Adaptive Athlete Program

The organizers of Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend are committed to breaking down the barriers between people with disabilities and able-bodied participants by offering races that are fun, safe and inclusive for everyone.

To accomplish this goal, the organizers strive to offer the same level of access to opportunities and activities, so athletes, both able-bodied and disabled, can accomplish their goals and achieve their full potential.

We invite individuals of all abilities to join us in our mission to celebrate the joy of running and camaraderie. As part of our dedication to transparency, we want to inform our participants that while we enthusiastically welcome adaptive athletes to all our events, two of our races may require extra consideration before committing to participation.
9runrun, set against the breathtaking backdrop of the TransCanada Trail in the fall, features a narrow and uneven crushed gravel path. In case of significant rainfall, the gravel may pose additional rolling resistance and extra challenges for those using mobility devices.
Frost County event, a true Cross Country running experience, takes place on a mix of snow, ice, grass, and mud, featuring challenging obstacles that may be unsafe for some to navigate. We encourage all athletes to assess their abilities and consult with our team if they have any concerns about these specific races. At Run Ottawa, we strive to create a supportive and empowering environment for adaptive athletes, ensuring that everyone can experience the thrill of crossing the finish line.

Adaptive Athlete Categories

Visual Impairment

We encourage runners and walkers who are blind or visually impaired to register online for any event at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. There will be an opportunity to indicate your adaptive athlete status and how many guides you require to accompany you on the race course. Guide runners may participate along with blind and visually impaired athletes at no additional cost. All athletes will receive an email after they register which will include a promo code for their guide runners to register for free. If you have any questions please contact questions@runottawa.ca.

There is a visually impaired prize category in the Ottawa 10K. This opportunity is available to participants who are legally blind, and is championed by Achilles Ottawa, a running club created as a community of support for blind and visually impaired runners and guides in the city. For more information please contact achillesottawa@gmail.com.

Autonomous Athlete with Assistance

A participant with a physical or intellectual disability may be accompanied by a support runner who can assist them during the event (provide directions, help at the aid stations, etc.). Support runners will be provided complimentary registrations, however, support runner bibs will not have timing chips.

All athletes will receive an email after they register which will include a promo code for their support runners to register for free. If you have any questions please contact questions@runottawa.ca.

Recreational Wheelchair Athletes

The race weekend is open to all recreational wheelchair participants. Recreational Wheelchair participants will start in the Red Corral of each event or possibly in an earlier corral depending on participants’ planned pace.

For the safety of all participants, wheelchair participants must follow the rules and regulations that apply to other participants and should follow accepted runners’ etiquette in sharing the road. 

Motorized wheelchairs are permitted as long as they are used at a pace safe for other participants. Motorized wheelchairs are placed in later corrals. Wheelchair participants must also ensure that their wheelchair is in good condition and can be controlled on any incline or decline that may be encountered on the course

Recreational Wheelchair participants use the same online registration system as other participants and are encouraged to use the medical information section to provide any critical medical information to officials. Recreational Wheelchair participants should choose the Recreational Wheelchair Athlete category under the Adaptive Athlete Program section.

Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend Adaptive Athlete Program

The goal of the Adaptive Athlete Program is to ensure that athletes of all abilities feel welcome and supported at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. We recognize that Adaptive Athletes (AA) may have different requirements, and we have created a program to address these unique needs. 

Registration

During registration, Adaptive Athlete questions are inclusive of all, and no qualifiers are required. Adaptive Athletes can opt to use up to three guides on their race course. Promo codes are automatically provided post AA registration so that all guides receive complimentary and timed entry into Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. These promo codes are sent via email to registered Adaptive Athletes which they can then share with their guides.

Accessible stays in Ottawa

Participants have access to preferred pricing at some Ottawa-Gatineau hotels. You can view the list of accommodations here. Each hotel has barrier-free rooms and you can indicate on the booking page that you require an accessible room. The point of contact for AA room booking is Jane Gravel at HTG Sports. 

