Looking back at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend 2022

The return of Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend 2022 was a celebration of in-person racing in Canada’s capital and a weekend to remember. Every participant contributed to the energy and excitement of this once in a lifetime event! Here are just a few of the amazing highlights that made it one for the books:

A new women’s 95+ national record

History was made this year at the Ottawa 5K presented by ASICS Runkeeper when Rejeanne Fairhead, a 95-year-old runner from Ottawa, set a new women’s 95+ national record by completing a 5K in 58:52—all in support of Perley Health, a community that empowers seniors and veterans to live life to the fullest. Support Rejeanne and Perley Health by making a donation to her Desjardins Charity Challenge fundraising page.

There’s no stopping Jess Lambert

Eight years ago, after a cliff diving accident which resulted in a lower lumbar spinal injury, Jess Lambert was given a 60/40 chance of walking again. But she was determined to beat those odds. And she didn’t stop at walking. This year, she challenged herself by registering to RUN her first marathon. On May 29, Jesse achieved her goal and crossed the finish line at the Tartan Ottawa International Marathon! 

You can support her initiative to give back to the Ottawa Hospital Foundation this year by donating to her fundraising page.

First Canadian win since 2007

Kinsey Middleton took top prize at the Tartan Ottawa International Marathon with a personal best time of 2:30:08 – the first Canadian woman to do so since Lioudmila Kortchaguina in 2007. For her efforts, Middleton takes home $32,000 ($24,000 for placing first, $5,000 for first Canadian finisher, and $3,000 for running sub-2:32:00). “This was a day beyond my wildest dreams,” Middleton says. “I was shooting for a top-five finish but to end up with a personal best and the win, I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Since her marathon win, Middleton has been chosen for Team Canada’s marathon team at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Returning for a personal best

After competing in the Athletics Canada Canadian 10K championships and placing second at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend in 2019, Justin Kent came back this year to be the first Canadian to finish the Tartan Ottawa International Marathon in a new personal best of 2:13:33. “I got a taste of Ottawa Race Weekend in 2019 when I competed in the 10K championships,” Kent says. “I knew I had to return to experience the atmosphere for the marathon.”

A piece of marathon history 

In commemoration of the 80 years of diplomatic relations between Greece and Canada, medals for this year’s first place finishers of the Tartan Ottawa International Marathon were designed and offered by the Museum of Marathon Road Race of Greece and presented by Her Excellencythe Ambassador of Greece Konstantina Athanassiadou. Learn more about the Museum of Marathon Road Race of Greece on the Run Ottawa blog.

The Lithuanian Lumberjack

Lithuanian Ambassador to Canada Darius Skusevicius participated in the Lumberjack Challenge in a show of solidarity with Ukraine. The Lumberjack Challenge includes the Ottawa 2K and the Ottawa 5K both presented by ASICS Runkeeper, the Ottawa 10K presented by Otto’s Ottawa and the Tartan Ottawa International Marathon.

Four events, for a whopping 59.2 KM in total distance!

Going the Xtra Mile

The Xtra Mile Crew (XMC) is a key part of Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. They are a dedicated team of volunteers who offer on-route encouragement to runners who may benefit from a temporary running partner or would like some support to reach the finish line.

Read one the story of one Tartan Ottawa International Marathon participant ‘s uplifting experience with the Xtra Mile Crew.

A display of endurance and hope

Sindy Hooper, captain of the fundraising team the MEMC Crew, ran the Ottawa Half Marathon presented by Desjardins this year., while raising money for pancreatic cancer research at The Ottawa Hospital through the Desjardins Charity Challenge. Hooper was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (adenocarcinoma) on Jan 2, 2013, and she is the inspiration behind the MEMC Crew choosing to fundraise to find better treatments for pancreatic cancer, and to give more people hope of surviving this horrible cancer. 

In September 2021 Hooper had surgery to remove a metastasis to her lung from her original pancreatic cancer and through December and January had three rounds of chemotherapy as a preventive measure to stop any more metastases. She continues to inspire her MEMC Crew and crossed the finish line in just under 2 hours! 

You can show your support and donate to the MEMC Crew.

Power Crew takes charge

2022 was the first year for the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend ambassador team Otto’s Ottawa Power Crew. This dedicated group of runners and walkers shared details about  their training, healthy recipes and fundraising tips, they wrote pieces for our blog and gave a first hand look at their experiences during Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend 2022.

Learn more about the 2022 Otto’s Ottawa Power Crew

Working together to make a difference

Team Ashbury—a team of 400 students—ran the Ottawa 5K presented by ASICS Runkeeper in support of cancer research and care at The Ottawa Hospital. In the next 15 years, Canadians will see a 40% increase in cancer diagnoses. The goal of the students of Ashbury College is to make a difference in the lives of many by supporting the fight against Cancer.

You can encourage their continued fundraising efforts by donating to their Desjardins Charity Challenge fundraising page.

Taking steps to make a difference in local neighbourhoods

Team Walk this Way, a team of 80 youth and volunteers, led by Gavin Lumsden, participated in the Ottawa 5K presented by ASICS Runkeeper on May 28 in support of BGC Ottawa, (formerly known as the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa) which offers free programs and services to local youth at their 11 satellite locations and 4 clubhouses serving the Ottawa region. These programs provide young people with a place to grow, be themselves, and gives access to barrier-free services for those coming from underserved neighbourhoods.

You can show your support by donating to Team Walk this Way here.

A post-race celebration like no other!

This year’s Festival Plaza and Kichesippi Beer Garden was a party! It was the perfect way to celebrate the return of the first in-person Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend in three years, and to gather with friends to share the excitement, joy and relief of crossing the finish line and achieving your goals! It was the place to be post-race!

Dj Prosper provided the soundtrack to the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend celebrations this year and kept everyone dancing in Festival Plaza and Kichesippi Beer Garden. DJ Prosper has worked as hype man for R&B legend Ashanti, co-founded the hip-hop group GPM with his wife Melissa over 10 years ago, and is the in-arena DJ for the NHL’s Ottawa Senators.

Carlington Booch, a local small batch kombucha business, was on-site serving their locally-brewed Kombucha. Carlington Booch was founded by Union City Church in 2017 with a focus on creating community fight addiction in Ottawa.

Festival Plaza was also the location of Instagram worthy photo stations from Garmin and Desjardins. It was the perfect place to commemorate reaching your Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend goals. Did you snap a selfie? Don’t forget to tag @ottawaracewknd when  sharing your Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend memories on Instagram.

Remi Royale, local legend with equally legendary belt

Remi Royale provided his one of a kind postrace entertainment for participants in this year’s recovery zone in Confederation Park. Accompanied by his iconic hotdog belt, Royale’s unique renditions of well known classics got the crowd singing along. Royale is a staple at House of TARG, you can find more information about his shows here.

Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the First Responders, volunteer nurses, medical staff and EMTs for their on-site and on-course support during the weekend. Your work is invaluable.

Thank you to local residents for their patience with road closures and for coming out to cheer on participants, as well as all of the cheer stations for keeping participants entertained, energized and motivated!

Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend would not be possible without the support of an amazing roster of sponsors and partners.

Most importantly we want to give a BIG thank you to the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend volunteers. This event wouldn’t have happened without you! We are so grateful for your hard work!

See you next year for Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend 2023 on May 27-28!