Community: A timeless running reward

By Ian Fraser, Run Ottawa’s Executive Director

One of the amazing things that comes along with your registration for Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend or any Run Ottawa event is the opportunity to become part of a community.

Unlike many other ways you could spend your hard earned money on physical activity, signing up for a run immediately creates a potential connection to other people who are preparing for the exact same thing you are. The journey can become as important as the result.

In an interview recently, I was asked what the most profound innovation to hit our sport was. I think the interviewer was prepared for me to say “chip timing”. My answer was “the internet and social media”. 

Instantly information is right at our fingertips. Run crews and organized groups of all kinds are everywhere! Looking to run fast, there is a crew for you. Looking to have a beer afterward, there is a group for you. The possibilities to enhance your preparation in the lead up to a Run Ottawa event are nearly limitless.

Not long after the first National Capital Marathon in 1975, the National Capital Runners Association was formed. The start of a prototypical run club giving a small but intrepid group of runners a chance to meet up for training, to proudly wear their colours at running events everywhere, and to cement the idea of a community. A community of runners.

A couple of decades later, the NCRA folded itself into Run Ottawa and created the building blocks to Run Ottawa membership

Like so many things over the last two and a half years, some of the connections between Run Ottawa members were broken. Gone were the training runs and meet-ups that so many of our members loved. We were left to follow each other on social media and slowly, very slowly become comfortable running with each other again and some, understandably, drifted away.

We really miss those of you who were members in years gone by. We hope you’ve come through the Pandemic OK. The next few years are likely to be the most exciting the running world has seen since the booms of the 70’s and early 2000’s. Event registration is trending up and with people working, still, mostly from home, the idea of being a member or part of a club or crew has never been more relevant. Opportunities to spend in person time with each has never been so complicated and important at the same time.

Joining Run Ottawa as a member is an incredibly cost effective way to do more of the things you love with people who share your passion and passtime. Prices of everything have steadily gone up this year and saving a little on events while getting to hang out, travel to other races and share experiences with other members sounds like a real benefit.

If you’ve been a member in the past, consider joining again in 2023. If you’re part of the roughly 34% of participants who toed the line at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend for the first time in 2022 consider taking the next step and becoming a member.

Over the coming months we will be rolling out more offerings through our membership program that will enhance an already great package. You should be rewarded for being an active part of our community which includes not only registering for events but extends to volunteering, being active on social media, and being a part of our charity challenge program. 

The more you dig in the better. Sign-up here.