Ottawa·Photos

Ottawa Race Weekend returns after pandemic hiatus

The COVID-19 pandemic brought the annual gathering of high-performance athletes to a halt in 2020 and 2021, but this year runners from across the globe returned to the streets of the nation's capital.

Kinsey Middleton first Canadian to win women's race since 2007

Runners high-five children cheering from the sidewalk as they begin the half marathon during the Ottawa Race Weekend on May 29, 2022. Race weekend returned to Ottawa's streets on Saturday and Sunday following a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Thousands of runners from countries across the globe sweated through the streets of the nation's capital Saturday and Sunday for the first in-person Ottawa Race Weekend in two years.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought the annual gathering of high-performance athletes to a halt in 2020 and 2021, with runners instead encouraged to complete their own races in their home communities and submit their times online.

But this weekend, the scenes looked a lot like they did before COVID-19.

Kinsey Middleton became the first Canadian to win the women's marathon since 2007, finishing with a time of 2:30:09.

"The crowds were incredible," said Middleton, a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen whose family is originally from Guelph, Ont.

"Having gone through the pandemic for the last three years, it's been really sparse racing, and there hasn't been this energy out there in so long. And so every single person out there cheering helped get me to that finish line."

On the men's side, Andualem Shiferaw of Ethiopia set a new marathon course record with his 2:06:04, the fastest time run on North American soil this year.

Take a look below at some of the sights from this year's races.

Supporters look for family members as they cheer on runners beginning the half marathon Sunday. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)
Many supporters cheered and held signs — including this one, whose sign reads 'Nice legs.' (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)
The elite men's racers, including eventual winner Andualem Shiferaw of Ethiopia, second from right, cross the Alexandra Bridge during Sunday's marathon. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)
Medical staff attend to a runner lying on the pavement during Sunday's marathon. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)
Medical staff pour water over the head of Jason Storozum after he finished the marathon. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)
Charlotte, a four-month-old golden retriever, nibbles the medal her owner Chirine Njeim received after completing the marathon Sunday. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

With files from Radio-Canada's Ismaël Sy

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