Extra Mile Crew Runners Embody Canada 150 Spirit

Whether you are a seasoned runner or a beginner, the last few kilometres of a long race can be the toughest, and sometimes all it takes to push through is a little encouragement.

Every year we recruit an amazing set of volunteers to run the last ten kilometres of both the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon and Half-Marathon and to  keep an eye-out for runners who need a buddy to listen, coach or cheer them on.

We want everyone to be part of the race for Canada’s big year, and this year our Extra Mile Crew will be channeling the spirit of Canada 150 to help our runners finish on a high note.

So don’t let those final few kilometres keep you out of the race. Read some of our Extra Mile Crew’s most memorable moments from 2016 and then keep an eye out for them on the road!

Listening to Beginner Runners

“A woman saw me and asked me to run with her. I asked her if she was ok. Then she just burst into tears – big ugly crying, complete with shaking. I held her in my arms and let her cry it out. She wasn’t hurt, just tired. She was about 4K from the finish line. We talked about virtual cheerleaders and picking 4 friends and family who she could imagine running beside her – one for each of the remaining kilometers.”

“She told me what each would say to her if they were here with her and how proud they were of her for running her first half-marathon. I told her to imagine fun times she’s had with each of them. She was smiling and ready to go.”

Boosting Confidence for Seasoned Runners

“I ended up helping out about 12 people, all of whom were very grateful for the distraction. Most of them were men running on their own and usually very disappointed that they were not going to make their target times. But we chatted, laughed and told stories and soon they were more focused on enjoying the day, the spectators and making it to the finish rather than the time.

“I ran with people from Washington, DC, Shawinigan, Waterloo, Montreal, New Brunswick, a traveling clown and several people from the Ottawa area.  A couple of people said that they would like to have the same support in their local races. I think when you are going to an event without any of your own supporters, it is really nice surprise to have someone to connect with on the run.”

Supporting Runners in Need

“A younger woman looked injured. She told me it was her knees. She was hurting. We tried different stretches. We walked a bit but she said it was bad. She was totally defeated with the idea that she would have to stop. I just let her talk. Up ahead I saw someone from the medical staff on the bike.I ran ahead to get his attention to bring them to the lady. I ran by her several more times within the next little while. She had her knees bandaged and was getting a lift back to the start. She thanked me for the help. She told me she would heal and then sign up for another race.”

This year our Extra Mile Crew runners will be there to help you, so don’t be afraid to catch their attention as you push through the final leg.

Sign up for your race today and make Canada 150 a year for your personal best.

An Experience To Remember

Many of last year’s crew of Extra Mile Crew volunteers said that helping runners reach the finish line was a super memorable experience and a unique way of giving back to the running community.

“I had an amazing day yesterday. I think I’m still processing it all,” said XMC volunteer Erin Beasley. “The body was tired yesterday afternoon but I felt like I was on cloud 9. I think yesterday definitely ranks up there in the some of the top of my life experiences.”

“I figured that this would be a great experience, but it was much, much better than I had imagined it would be,” said volunteer Brian Barber,

If you’re an enthusiastic and experienced runner looking to help out, e-mail xmcottawa@gmail.com to volunteer for this year’s crew!