By Joe DuVall, Director of Operations, Run Ottawa
Spring and summer for us at Run Ottawa is when we ramp up our event schedule and roll out our ‘Beaver Chase’ and ‘Saturday 5K Run Series.’
While not billed as “races,” the mood prior to and the conversation afterwards dictates that people want to test themselves. It matters not in terms of age or fitness, people get anxious when we gather everyone to the start line and the clock starts ticking once we send them off.
We had four Beaver Chase events between May and August, all held out in Kanata on a Tuesday evening, all starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion. Young and old, fit or on their way to getting there, men, women and children took advantage of the modest fee and change of pace to their weekly routine. The course, a mixture of stone dust trail and paved pathway, features a sojourn through the Monk Conservation Trail, which borders on the idyllic.
Runners at the start of the Jim Howe Memorial (photo: Ian Hunt)
Our Saturday 5K events, which are held on the first Saturday morning of the month, had a modest start in April of this year when the inaugural event attracted 14 runners. The northern section of the Central Experimental Farm is a great setting, even for a leisurely stroll, especially after spring and summer are in full bloom. Runners like it too and when there is an event to take in, word spreads. May’s 5K doubled our numbers from April and when June came around, 42 runners took part. Sixty runners in July was the watershed mark so far but the August and September editions were impressive when one considers the myriad of races being staged in Ottawa. We still have October (come on out October 5th!) and December left for 2013. Our annual “Cookie Run” takes centre stage on Saturday, November 2nd in place of the November 5K.
All the previous dialogue about meandering trails, idyllic settings etc. leads to our next featured event in the Run Ottawa stable, “The Jim Howe Memorial Cross Country Races,” which are scheduled for Sunday, October 20th. Tracing back the roots of Run Ottawa to our predecessor, the National Capital Runners Association, it was one of the first events the new organization staged back in 1976. Past venues have included Bells Corners (at the Bruce Pit long before it was the region’s dog park), Conroy Road Pit/Dibblee Quarry and Mer Blue Conservation Area. For the past several years it has been held at the Hornet’s Nest soccer park and the adjoining trails. There are two races, a 2 loop ‘long’ course of approximately 11K and one loop of half the distance (it’s hard to nail down the exact length).
Enjoy some beautiful fall cross-country running at the Jim Howe Memorial (Photo: Ian Hunt)
It is always the race where you know that the varied terrain (ups and downs) will mean that effort trumps time and for the purist, hope like heck that the preceding week’s weather will soften up the course. Over the years we have had it all but whatever the day’s conditions brings, it’s all about getting around the horn and facing whatever lies in front of you. If you have never done it, try it at least once. You may wonder what all the hype is about when you try to pull yourself out ankle deep mud or chug up a short rise as your heart threatens to spew out your nostrils but once the finish line is at your back, the memory is a lasting one. All details, as well as a link to registration, can be found at www.runottawaclub.com
We always like to hear from you about what’s working, and what you’d like to see covered in future editions of the newsletter. And we’re also interested in hearing your inspiring stories of athleticism and endurance. So don’t be shy!
Send your impressions, ideas and stories to [email protected].