Ottawa River. With so many bridges connecting the two provinces, you’re able to run across the river to Quebec and come home to Ontario and get two different views.

Fraser’s area of focus for Race Weekend will be in participant experience. “We’re already considered to be one of the best experience events in Canada and I want to continue that. The changes will be subtle, but everything is done to make our runners’ experience even better.” Fraser also wants to ensure that all of the events on the Run Ottawa calendar get their due attention. “My focus is to enhance the Run Ottawa brand and make sure that the whole calendar is great.”

(09/04/2019) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Ottawa 10K

Ottawa 10K

Ottawa's course is fast, scenic and few elevation changes. Considered to be an excellent course for first timers and should provide an environment conducive to setting a PR. The Ottawa 10K is the only IAAF Gold Label 10K event in Canada and one of only four IAAF Gold Label 10Ks in the world. The Ottawa 10K attracts one of the...

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Kenyan Dorcas Kimeli finished first at the Ottawa 10k with heavy rainfall

The Kenyan was at the front for most of the race, sharing the early spadework with her compatriots Valary Jemeli and Paskalia Kipkoech. After the first 5km was passed in a sedentary 15:57, one by one the pack was whittled down as Kimeli went to work.

Turning on to the final straight, only Jemeli was close and the gap between the two widened to the finish. Jemeli finished second in 31:12 which was also a personal best. Kipkoech came next in 31:30. The winner collected CDN$5000.

“This is my first time in Canada,” Kimeli acknowledged. “I was confident because of my training. I believed in myself and I won. I was thinking around 7km we would push and then go on to a good time. It was my plan.

“At first I was worried (about the competition) but when the race started I was confident and I dropped them one by one. I was thinking to win the race.”

Jemeli was gracious in second place and was clearly pleased with her effort which comes only 11 weeks after her third-place finish at the Nagoya Women’s Marathon.

“The pace was good because I have not done any 10k in Canada or anywhere,” Jemeli said. “I was thinking I might win the race but in the last stretch my leg was in pain and she passed me. But I am very happy; it’s my personal best.”

Equally important to the Ottawa victory was the ‘gender gap’ contest which saw the elite women set out 3:40 ahead of the elite men. Spectators could follow the race on a split screen television as the men chased the women.

The men’s pack quickly evolved into five runners at the front with three Moroccans – Mohammed Ziani, Mohamed Reda El Aaraby and Abderrahmane Kachir – running alongside Kenya’s Moses Kibet and Wilfrid Kimetei. Kibet did a lot of the early work, taking the pack through 5km in 14:19. Then Ziani went to the front a couple of times surging.

With two kilometres remaining it was the three Moroccans who appeared likely to fill the podium as Kibet and Kimetei went to the back. Kibet dropped well off the pace and out of contention but Kimetei had other ideas.

Ziani came around the final bend in front and sprinted away to a 28:12 victory. Kimitei finished four seconds behind with El Aaraby third in 28:22 and Kachir, racing for the first time outside Morocco, fourth in 28:33.

This was the second time Ziani has won the Ottawa 10km and he was pleased with his race today. However it was the second occasion where he has been unable to close the gap on the leading women. In 2016 it was Peres Jepchirchir who won the gender gap. Today Kimeli took the CDN$2000 gender gap bonus.

“First of all I am happy with my second victory here in Ottawa,” said Ziani, who has been fasting for Ramadan. “The rain was not a big problem. I had some good training so it’s not about the weather.

“At 9km I had the confidence that I would win and I increased my pace. I wasn’t worried. There were some very strong athletes though.”

“My body was not responding well so I was like jogging back so I could run at my own pace,” said Kimitei. “When they (the Moroccans) dropped their pace, that was the time I got those two guys.”

The Ottawa 10k once again served as the official Canadian championships. Natasha Wodak of Vancouver, a 2016 Olympian at 10,000m, was the first Canadian finishing seventh overall in 32:31. The men’s Canadian champion was Dylan Wykes, a 2012 Olympic marathon runner who was sixth overall in 29:56. The Canadian champions each earned CDN$3000.

