Tesfaye Anbesa and Maregu Hayelom take top prize in the 2024 Tartan Ottawa International Marathon


Tesfaye Anbesa and Maregu Hayelom take top prize in the 2024 Tartan Ottawa International Marathon

Ottawa (May 26, 2024) – Some 13,650 elite and recreational runners took to the streets of Ottawa today in what was a very special edition of the Tartan Ottawa International Marathon. The race marked the 50th year that the marathon has been held in Ottawa.

Ethiopian runners won both the men’s and women’s events again this year. Tesfaye Anbesa took top spot in the men’s event with a time of 2:12:41. Montreal’s Arnaud Francioni was the fastest Canadian, finishing in 2:25:48.

Maregu Hayelom was the fastest woman, finishing in 2:32:20. Toronto’s Rachel Hannah was the top Canadian woman, and 3rd overall, with a time of 2:48:03.

Anbesa and Hayelom will each take home $8,000 for their 1st place finishes.

Although he may not have taken home any prizes, runner Bob Brisebois did have the honour of being the oldest runner to complete today’s marathon. The runner from Rockland, Ontario just celebrated his 85th birthday on April 28. He finished with a time of 5:37:14.

Celebrating 50 years of marathoning in Ottawa
Since the inaugural marathon was held back in 1975, more than half a million runners from around the world have taken part in Ottawa’s marathon. Today, the race is a World Athletics Label Race and one of Canada’s largest Boston Qualifiers. The marathon doubled its registration numbers from 2023, and sold out in early April.

“It all started 50 years ago with 146 runners and now we’re up to 33,000 racers,” said Mike Vieira, Run Ottawa’s new Executive Director. “It’s the biggest multi-day racing event in Canada. We’re super proud of its legacy, not just for the Ottawa area but also for Canada.”

To mark the 50th anniversary, the Tartan Ottawa International Marathon planned a new route this year. The 42.2 km course started at Ottawa City Hall, taking runners along the Rideau Canal, around Dow’s Lake, through the Experimental Farm, up through Hintonburg and along the Ottawa River before circling back to the finish line on Queen Elizabeth Drive. Along the way, runners were greeted by thousands of cheering spectators as well as local bands, DJs and community groups.

Running for a cause through Desjardins Charity Challenge
A record number of charities—over 98—joined this year’s Desjardins Charity Challenge. In 2023, the challenge set a new record, raising more than $1.1 million for charity—but with $1,000,000 already raised, 2024 is on track to beat that record. (Participants have until June 17 to collect funds.)

Top fundraiser Michael O’Brien ran the Ottawa Half Marathon in support of the CHEO Foundation in a time of 2:07:36.This charity is extremely close to him and his wife Olivia, as their first child Arthur fights a life threatening heart condition.

Ottawa’s mayor, Mark Sutcliffe, ran today’s marathon to support the Ottawa Victim Services and Dhanushka Wickramasinghe. Wickramasinghe was the lone survivor of a brutal attack in Barrhaven in March in which his wife, four children and a family friend were killed. Sutcliffe was greeted at the finish line by Wickramasinghe.

One of the 1,376 runners fundraising this year is Jessica Foley. The mother of two ran the half marathon to raise money for Playful Mindset, a play-based grief support group. Five years ago, Foley’s husband, Steven Trickett, suffered a cardiac arrest and died on the course while running the half marathon at the 2019 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. Today’s race was a chance for Foley to remember her husband—and raise money for a charity that helps young people dealing with loss. She wore her husband’s 2019 bib number in commemoration.

Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend also saw its first-ever “Hugh-kulele-run-a-thon.” The GCTC’s managing director, Hugh Neilson, ran the full marathon while playing the ukulele as an attempt to meet his goal of raising $10,000 for the theatre.

Full results of 2024 Tartan Ottawa International Marathon are available at:
Sportstats | Results

Full results of 2024 Ottawa Half Marathon presented by Desjardins are available at:
Sportstats | Results

Participation numbers
This year, more than 32,704 people took part in the 2024 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend over the two days. The breakdown was as follows:

Ottawa Kids Marathon: 1,431
Ottawa 2K presented by ASICS Runkeeper:  3,322
Ottawa 5K presented by ASICS Runkeeper: 7,399
Ottawa 10K presented by Otto’s Ottawa: 6,899
Ottawa Half-Marathon presented by Desjardins: 8,620
Tartan Ottawa International Marathon: 5,033

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 2023, runners and walkers in the event raised a record-breaking $1,126,273.66. 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.

Media relations contact:
Lisa Georges