New event records again expected at Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

Faster course and better pacers set up runners for success

Ottawa, May 6, 2015 – Organizers of the IAAF Silver label Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon are expecting the event records to fall again this year, thanks to a faster course, higher caliber pacers and a highly competitive, deep field of runners.

“Seeing our event records fall has practically become an annual tradition for us,” says Manny Rodrigues, Elite Athlete Coordinator. “Our men’s event record has been broken four times in the last five years, and the women’s three times in the last six years. We’re very focused in creating the conditions to make this happen.”

This year, organizers made minor course adjustments to make it flatter and eliminate sharp turns, increased the prize purse for the top 10 to over $170,000, improved the elite water stations, and recruited a highly competitive team of pacers to help runners achieve faster times.

Men poised to run a fast, competitive race

On the men’s side, Girmay Birhanu will be the one to watch with a personal best time of 2:05:49 set in Dubai last year. Last month, Birhanu won the Daegu Marathon in Korea with a time of 2:07:26. Yemane Tsegaye came to Ottawa last year having won Daegu, then proceeded to smash the course and Canadian soil record with a time of 2:06:54.

Article: Girmay Birhanu Favoured at Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon by Paul Gains (PDF)

Giving Birhanu a run for his money will be Ethiopian Dadi Yami who has a 2:05:41 personal best. Joining him in this quest will be countryman Deribe Merga who in 2009, won the Boston Marathon and smashed Race Director John Halvorsen’s 21-year Ottawa 10K course record with a time of 27:24.

Other men to watch include Kenyans Peter Kirui (2:06:31 PB), Alfers Lagat (2:07:11 PB), and Philip Kangogo (2:08:16 PB). 2013 Canadian Marathon champion Rob Watson is set to lead the Canadian contingent, which includes Lucas McAneney who recently announced he will be retiring from the sport.

Impressive lineup of Ethiopian women looking for the record

Maselech Melkamu (2:21:01 PB), who, like countryman Birhanu, won the Daegu Marathon last month, will be leading a group of high caliber Ethiopian runners at the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon. She will be competing with Abebech Afework who set her 2:23:33 in Dubai earlier this year. Joining them will be two-time Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon champion, and previous event record holder, Yeshi Esayias.

All three women will be looking to smash the current event record of 2:24:31 set by Tigist Tufa, who won the London Marathon last month.

Joining them at the start line will be Kenyans Rebecca Chesir who recently ran a 1:08:21 half, and Agnes Kiprop who has a 2:23:54 personal best.

The 41st Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon will take place Sunday, May 24, 2015. The race will be broadcast live on


2014 Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon results
Records and prizes
• Backgrounder – Backgrounder – Top 20 Ottawa Marathon elites 2015 (PDF)
• Backgrounder – Ten To Watch – 2015 Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon (PDF)