Race kit pick-up

The Health and Fitness Expo and race kit pick-up returns to Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park, on May 24 and 25 and is fully accessible. It is important to note that on Saturday, May 25 from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm the Great Glebe Garage Sale may cause major delays in reaching the Health and Fitness Expo.

There are 31 accessible parking spaces available at Lansdowne Park. Parking your automobile at Lansdowne will be easiest on Friday, May 24 before 4:00 pm and Saturday, May 25 after 2:00 pm. 

OC Transpo buses 6 and 7 from City Hall to Lansdowne are also fully accessible. You can use OC Transpo’s route planner by following this link. 

Once at the Health and Fitness Expo please proceed to the counter reserved for Adaptive Athletes to retrieve your race kit (and t-shirt, if you purchased one through the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend store

Accessible amenities at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend event site

There will be 20 accessible portable bathrooms, four of which will be in Festival Plaza, and one at every waterstation on the race courses. We will endeavour to ensure that all accessible portable toilets are placed on a hard/non-grass surface. 

There are 21 accessible parking spaces at Ottawa City Hall however access is limited. We recommend accessing those spaces before 2:00 pm on Saturday, and 6:00 am on Sunday.

Meet-up locations

We recognize that it may be challenging to navigate a large event such as Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, and we recommend participants arrange a meet-up spot before separating with their party, before or after your race. Accessible and easy-to-find meet-up spots include the Run Ottawa Merchandise Booth, the southside of Kichesippi Beer Garden, under the overhang just left of the Laurier Ave W. doors of Ottawa City Hall, or by the bike parking, to the right of the Laurier Ave W. doors. These spaces are all fully paved and have barrier-free access.

Accessible Start Line

We are pleased to announce that recreational Adaptive Athletes will have direct access to the start line. Adaptive Athletes can queue up at a designated AA tent in Marion Dewar Festival Plaza and volunteers will ensure Adaptive Athletes find the entrance to their corral with minimal effort. The AA tent can be found beside the outdoors stairs leading to underground parking. These stairs are surrounded by painted green railings, and can be found between the Firefighter memorial and the Centennial Sculpture. [map]

Once the major crowds have moved through the start line, Adaptive Athletes will be led by a volunteer to the start line via the paved pathway. This pathway will lead to the event entrance via a sloped sidewalk. Please follow the instructions of the volunteers and event staff to ensure a smooth and safe experience for everyone involved.

Competitive Adaptive Athletes will line up in the corral indicated during registration according to their expected finishing times.

Please note that timing mats at the start lines also act as a conduit for electrical cords and we ask participants to be prepared for this small obstacle as they begin their event. 

Finish line

The Ottawa 2K presented by Asics Runkeeper will have an Adaptive Athlete cooling towel station. Adaptive Athletes will have AA indicated on their race bibs in order to allow for access to this station, and to ensure that security and volunteers be receptive to make any adjustments to any barricades or course structures when required. 

Recovery Zones

All Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend events with participants in the AA category offer a designated AA Recovery Zone in Confederation Park on pavement in order to eliminate the crossing of any barriers or mixed terrain. Adaptive Athletes are welcome to use whichever recovery space they prefer, barrier-free or on the grassy area. The distance from the recovery zone to Festival Plaza is 100m with little to no elevation.

Marion Dewar Festival Plaza is a great space to celebrate accomplishments. DJ Prosper will entertain the crowd, participants can enjoy a celebratory beverage (alcoholic or non alcoholic) and the many offerings by different food vendors and race partners. 

There will be four accessible portable toilets in Festival Plaza, we endeavour to ensure these are placed on a hard, paved surface. 

We hope that these additions will make Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend an enjoyable and safe experience for all Adaptive Athletes. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns at questions@runottawa.ca.

Run Ottawa will continue to learn and grow this program through lived experience and using valuable feedback from participants. We hope that these measures will help make your experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible.