I did my final Sunday run today in preparation for next Sunday’s Ottawa marathon. It was a cool ( 3C) and windy day in the nation’s capital for my 16km run at race pace.
As I’ve done the last couple of years, I started at the marathon finish line near just east of Ottawa City Hall. I ran 8km out and then turned around to run the the final 8km of the course, back to the finish line. It’s nice to be able to run the marathon course, or at least the final portion of it, before race day.
There’s some comfort in knowing the landmarks that you’ll be passing in the final push to the finish. Ottawa is a very beautiful race course… especially over the last 8km.
With 8km to go you’re on Prince of Wales Drive moving up towards the traffic circle in the Experimental Farm. A quick downhill then takes you to scenic Dow’s Lake. It’s here that the crowds start to pick up. Past the beautiful tulip beds on your left you’ll soon come upon Lansdowne Park and Frank Clair Stadium, former home of the dearly departed Ottawa Rough Riders, and for a short time the Ottawa Renegades, of the Canadian Football League.
You have the historic Rideau Canal on your right side all the way to finish as you pass the Pretoria Bridge and a little further up you’ll catch sight, across the water, of the University of Ottawa campus.
When you start to hear the finishers’ names and hometowns being announced over the P.A. system you know that you’re almost home…….to anyone running in Ottawa Race Weekend next Saturday and Sunday, good luck!