No Frills and Cowpattie runners line up on Morningside Lane, along with a trusty pacer.
Lucky are we as residents of Ottawa that venues such as the Central Experimental Farm exist in the heart of the city. Adding to our good fortune is that we are able to stage annual running events in this urban jewel, such as the “No Frills 10 Mile Race and Cowpattie Relay,” which was held on July 17th.
Race day happened to fall smack dab in the middle of Ottawa’s 2013 summer heat wave. A humidity enhanced temperature of 42C receded somewhat by the time race director Pat Kelly set the throng off at 6:30. But at 37C, it was still a hot night to race.
The “No Frills” race got its name from Peter Jones, who founded the event back in 1998. Peter had grown irritated at the rising cost of races, so the “No Frills 10-Miler” offered only the basics with a low cost race fee. Even though Peter passed away from cancer in 2006, that spirit continues today. The “Cowpattie Relay” was added in 2010 to increase participation in the event. Despite low entry fees, a great venue and well-organized event, an evening race in July does not always attract a large throng of running enthusiasts. Nonetheless, organize it and runners will come.
Case in point, a chap named Ollie de Bruin, who hails from Germany, was in Ottawa to do some advance planning for the 2013 International Duathlon Championships, which is being held here in August. He heard about the race and was a late entry. He went out with the lead runners and after sitting in 2nd spot after the first loop, took control and beat everyone to the finish with a time of 1:01:59. Second was Michael Haas in 1:03:03, followed closely by Mark Davis in third spot in 1:03:11.
The top woman, Kuniko Soda, cracked the top 10 with a time of 1:09:52 and was well ahead of 2nd place finisher Kerstin Hogg (1:20:48) and third place Heather Hammond (1:21:06), who waged quite a duel throughout the entire race. All in all forty-three runners tackled the 10-mile race, while the relay attracted five teams, four from Euro Sports Ottawa and the other hailing from Sports 4.
Special thanks to race director Pat Kelly, his wife Donna Laramee-Kelly, Glendon Pye, Ken Trischuk, Tom Lawson, and Dan Ziniuk. And a big thanks to Sports 4, our partners from year one of this event.
The author relaxing after another successful No Frills event at the Farm.
The other legacy Peter Jones left was the partnership he established with “Friends of the Farm”, a group of volunteers devoted to preserving, protecting and enhancing the beauty of the Central Experimental Farm and the Dominion Arboretum. Friends of the Farm provide us with race day support and Run Ottawa contributes to their cause with an honorarium. Take a walk through these beautiful properties and you will appreciate that ‘Friends of the Farm’ has left an indelible mark through the years.
Again, congratulations to everyone who came out and ran their best on a hot but beautiful summer night! Next year, mark it in your calendars!
Next up? Free 5K on September 7!
Did you know that between April and December (with the exception of November, when it’s the annual Cookie Run), Run Ottawa organizes a free 5K event on the first Saturday of every month? Start time is at 9:00 a.m. and the location is again the beautiful Central Experimental Farm.
The Saturday 5K events operate on a simple premise. Participants cover 5 kilometres over a double loop course within the northern quadrant of the Farm. Each kilometre is marked. At the finish, you check you time on the finish line clock and record it on the sign in sheet. Water is available after the first loop and washrooms are available close by. We do pass out a few random prizes (you’ll never know what you might walk away with) and results are posted on our website the following Monday.
Young and old, swift or leisurely paced, everyone is welcome to these fun (and absolutely free) 5K events. Find out more about Run Ottawa events by visiting www.runottawaclub.com and clicking on the ‘Calendar’ link.
Joe DuVall is Run Ottawa’s Director of Operations.
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