Meet the Ottawa Frontrunners
The current Ottawa chapter of the International Frontrunners started in January 2003 with five members braving the Ottawa winter weather. “This re-launch followed several members who had connected during the 2002 Gay Games in Sydney, Australia, earlier that winter season. Since then, the club has grown to host over 50 members each year, between our club runs and social programming. Our club consists of members of 2SLGBTQ+ communities and friends, featuring a variety of competitive and leisure runners and walkers.”
The Frontrunners meet on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings for their runs. “We do have walkers who join us as well. Club runs (and walks) offer a variety of paces and distances – typically between 5 and 9 km. Our members have also run with other clubs, both in person and virtually.”
“Our usual routes are down the Rideau Canal or along the Outaouais [sic] River at the base of Parliament Hill to the Gatineau side towards the Museum of History (across the Portage and Alexandra bridges). Runs are rarely cancelled (except for extreme weather warnings like thunderstorms or extreme heat or cold temperatures). A handful of runners will run all winter long.”
The Frontrunners have decided to start in-person club runs, following public health guidance in both Ottawa and Gatineau. These runs are a way to re-energize the community ahead of the 5th annual National Capital Pride Run, which takes place at the end of August, and raises funds for Bruce House.
“People are enjoying the community runs again, and our executive continues to explore different methods of engaging our membership. Our special run program includes a monthly Saturday morning run in Gatineau, and a women’s only evening program. The club will be resuming Friday evening women’s runs and walks in August.”
“All are welcome to join us. We meet at the Lisgar Street entrance of City Hall on Tuesday nights at 6:30 pm and Saturday mornings at 9:00 am. Interested individuals can connect with the club via email. OFR also has an active group on Facebook, and a group on Strava where club members interact and find out about various races, programs, and great opportunities to build community.”
Thanks to Maya, the Women’s Co-chair of the Ottawa Frontrunners for taking the time to speak with us.
Looking to join an Ottawa-Gatineau run club? See Run Ottawa’s complete list of run groups here.