Medical Services and Safety

Runner safety is one of our top priorities during the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, and we use every means at our disposal to ensure that runners and spectators stay safe from start to finish and after the race ends. While most safety measures occur behind the scenes there are a few things to be aware of.

Runner Medical Services

We are one of only a few races fortunately enough to have the support of a full hospital at the race site. Thanks to the Ottawa Hospital we actually have a legal satellite operation of the Ottawa Hospital on site providing both medical care and managing our remote on course teams in close partnership with Ottawa Paramedics. Front and center in that operation is our medical director, Dr. Jon Hooper, normally the director of the Intensive Care Unit at the Ottawa Hospital’s Civic Campus. He’s also a contributor to the Run Ottawa blog – check out these helpful articles:

To ensure your safety during the races, we have a variety of medical teams installed along the course so that in case of emergency, help is never far away. Our medical services include:

  • On-route medical stations approximately 3km in any course easily identified by flags
  • Mobile medical team on bicycles able to tend to runners not near a medical station
  • Medical transport vans for runners who need transport back to the finish or the medical area

Extreme Weather

While the average temperature for late May in Ottawa is 16˚C (60˚F) we can experience cooler conditions as well as warmer ones. Hydration stations are along the route spaced at about 3km apart as well as three sponge stations, two feeding stations and three water misting stations.

On race day, if any type of severe weather is forecast or occurs, we have adopted the commonly used Event Alert System (EAS) utilizing a simple flag color system along the course to communicate to runners if weather conditions present a threat. These colour coded flags will be located at each water station along the course.

If negative weather is predicted in the days leading up to the event, we will post flag warning system changes to Facebook and Twitter and notify participants via email. All participants should familiarize themselves with the EAS system prior to the race and remain alert for directions from race officials and take precautions to properly prepare for varying conditions on race day.

EAS Flag System

  • green-box – Normal conditions – Enjoy your day
  • yellow-box – Elevated conditions – Be prepared for worsening conditions, pay attention to race staff. If warm, consider slowing down
  • red-box – Potentially dangerous conditions – Follow the instructions of race staff, be aware of potential course changes. Slow down and consider stopping
  • black-box – Extreme and/or dangerous conditions – Event Cancelled or Suspended. Participation stopped. Listen to instructions from race staff

The race staff reserves the right to cancel or modify the race if deemed necessary to protect the safety of the participants, volunteers, spectators as well as our host community.


The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend works closely with the Ottawa Police Service and security experts to ensure the safety of all participants and spectators. Most security measures happen behind the scenes, but you can assist us in several ways:

  • Please cooperate with police, security and race staff at all times. Be prepared to show the contents of bags if you are asked.
  • Be prepared for delays at the baggage check. To help ensure a smooth experience, participants are encouraged to arrive early.  Please note we can not be responsible for the content left with baggage check.
  • Please minimize baggage brought to the race site and never leave bags or other belongings unattended.
  • Be vigilant. Please report any suspicious behaviour to police, security or race staff.