Running down memory lane: Celebrating 50 years of marathoning in Ottawa

“Why don’t we put on a marathon in Ottawa?”

On May 25, 1975, 143 men and 3 women took to the start line of the inaugural Ottawa Marathon. Starting and finishing at Carleton University, the runners could not have known that they would be the pioneers of a half century of racing in Canada’s capital city.

Over the 50 years, other events like the hugely popular 10K and half marathon were added to the race line-up, new courses designed, pivotal sponsors onboarded, technology and gear made advancements, and participants returned year after year. From its humble beginnings, Canada’s Magnificent Marathon has grown into the biggest annual mass participation event in the country and brings out over 100,000 spectators to cheer you on.

So bring your friends, your family, and your best running buddies to celebrate 50 years in 2024, and be part of an unforgettable milestone and race experience! It’s going to be a party!

Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. This is YOUR race. May 25-26.

Register now!

Not ready to register? Keep up to date with price increases and event announcements by signing up for the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend mailing list.

ALSO READ: The birth of Canada’s “Magnificent Marathon”: The 1970’s

Nominate a STAR!

Over 50 years, hundreds of thousands of people have participated in the nation’s most popular race weekend. Each one of them has a unique story. A reason to show up, to fundraise, to volunteer.

We’re looking for 50 people to highlight in celebration of 50 years running.

Saturday, May 25, 2024
Ottawa Kids Marathon (1.2K)
Ottawa 2K presented by ASICS Runkeeper
Ottawa 5K presented by ASICS Runkeeper
Ottawa 10K presented by Otto’s Ottawa / Canadian 10K Championships

Sunday, May 26, 2024
Tartan Ottawa International Marathon
Ottawa Half Marathon presented by Desjardins

Sponsors and Partners​


42.2K // 21.1K // 10K // 5K // 2K // KIDS MARATHON // 3 CHALLENGES