Ethiopian runners take top prize in the 2023 Tartan Ottawa International Marathon

Ottawa, ON, May 28, 2023Almost 3,200 elite and recreational runners took to the streets of Ottawa-Gatineau today in the 2023 Tartan Ottawa International Marathon. 

In the men’s race, Ethiopian runners took the top four spots. Yihunilign Adane came first with a time of 2:08:22. (Last year, Adane also won the TSC Toronto Waterfront Marathon.) Gebretsadik Abraha came second in 2:09:13 and Abdi Ali Gelchu finished 3rd with a time of 2:10:38. New Brunswick’s Lee Wesselius was the top Canadian, finishing in 2:18:26. 

Ethiopia’s Waganesh Mekasha was the fastest woman at today’s Tartan Ottawa International Marathon—running alone for most of the second half of the race—finishing in 2:24:47. Canada’s Malindi Elmore overtook Germany’s Melat Kejata in the home stretch to capture 2nd  place, with a time of 2:27:44. Kejata finished 3rd  in 2:27:50. 

Mekasha and Adane will both take home $30,000 for their 1st place finishes. Elmore will receive $15,000 for her 2nd place finish as well as $5,000 as the top Canadian woman. 

Another successful Tartan Ottawa International Marathon

“We curated a really top-notch field again this year. We had amazing African athletes, 11 Japanese runners, some Europeans and some new Canadian talent that has the possibility to be truly great one day,” says Ian Fraser, Run Ottawa’s Executive Director and Race Director. “I’m feeling really good about how it all went this year.”

It was the 49th year the marathon has been held in Ottawa. Since it started back in 1975, more than half a million runners from around the globe have participated in Ottawa’s race weekend. The marathon is a World Athletics Elite Label Race and one of Canada’s largest Boston Qualifiers.

This year, the 42 km course started at Ottawa City Hall, taking runners along the famous Rideau Canal and around Dow’s Lake, before crossing the Champlain Bridge into Gatineau. Runners then returned back into Ottawa over the Alexandria bridge, through New Edinburgh, to an exciting finish in front of thousands of cheering spectators on Queen Elizabeth Drive.

Eastern Ontario runner completes 200
th marathon

Although he may have not been one of the top finishers, Cornwall’s Wendell Lafave completed his 200th marathon in a time of 5:20:27. Lafave is a two-time member of the 50 States Marathon Club and six-star medal holder, having completed the 6 major marathons around the world.


Full results of 2023 Tartan Ottawa International Marathon are available at:

Women:  Sportstats | Results

Men: Sportstats | Results


2023 Registration numbers

This year, a total of 27,954 people took part in the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend over the two days. The breakdown was as follows:

Ottawa Kids Marathon 1,189

Ottawa 2K presented by ASICS Runkeeper  2,385

Ottawa 5K presented by ASICS Runkeeper  5,978

Ottawa 10K presented by Otto’s Ottawa 6,485

Ottawa 10K – Visually Impaired 29

Ottawa Half-Marathon presented by Desjardins  8,710

Tartan Ottawa International Marathon  3,178

About Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend 

Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is Canada’s largest running and walking festival with six races, including the Tartan Ottawa International Marathon, Ottawa Half Marathon presented by Desjardins, Ottawa 10K presented by Otto’s Ottawa, Ottawa 5K and 2K presented by Runkeeper, and Ottawa Kids Marathon, as well as three multi-event challenges. In 2022, runners and walkers in the event raised a record-breaking $1,067,612.00 for local and national charities through the Desjardins Charity Challenge. 

Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is the only running event in Canada to host a World Athletics Elite label marathon and is host to Athletics Canada’s Canadian 10K Championships. The weekend was named Event of the Year at the 2019 Canadian Tourism Awards. In 2020, its title sponsor Tamarack Homes won Sport Tourism Canada’s Canadian Sport Event Sponsorship Initiative of the Year Award.