Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Race Review: Ottawa Marathon

So the Ottawa Marathon is the final race review for Hubs 5 marathons in 5 weeks series. I have already posted some preamble about the Ottawa event (click here), and also about my own personal struggle with the 2008 marathon (click here), so for this review, I will focus just on how the race itself went, instead of my personal race experience.

Hubs and I took a coach bus with his fellow CAW members to Ottawa on Saturday morning. We were part of a group of runners and walkers called the Durham Racers, with a common mission of raising money and awareness for Cancer prevention. For his part, Hubs had agreed to run the Ottawa marathon in his work coveralls (Hubs works in the Paint Shop at General Motors).

As soon as the bus arrived in Ottawa we went straight to the race expo to pick up our race kits. In previous years, the race expo had been held at Carleton University but this year they relocated to the Aberdeen Pavilion, near downtown Ottawa. Although it is a beautiful building, I personally found this new venue to be step back from the previous expo location, as it was extremely crowded, and you literally had to push your way through the masses to get your race kit. The vendors were crammed close together and the building was extremely hot. We got our race kits and left right away.

We stayed at the Saint Paul's Residence Inn (university campus), which was located a short distance from downtown Ottawa. After checking in and taking a short nap we took a cab down to the Byward Market, an outdoor market which is a big tourist attraction in downtown Ottawa. Here are some pictures Hubs took of the area, including the lovely Italian restaurant, Vittoria Trattoria, where we had dinner. It was awesome, and I even held off having vino with my pasta (considering how the race went, I should have totally drank up!).

Race day morning started out a sunny 11 degrees and felt pretty cool. This years race was very well organized. There were ample porta-potties, the bag-drop was fast and easy, and they had racers organized into corals based on predicted start times. They even gave out Powerbars before the race started. On route there were ample aid and water stations. Half marathoners started two hours later, which is nice for marathoners, knowing the all of the fellow runners around you are running the full marathon distance.

In my opinion, the greatest highlights of the Ottawa marathon is a tossup between the awesome scenery and the fantastic spectators. Since is was such a nice day there were many spectators, both English and French speaking lining the streets. It was uniquely Canadian to hear people call out well wishes in both languages as you ran by. Awesome.

Hubs ran a great race and gained many positive comments about his coveralls. Here are some photos:

Hubs on the bridge that connect the provinces of Ontario and Quebec:

A disappointing result in my seventh marathon:

And Hubs finishes FIVE marathons in FIVE weeks!!! WooooHoooo!!!

BTW, Hubs ran the whole way in those coveralls, and the temperature when he finished was a balmy 24 degrees.

So my final verdict on the Ottawa race:
City and attractions: 10/10
Expo: 4/10
Course entertainment: 8/10
Medal: 9/10
Race T-shirt: 8/10
Spectators: 10/10
Course support: 8/10
Post race support: 7/10
Difficulty: 6/10 (10 being most difficult)

Despite my less than stellar race performance I am already itching for new races. It is the failures and the triumphs that keep me coming back! Look for more posts on what comes next. I can't wait! Thanks for reading!


Marcy said...

CONGRATS to the Man!! Wow what an amazing feat!

Lily on the Road said...

Nice Report Marci!

Congrats to you both! Please stay in touch ~ sorry we weren't able to catch up....maybe another time.

Laura said...

Great report, and congrats to you both!!! Still can't believe he did 5 marathons in 5 weeks.

bill carter said...

The overalls are hilarious and that color... well he would be easy to find in a crowd! Ottawa is totally on my list of races to do and someday I will get there.

BTW, beautiful pics of the buildings.

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