The always memorable Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend had an extra-special introduction this year.
Some 80 runners carried a “Marathon Torch” Olympic Games-style from the town of Marathon, Ontario to the city of Ottawa, where the torch was used to ignite a ceremonial cauldron that burned throughout the race weekend.
The fact that the distance between Marathon and Ottawa is a freakishly coincidental 42.1km added to the exceptional, ritualistic feel of the day.
The Mayor of Marathon, Greece, lit the torch in the town of Marathon, Ontario. From there about 80 local councillors, broadcasters, celebrated athletes and Ottawa Marathon participants shared the work of running the torch to Ottawa, where Mayor Watson lit the ceremonial cauldron at Ottawa City Hall.
Recognising a brilliant opportunity to get participants into the spirit of the Marathon, organisers set up a “Show us your Pheidippides!” photo contest, where those who best resembled the original Greek marathon runner won the chance to carry the Marathon Torch as part of the relay.
Numerous entries were received depicting all kinds of creative and different ‘Pheidippides’ - and the tone was set for a fantastic race weekend.
Entries are now open for next year’s event. Being the 40th Anniversary of the Ottawa Race Weekend, it promises to be a massive celebration. It is a very popular event and the races do fill up quickly, so get in early and don’t miss out on the 2014 Ottawa Race Weekend - 24th-25th May!