(05/27/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Ottawa 10K

Ottawa 10K

Ottawa's course is fast, scenic and few elevation changes. Considered to be an excellent course for first timers and should provide an environment conducive to setting a PR. The Ottawa 10K is the only IAAF Gold Label 10K event in Canada and one of only four IAAF Gold Label 10Ks in the world. The Ottawa 10K attracts one of the...

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Peres Jepchirchir and Mohammed Ziani, the winners in 2016, headline the fields for Saturday night’s Ottawa 10km

The elite women are given 3:40 head start over the elite men and the first across the line earns an extra CDN$2,000 in addition to the CDN$5,000 winner’s purse. It was Jepchirchir who held off Ziani in 2016.

Jepchirchir, who held off Ziani in 2016, is making her comeback since giving birth to a baby boy at the tail end of 2017. Whether she can find the form that carried her to a PB of 30:55 for the distance in 2015 as well as capture the 2016 world half marathon title is intriguing, but she started 2019 strongly with a 1:07:36 clocking at the Ras Al-Khaimah Half Marathon.

The expected competition will likely come from her compatriot Paskalia Kipkoech, the 2012 world half marathon bronze medallist who has a 10km PB of 30:57, and 20-year-old Ethiopian Gete Alemayehu, who ran 31:12 to win the Corrida Pédestre Internationale de Houilles in France last December.

The heat and humidity at the 2016 Ottawa 10k left Jepchirchir shattered at the finish and requiring brief medical attention. But the forecast calls for rain this year, possibly even a thunderstorm.

Ziani, who finished fourth last year, will be joined by compatriot Mohamed El Aaraby who ran 27:58 at the Valencia 10k earlier this year.

Kenya’s Moses Kibet, a former steeplechaser, will challenge the two Moroccans no doubt. Last June he won the La Corrida de Langueux in a personal best of 28:26, while more recently he finished second at the Jianzhen International Half Marathon in China in a PB of 59:58.

Major flooding in recent weeks along the Ottawa River has meant that the Ottawa Marathon course has undergone substantial changes. Still, the incoming international athletes are aware that the women’s (Gelete Burka 2:22:13 2018) and men’s race records (Yemane Tsegay 2:06:54 2014) are going to be tough to beat.

Pre-race favorite Tirfi Tsegaye was forced to withdraw earlier this week after picking up a hamstring injury, but her absence leaves an evenly matched group tasked with extending Ethiopia’s winning streak to 10 women’s marathon titles in Ottawa.

Shuko Gemeno, Abeba Gebremeskel, Bethelhem Moges and Tigist Girma are all capable of victory. The latter keeps improving in leaps and bounds though her personal best is still ‘just’ 2:26:44. The winner will earn CDN$30,000.

(05/25/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Ottawa 10K

Ottawa 10K

Ottawa's course is fast, scenic and few elevation changes. Considered to be an excellent course for first timers and should provide an environment conducive to setting a PR. The Ottawa 10K is the only IAAF Gold Label 10K event in Canada and one of only four IAAF Gold Label 10Ks in the world. The Ottawa 10K attracts one of the...

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80-year-old Denis McKee is set to run his fourth 5K at Tamarack in Ottawa

80 years old, McKee will be running the 5K at the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend on Saturday at 4 p.m.

“It’s good for you, but it’s hard work … I think there’s a payoff. I’m still here, that’s one thing,” McKee said. “I feel good about it after I’ve done it. I’m tired … but I feel like I’ve accomplished something.”

Exercise was reintroduced to his life after he got into a car accident in 2013.  Luckily, he could turn to his daughters, Heather McKee and Nancy Fay, for some motivation.

“I felt I had to do something to get training because of the pain … I saw Heather, who started (running half marathons) in her early 40s … and my other daughter, Nancy, has been trekking … the Himalayas, the Andes,” McKee said. “I guess they inspired me.”

In 2016, he tried exercising again. Currently, he heads to the gym for an hour most mornings. He hits the treadmill and does some other leg-strengthening exercises.

