Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon awarded prestigious IAAF Gold standard

One of only two events in the world with two IAAF gold-label races

Ottawa, October 22, 2015 – Organizers of the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend today announced they have been awarded the prestigious International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) Gold label standard for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon.

The Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon joins Boston, New York, Chicago and Toronto as one of five gold-label marathons in North America.

Together with its Gold Label for the Ottawa 10K – the only 10K gold in North America – Ottawa also joins Lisbon as one of only two road racing events in the world to hold two IAAF Gold label races in one weekend.

Plaque imageAbby Hoffman, IAAF Council Member, presents John Halvorsen with the Gold certificate.

“I am beyond proud,” said John Halvorsen, President of Run Ottawa and Race Director of the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. “This second IAAF Gold label designation not only solidifies our event’s status as one of the very best in the world, but is a testament to the hard work of the entire Run Ottawa team, our partners and sponsors, and the thousands of volunteers who make our event more successful every year.”

The Gold label – the highest standard awarded by the international governing body for running – signifies that a race has met IAAF’s stringent criteria on the caliber of the elite field, the breadth of media coverage and logistical execution of the race.

“I’d like to extend my congratulations to the whole team at Run Ottawa,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. “This accomplishment is proof that Ottawa is not only capable of attracting major sporting events, but that we can create, grow and nurture our very own world-class sporting events right here in our great city.”

“Every year, the National Capital Commission is delighted to welcome thousands of runners from all over the world on the scenic routes and pathways of Canada’s Capital”, says Dr. Mark Kristmanson, Chief Executive Officer of the NCC. “I congratulate Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend and Run Ottawa for these new distinctions that draw international attention to our Capital.”

“The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend continues to raise the bar for the sport of running in Canada,” said Rob Guy, Chief Executive Officer, Athletics Canada. “Being able to compete in world class road races on home soil is a huge benefit for the development of our elite Canadian distance runners.”

Achieving IAAF Gold Label status is a tribute to the caliber of elite athletes that have been increasingly choosing Ottawa as their spring marathon destination.

“When you think of the Boston, New York or Chicago marathons, you think of the very best running in the world,” said Manny Rodrigues, Elite Athlete Coordinator of the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon and Ottawa 10K. “With the Gold Label standard, the IAAF has said that Ottawa is operating at the same level. I think everyone in Ottawa should feel very proud of that accomplishment, and very excited to watch some world-class running next May.”

One hundred and forty-six (146) runners took part in the first Ottawa Marathon in 1975, which was organized entirely by a small group of volunteers. Last year, 5,800 runners tackled the distance during the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. Organizers are hoping to attract close to 10,000 marathoners in 2017 for Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

The Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon will be held Sunday, May 29, 2016 as part of the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend.

Download the press release

About the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

The 2015 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend welcomed 49,439 participants in six races, including the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, the Scotiabank Half-Marathon, the Ottawa 10K, the HTG Sports 5K, the 2K and Scotiabank Kids Marathon. 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 2016 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend will take place on May 28-29, 2016. Visit us at