Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend: More than a marathon

By Lucas Zanetti, Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa

Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is the largest annual running event in Ottawa, but it’s so much more than just a marathon, or a series of road races. From Charity Impacts to community building and volunteering opportunities, here are a few ways that your participation in Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is more than just another race.

Desjardins Charity Challenge

The Desjardins Charity Challenge has been one of the most impactful outcomes of Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend with over 5 million dollars being raised for a variety of charities since 2015. Upon registering for your race, you have the opportunity to join a fundraising team or to fundraise yourself for a charity of your choice! Run Ottawa has partnered with over 60 charities for 2024 which gives you the option to support a cause that you truly believe in. Participation in the Desjardins Charity Challenge gives a greater purpose to your race and helps give back to the community in a meaningful way.

Highlights the city

Ottawa is a beautiful city with many beautiful sights, plentiful nature, and neighborhoods with rich history. The Tartan Ottawa International Marathon highlights many of these treasures of Ottawa with notable landmarks including: Parliament Hill, the Ottawa River, the National Art Gallery, the residence of the Prime Minister at 24 Sussex, Rideau Hall, the Canadian War Museum, the Canadian Museum of History, and many more! 


Every year, over 2,000 volunteers come together to help make Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend happen. Community members, runners, students, and fundraising groups alike come together to help with essential tasks such as race kit pickup, start/finish line procedures, water stations, course marshaling, baggage check, and recovery stations. Volunteering is a great way to participate in the event because it allows the event to run smoothly and helps enhance the experience for the thousands of runners. If you’re interested in volunteering for Race Weekend or any other Run Ottawa event, check out the volunteer page on the Run Ottawa Website for more information!

Building Healthy Communities

Run Ottawa’s mission is to build a healthy community and create opportunities to promote physical activity for the community at large. Participation in a large event like Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend provides a solid goal to work towards that will help you live a healthier lifestyle. This event also brings together thousands of people from local communities in Ottawa to groups across Canada as well as internationally, making it a unique experience for people from all over to share in the common goal of healthy living.

Training plan

One of the perks of registering for Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is that you receive a free upgrade to Asics Premium Runkeeper Go, a training tool that will help you create a customized training plan to prepare for your race, from the 5k all the way up to the Marathon!

So now you know a bit more about the positive impacts of Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend that start at a personal level and extend to a variety of broad communities — Register now to be a part of this special event!

The 50th anniversary of the Tartan Ottawa International Marathon is going to be Canada’s biggest running party of 2024! Register now for Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, May 25-26!