Flat, fast and fun route set for Ottawa marathon
Ottawa's marathon runners will race along a flatter and more urban route this May, after organizers made the first course change in three years.
Three events at the Ottawa Race Weekend — the 10 km race, half- and full-marathon — have had their routes altered, sending some 40,000 runners along pavement they don't usually take.
The marathon will now run west from city hall to the Chinatown and Little Italy neighbourhoods along Somerset and Preston Streets.
Organizers said the flatter route is expected to shatter records, and they expect the runners will enjoy the scenery.
"It's going to be phenomenal. You know what it's like on Preston Street in the summertime with all the people sitting outside on the patios," said race director Jim Robinson, adding he hopes the race will hopefully have a feel similar to the Tour de France cycling race.
"I think it's going to be huge, for the runners especially."
The marathon route will continue out to Westboro, then back along the Ottawa River and across to downtown Gatineau. From there the course covers more of the Ottawa side of the river, then swings up the Rideau Canal. Runners will make one last turn back at Dows Lake and head north to finish at city hall.
"I think it's one of the nicest finishes around," Robinson said.
Registration for the half-marathon is already full, but runners can still nab a spot in the 2, 5, or 10 km race, or the marathon.
The races are set to be run on May 28 and 29.