“I do it because it feels OK for me. I don’t train so much for races. I just do the exercise. Racing is the cream on the pie,” he said. Though this year’s Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend won’t be his first run, it’s his first since turning 80.

In October 2017, he ran his first 5K during the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. McKee said he was nervous at the time.

“I was embarrassed to be there. (I’m) tall and skinny and (didn’t feel) like (I was) in the greatest condition. (I) expected to see a whole bunch of real jocks,” he said.

All McKee wanted to do was finish, and he did. “I was quite arrogant. I was pleased with myself,” he said. “It was an amazing experience to see the people, all ages, sizes, shapes and conditions, getting out there.”

Next, he ran the 5K in last year’s Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, then followed that up by running his third 5K back at Toronto’s Waterfront in 2018.

 

(05/24/2019) ⚡AMP
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Ottawa 10K

Ottawa 10K

Ottawa's course is fast, scenic and few elevation changes. Considered to be an excellent course for first timers and should provide an environment conducive to setting a PR. The Ottawa 10K is the only IAAF Gold Label 10K event in Canada and one of only four IAAF Gold Label 10Ks in the world. The Ottawa 10K attracts one of the...

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Fast times are expected at the Ottawa 10K

Ottawa is unique in that it has two IAAF Gold Label races on the same weekend and the sight of the elite marathon runners huddled together near the start of the Ottawa 10k on Saturday evening has become a familiar one. The assembled 10k field is incredibly well balanced with no clear favorite. Mohamed Ziani, the 2016 winner, sports a personal best of 27:28 set in Casablanca two years ago. This year he resigned his post with Morocco’s Royal Guard to focus on training. He will face a pair of young Kenyans, Benard Kipkorir Ngeno and Japan-based Benard Kimeli. The latter won the 2017 Prague 10k in a brilliant 27:10 the equal the seventh best performance ever. More recently he ran 59:47 to win the Prague Half Marathon. Having arrived from Japan on Wednesday, a day earlier than his competitors, he might have an advantage. Ngeno, 22, has been on a winning streak of late taking the Azalea Trail 10km (27:45) and setting course records in both the Fresh 15km (43:37) in Texas and Dismal Swamp Half Marathon in Virginia, clocking 1:02:28. Not to be discounted is 19-year-old Andamlak Belihu Berta who represented Ethiopia at the 2017 World Championships where he ran a personal best 27:08.94 in the 10,000m. For the women’s race Edith Chelimo of Kenya personal best is just 31:07 but she can run much faster. Last November she won the Cardiff Half Marathon in a stunning 1:05:52 passing the 10k mark in 30:56. This is not her first visit to Ottawa. Shortly after arriving in the Canadian capital a year ago she was diagnosed with a serious kidney infection and confined to a hospital bed for a couple of days. Now she is eager to get the job done. (05/25/2018) ⚡AMP
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Course record holders return to Ottawa Marathon, Sara Hall top American Female

Canada's largest running event is the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon and Half Marathon is coming up May 27 in Ottawa, Canada.  Yemane Tsegay, the Ethiopian star who set the Ottawa course record with a blistering time of 2:06:54 in 2014, heads the list of marathon speedsters. Tsegay will be challenged by Eliud Kiptanui, the Kenya native who claimed last year’s title with a 2:10:14 clocking. Don’t be surprised to see three other Ethiopians joining them in the lead group, either. Haile Lemi Berhanu, who won the 2016 Boston Marathon, owns a personal best time of 2:04:33. Deriba Robi has completed the marathon in 2:05.58 and Adugna Takele Bikila owns an all-time best of 2:08.51. On the women’s side, course record holder Tigist Tufa is also returning, hoping to challenge her 2014 time of 2:24:31. Tufa also won the 2015 London Marathon. Tufa will have her hands – and feet – full with Gelete Burka, who ran a 2:20:45 marathon earlier this year. Joining Tufa in the women’s field is U.S. Marathon champion Sara Hall. Hall has improved in nearly every marathon she has run over the past year, placing sixth at Tokyo in 2017 before winning the U.S. Championships later that year.  (05/14/2018) ⚡AMP
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