Ottawa native David Daze has been running the Ottawa Marathon for 17 consecutive years and this weekend, he’ll run his 26th marathon at Ottawa Race Weekend.
For Daze running in his home town not only means the ease and convenience of rolling out of bed but also having your friends and family cheering you on that last 5K and calling your name that really gets you across the finish line. With a strong running community in Ottawa, we spoke to Daze for his tips and trick for making race day count, along with his hometown recommendations for your post-race meal.
iRun: What makes Ottawa Race Weekend so incredible?
David Daze: I think Ottawa has done a great job of galvanizing people, there’s
a lot of great crowd support. Part of it is running past Parliament Hill, the Govener General’s residence and of course 24 Sussex. When you are running through people’s neighbourhoods, around Rock Cliff Park, there are children handing out Freezies. The community as a whole really gets behind this event.
iRun: Tell me about how and why you got involved with Team Awesome.
David Daze: I’ve been involved with Team Awesome for 3 years. For me, it’s about telling the story of the race and giving tips for the weekend, where to park, what to wear. One of the big benefits, for me it has gotten me connected with a large group of runners. I have become friends on social media with people across Canada and Ontario.
iRun: Tell us what’s your favourite part of the course?
David Daze: I really enjoy the homestretch, from Pretoria Bridge in. The crowds are super there and even by the Governor General’s residence, hearing the crowd really galvanizes you. Once you are over the bridge it’s 2 K left and because of the way the race is split over the canal, you can hear the finish line where people are being called out that gets you through to the finish.
iRun: As a teacher you’ve been involved with training children for the Kid’s Marathon. Why do you think the kids marathon is so important?
David Daze: I love that it’s just for kids and there are about 100 children that run every year. In training they compile 41.1KM and then they run 1.1 kilometre on Sunday. If you do any type of physical activity from swimming to cycling it counts towards the kilometers completed too which is a great way to encourage children to be active. And the medal for the kids marathon is almost an identical medal to the marathoners.
iRun: How do you keep yourself challenged when you’ve run this course a few times?
David Daze: For this year, I’m doing something different. Its 150 Canada, I’m 56 and I’m retiring this year, so I’m also doing the Lumberjack challenge. That means, I’m running the 2K, 5K, and 10K and then on Sunday I’m running the marathon. I’ve never done this before. Every other Saturday for the past 17 years, I make sure I’m resting, so this year it’ll be a little different.
iRun: Where should you celebrate after you cross the line?
David Daze: Get onto Elgin Street, lots of places. I have a running joke with my wife, I park at the south end of Elgin, when you get your medal you have to walk a few blocks and it’s great because you get a chance to see people and be congratulated.