Ethiopian Gelete Burka topples Canadian and Ottawa marathon records

Scotiabank Charity Challenge raises more than $775,000 at the 2018 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

May 27, 2018 – OTTAWA – The star of today’s Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon was 32-year-old Ethiopian Gelete Burka, whose finish time of 2:22:17 handily shattered both Canadian (2:22:43) and Ottawa (2:24:31) women’s records.

Fellow Ethiopian Yemane Tsegay, 33, placed first in the men’s field with a time of 2:08:52. The current marathon course record holder led a pack of four men who competed fiercely throughout the race to finish with sub-2:10 times.

Canadian champions today were Tristan Woodfine, 24, who finished with 2:18:55, and Kait Toohey, 30, who came in at 2:45:07.

“This year’s field of elite women started fast and sustained an impressive pace through much of the race,” said Manny Rodrigues, Elite Athlete Coordinator, Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. “Eventually Gelete Burka pulled ahead and tore up the course for a dramatic record-breaking finish.”

“Run Ottawa is thrilled with this year’s results,” said John Halvorsen, President of Run Ottawa and Race Director of Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. “We were proud to host another outstanding field of elite athletes and to organize six race events for more than 33,000 participants of all ages. Our thanks also go to those who raised funds for charities and the 2,500-plus volunteers who made Canada’s biggest race weekend possible.”

2018 Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon results


1. Yemane Tsegay 2:08:52 Ethiopia
2. John Kipkosgei Korir 2:09:14 Kenya
3. Adugna Takele 2:09:26 Ethiopia


1. Gelete Burka 2:22:17 Ethiopia
2. Hiwot Gebrekidan 2:26:11 Ethiopia
3. Sara Hall 2:26:20 USA

More than $775,000 raised for the Scotiabank Charity Challenge

More than 33,000 runners took part in the 2018 edition of the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, many of whom supported 69 local charities and raised more than $775,000 as part of the Scotiabank Charity Challenge.

Scotiabank believes in helping young people reach their infinite potential, and many organizations who take part in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge have a direct impact on local youth. Young people are future leaders and Scotiabank aims to help provide them with the skills and resources they need to succeed. 

“We are thrilled to bring the Scotiabank Charity Challenge back to Ottawa this year,” said Frank Bilodeau, District Vice President, Ottawa Centre & Gatineau at Scotiabank. “Racers demonstrated their commitment to their community by raising more than $775,000 in support of local charities. We’re proud that the Scotiabank Charity Challenge continues to be an important part of the weekend events, year after year and applaud every participant for their efforts.”  

Ottawa native breaks Guinness world record

At Saturday’s 10K race, Ottawa native Morgan Mckay – a self-described elite ultra obstacle racer – broke a Guinness world record for fastest 10K carrying 100 lbs. In December 2017, Mckay won the Spartan Ultra World Championships in Iceland.

Background information:

About the Scotiabank Charity Challenge
The Scotiabank Charity Challenge is a turnkey fundraising program that provides a simple way for runners in these races to support local causes that make a significant impact on Canadian communities. Participating charities keep 100 per cent of the proceeds raised, as Scotiabank pays for all transaction and credit card fees. Scotiabank offers the Scotiabank Charity Challenge at six sponsored marathon events across Canada including Montréal, Halifax, Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto.

About Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

The 2018 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend welcomed more than 33,000 participants in six races, including the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, the Scotiabank Half Marathon, the Ottawa 10K, the HTG Sports 5K, the Aquahaulics Ottawa 2K and Scotiabank Ottawa Kids Marathon. This year, runners raised more than $775,000 for 69 local and national charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge.

The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is one of only two running events in the world to host two IAAF Gold Label races: the Ottawa 10K and the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon. The 2019 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend will take place May 25-26, 2019. For more information:

About Scotiabank

At Scotiabank, we aim to support organizations that are committed to helping young people reach their infinite potential. Young people are our future leaders and Scotiabank’s goal is to help ensure that they have the necessary skills and resources they need to support their success. Together with our employees, the Bank supports causes at a grassroots level. Recognized as a leader for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, in 2017, Scotiabank contributed more than $80 million to help our communities around the world.

Scotiabank is Canada’s international bank and a leading financial services provider in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean and Central America, and Asia-Pacific. We are dedicated to helping our 24 million customers become better off through a broad range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking, and capital markets. With a team of more than 89,000 employees and assets of over $923 billion (as at January 31, 2018), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (TSX: BNS) and New York Exchanges (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @Scotiabank.

Erin Truax