Media Advisory: 25 days until the 50th anniversary of Ottawa’s marathon


25 days to the 50th anniversary of Ottawa’s marathon at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend May 25-26, 2024

Six races, the Canadian 10K Championships, and the largest attendance since 2018 

Celebrations for the 50th anniversary are well underway, and the organizers wish to extend an invitation to you to attend the biggest running weekend in Canada on May 25-26, in Ottawa, Canada. This year’s celebration weekend is seeing strong registration numbers across all events—to date, an increase of 6,000 participants from 2023 and still climbing. 

Race weekend plans for the 50th anniversary celebration include a local mascot race, a Tattoo Truck, and 25 cheer stations along the NEW Tartan Ottawa International Marathon route featuring local bands, DJs and community groups out to support participants with Ottawa spirit and pride.

Here are a few highlights and insights in advance of the weekend:


50 Stars for 50 Years

All media is invited to attend the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend 50 Year Media Launch and Elite Conference on Friday, May 24, 2024, 10 a.m. on the main stage at the Health & Fitness Expo, at the Aberdeen Pavilion, Lansdowne Park, 1000 Exhibition Way, Ottawa, ON. 

Organizers will be unveiling its full list of ‘50 Stars for 50 Years’ and commemorate its recipients, followed by an elite speakers panel, hosted by CTV’s Leah Larocque, and an opportunity for questions and interviews of the conference guests and athletes.

If you require media accreditation for the weekend, please fill out this form.


A new record: over 95 charities participating in the Desjardins Charity Challenge

In 2023, the Desjardins Charity Challenge set a record fundraising total of $1,126,273.66. This year, ninety-five charities – a record number – have joined the challenge, an increase of 31% from the previous year.

  • Sindy Hooper is back at it this year, and her fundraising MEMC crew has participated in ORW nine times and raised over $500,000 for pancreatic cancer (PC) research
  • Hugh Neilson, managing director of the Great Canadian Theatre, (GCTC), will run his first marathon with an unlikely running partner: his ukulele. Neilson’s team, “Hukulele Runathon”,  will be raising money for the GCTC a registered charity of the Desjardins Charity Challenge.
  • Grief acceptance advocate Jessica Foley is fundraising for Playful Mindset. Jessica’s husband Steven Trickett, suffered a cardiac arrest at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend in 2019 and died on course. Jessica was seven months pregnant at the time and they were parents of a 2.5 years old daughter.
  • One year ago, Eric Chamois went into cardiac rest and underwent triple bypass surgery. Walking was a big part of his recovery and now he, and his team, will run the 5K at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend raising money for the Ottawa Heart Institute.
  • OC Transpo Driver, Abdullah Yussuf is running his second ever marathon and raising money for CHEO. He wants to encourage other Muslims to run and has enlisted the support of his union and manager.
  • Please reach out to for contact information regarding these stories.

New year, new showdown

The weekend will host the Canadian 10K Championships with another dramatic showdown between two of Canada’s most accomplished distance runners: Rory Linkletter, who has set personal bests this year in both the half and full marathon, and Ben Flanagan, who holds the Canadian 10K record. A great opportunity for running fans to witness two Paris-bound Olympic athletes go head- to-head.


Special opening and free rides with OC Transpo 

In partnership with OC Transpo, marathon and half marathon participants, volunteers and spectators will be able to access OTrain’s Line 1 starting at 5 am on Sunday, May 26. Participants will also be able to use OC Transpo service for free to travel to the Aberdeen Pavilion for the Health and Fitness Expo on Friday, May 24 and Saturday, May 25.


Through the decades: the history of the Tartan Ottawa International Marathon


Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is Canada’s biggest race weekend and will run on May 25-26, 2024. You can learn more by visiting