A week late to the finish, but 42.2 km all the same
In January, Dominique Howatt signed up for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon along with three of her friends, with a plan to walk the marathon event together.
But only three days before the race, Howatt received the news that her grandmother had passed away, and so she returned to her home province of Prince Edward Island to be with her family.
When she returned to Ottawa after the funeral, Howatt was determined to finish the race she had signed up and trained for. So a week later, on Sunday, May 31st, she set off early in the morning to do the 42.2 km route on her own.
“It was still really important for me to do it because it was a big goal that I set for myself,” Howatt said.
Although she had planned to walk by herself, she got an unexpected boost of support along the way. At the 18 km mark, a friend surprised her and rode alongside Howatt on her bike. Then, after around 30 kilometres, a second friend joined her to help finish off the route.
While not the crowds of the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, the presence and support of her friends gave Howatt’s solo marathon effort that extra meaning that comes with having others there to witness and participate in one’s success.
And it turned out to have other benefits.
Originally from New Glasgow, PEI, Howatt moved to Ottawa several months ago and said that the marathon route was a fantastic way to see the city.
“Being new here, for me it was a great way to see a lot of the city. It takes you through some of its most beautiful parts,’ she said. “I feel like I know Ottawa a lot better after seeing so much of it on foot.”
Howatt finished in 6 hours and 45 minutes, a time she said she hopes to improve on when she does the race again next year.
“Even doing it by myself, it was a great experience, so I’m really excited to try again next year. Hopefully with a few thousand other people!”
To recognize her tenacious commitment to finishing her marathon, Run Ottawa sent Howatt the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon shirt and medal she would have received the weekend before (in the picture here Howatt is posing with her friend’s medal).
Congratulations Dominique and we hope to see you on the Start Line in 2016!