Run the Glebe – Ottawa Neighbourhood Feature

Dotted by parks, home to historic architecture, and with kilometres of streetlight-free paths along the Rideau Canal, it’s not hard to see why the Glebe is one of Ottawa’s running hot spots.

“If you are out for a run, environment is an important thing,” says Glebe BIA executive director Andrew Peck. “There’s lots to look at, tons of little nooks, cool-down spots, and green space.”

The neighbourhood also hosts multiple races and fun runs and happens to be an outdoor destination for enthusiasts of all stripes.

“People kind of joke about it being a granola and Birkenstock neighbourhood, but there really are people that are very concerned about their health,” says running coach Phil Marsh. “A lot of people in the Glebe also ski or kayak. With Lansdowne being fully developed, there are even more people skating, or playing basketball and pick-up hockey.”

Marsh, who has worked for Running Room since 1996, moved to Ottawa in 1999. Even 20 years ago, Bank Street’s Running Room was considered a flagship location. These days, it boasts one of the biggest running clubs in the continent-wide company, regularly seeing 200 runners out on the Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday group runs.

“We’re set up for everything,” says Marsh. “The 5K loop goes from the store to Dow’s Lake and back, the 10K goes downtown around the Château Laurier and back, and the 15K loop goes to the Governor General’s and back. There’s pretty much everything for everybody.”

And all the pubs, eateries, and coffee shops make socializing after a run easy, whether it’s over beer and nachos, or bagels and lattés.

What’s ideal about the Glebe is its centrality. Training in a well-connected area is exactly what local runners want when preparing for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend–especially because the marathon route snakes through the neighbourhood.

Indeed, everyone in the Glebe seems to be either running or know somebody who’s participating in Canada’s largest weekend running event, and whole families often get involved. It’s not uncommon for kids to do the 2K or 5K, the parents run the 10-km, and the grandparents the half- or full marathon, says Marsh.

Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend sends runners through the Glebe on the 10K, half, and full marathon. And all this during one of Ottawa’s other major local events: the Great Glebe Garage Sale.

“It’s a big deal,” says Peck. “There’s literally tens of thousands of people that come here all at the same time.”

Although Glebites seem to have a love-hate relationship with the traffic, they are always out to support runners during race weekend, says Marsh.

“It’s been embraced by the community probably more than any other sporting event,” says Marsh, who regularly announces at the finish line for both Canada Army Run and Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend.

“Thousands of people are cheering and supporting on Queen Elizabeth and Colonel By. Plus, the top 10 finishers in the 10K and marathon are usually the best runners in the world. That’s really cool to see in your own back yard.”

Want to experience Ottawa’s amazing running community? Register for the 2019 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend and discover what National Capital Region has to offer.