Run Ottawa kicks off 2017’s Free Saturday 5K Run Series

By Joe Du Vall

The first day of April 2017 was the inaugural event in Run Ottawa’s annual free Saturday 5K run series, held at the Central Experimental Farm, and a horde of over 450 runners took off at 9:00 a.m.  

Being April Fools Day, the zany weather seemed more than a coincidence. Wet snow that fell overnight stuck to the roadways throughout the Farm. Due to weather patterns in the week leading up to run day, some roadways typically in use were not available, which resulted in a revised route. To get the 5K distance in, our only option was an out and back course, done twice along Morningside Lane.  

There were periods of congestion, where runners had to share the road despite going in opposite directions, but it did not seem to be a major issue. The effort required on a slushy, slippery route to run even 5K turned it into an endurance test, and we heard more than a couple of times that it was a real workout to get it done.

The 5K run was preceded by a 1K event for youth under 12 years of age with at least twenty-five youngsters handling the elements and the distance. This will be a regular feature of our Saturday 5K series and undoubtedly will swell our participation numbers in the ensuing months. This is part of our ‘Kids Run Ottawa’ initiative that was launched in March to elementary schools within Ottawa.

Our next ‘Free Saturday 5K’ will take place on May 6th at 9:00 a.m.  We encourage everyone to register online at as a large crowd is expected and it will make things easier on run day.  

Special thanks to our partners at Sports 4, Saucony, the Canadian Agricultural Museum, Ian Hunter for taking some great photographs and folks who came out to volunteer.