Tried and tested local training routes

Whether you are training for the Tartan Ottawa International Marathon, the Ottawa 10K presented by Otto’s Ottawa, or training for the Ottawa 5K presented by ASICS Runkeeper, finding the right running route is key to meeting your goals. There are many factors that go into choosing a running route: hills, distance, location, how popular it is with other runners, or even how the route is impacted by different weather conditions. Another great way to find a good training route is word of mouth… ask your runner friends!

To help you train for Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend in Ottawa, we asked some of the local Otto’s Ottawa Power Crew to share their favourite running routes with us. These routes range in locations and distances traveled, but most cover part of the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend race routes.

“One of my favourite routes to run is along the Rideau Canal, from Hog’s Back to downtown. I especially love it where the canal turns at the University of Ottawa and you spot the beautiful Chateau Laurier. It’s a place where I can’t help but take a picture every time!” 

“One of my favourite routes is the Arboretum and Canal. It’s fun to be surrounded by so many other Ottawa runners and it is such a beautiful view of the city. Another favourite route would be the Trans Canada Trail, I love how it takes you through the trees, nature and so many parts of the city. Again, always full of fellow runners which is so fun and gives you an amazing feeling of community.”

“The Osgoode Link Pathway is a 19.5k point to point route that features a river, some bridges and a spot to sit if you just want to soak up the beautiful trail. It’s accessible from several entryways, has plenty of parking and is often very quiet. With it being quite flat and wide, this pathway is perfect for your speed workouts, a race or just a leisurely run!”

I like to run where I don’t need to worry about safety, and this is my favourite Sunday route. I run along the Beaver Pond until I come out to Goulbourn Forced Road. Goulbourn Forced Road runs through Monk Environmental Park and it is beautiful especially in the fall. But don’t run here during weekdays! This is a road that connects a residential area and high tech area in Kanata, and it is dangerous for runners, walkers and cyclists during weekdays. But if you go early Sunday morning, the place is very peaceful. This road then leads to Terry Fox Drive which has a wide sidewalk, away from the cars.”

“One of my favourite places to run is the paths by the LRT (light rail transit) including the new National Capital Comission path between the Bayview and Pimisi stations, designed by Run Ottawa member Hieu Nguyen.”

“Starting at the National Gallery of Canada near Maman (a giant spider is always a great photo op!), this route takes you across the river into Gatineau and to Chaudière Falls where you can cross a new pedestrian bridge to the Canadian War Museum before looping up and onto Wellington Street. Run past Parliament, down to the Rideau Canal, and along the scenic Queen Elizabeth Drive before crossing through Confederation Park and up Elgin Street to end your run. My favourite post-run ritual is to grab a drink from Little Victories Coffee Roasters.”

“My favourite path in Ottawa is behind Parliament. Called Portage to Locks on Strava, it’s a peaceful 1.3K path along the Ottawa River, and although it’s beautiful in any season, fall is my personal favourite. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, there’s also access to the ‘Parliament Stair Climb’ (closed in the winter) for a real leg burner.”

“I call it the Confed Loop. It’s a 13K route and in one loop you see the Canadian War Museum, the Canadian Museum of History, and the National Gallery of Canada. You get to cross two interprovincial bridges, the Chaudiere Bridge with the majestic falls as a backdrop and the Alexandra Bridge which provides a stunning view of Parliament Hill as you cross back from Gatineau into Ottawa. You run the length of the Rideau Canal, from the Shaw Centre all the way to Dow’s Lake. And finally, it encompasses stretches of the 5k, 10k Half-marathon and Marathon courses! So many runners use part or all of that loop, it’s a great place to see other runners and give a friendly hello. Because that’s what we do in Ottawa!”

We’d love to share your favourite Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend training routes too! Tag us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and share your favourite places to run with us! We’ll be sure to reshare them!