Ottawa Neighbourhood Runner – Jane Spiteri

A resident of the Glebe since 1994, Jane Spiteri is a dedicated runner who first got into the sport when she had children. “I have four kids,” she explains, “and it was the easiest way to get out of the house and exercise. I had a babysitter come in once a week, so I would lace up my shoes and head out for a run.”

Like all runners, Jane started with short distances but soon was setting bigger goals. “Five turned into 10, turned into a half-marathon, turned into marathons,” she says.

She ran her first marathon at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend as a milestone for her 45th birthday. That’s what got her hooked on running long distances, and she has since traveled the world to run; she has completed 11 marathons and is training for her 12th. In 2019, she’ll run the Tokyo Marathon, and will then set her sights on Boston with the aim on completing the “Big Six Marathons.”

What began as a solo activity has become Jane’s community. In addition to being a Run Ottawa member, Jane is part of a loose group of runners called the Sunday Run Club, who share their running times and routes every Friday and partner up for runs based on distance, location, and interest.

“When you run by yourself, it’s easy to stop. When you run with a group they push you to keep going. They also help you get out of bed,” she says. “And there’s always someone who is faster than you, which is a good thing. They can run with you and pace you, which helps you push a little harder.”

In the summer, Jane can be seen leading members of the Sunday Run Club through the Glebe on their weekly runs. One of their staple routes is along the Canal, to Hog’s Back and then through Vincent Massey Park, which makes for an ideal 11K route. Click on the map for a closer look at the route!

Ever since that first marathon, Jane has regarded the last weekend in May as her Christmas, because it marks both her birthday and another opportunity to set a race goal. For her 50th, running friends from the around the world flew to Ottawa to surprise her and run Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. This year, running friends will be flying up from Australia to run the 45th Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon.

What is her guests’ favourite part of the course? Crossing over into Gatineau and catching a view of the Chaudière Falls.

But for Jane, the best part of running Ottawa is the Rideau Canal.

“Running by water is always enjoyable, it’s comfortable. When I run along the Canal in the Glebe I always see someone I know,” she says. “You know them through the kids’ schools, from the businesses in the neighbourhood, and of course the Running Room.”

This sense of home is strongest during Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend when she crosses Pretoria Bridge, sees her family cheering her on and knows that she is entering the homestretch of the race.

Want to see Ottawa’s beautiful running routes for yourself? Register for the 2019 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend and discover what National Capital Region has to offer.