After waiting 9 long years I finally got to run this race. I had originally entered just the half marathon. Then I received a call from the president of Achilles Canada. I had volunteered earlier this year for this organization dedicated to assisting mobility impaired people who wanted to run. I was asked if I would be interest in running the Commander’s Challenge. This entailed first running a 5K within a specified time frame and then getting back into the corrals before the start of the half, and then running the half. He had an athlete who wanted to run Challenge. I agreed to guide a blind runner through these races.
I have had the opportunity of running the Marine Corps Marathon three times and was always impressed with the way these events were organized. I was not disappointed by the Canadian Armed Forces event. It was well organized and had a very enjoyable expo.
The wave starts allowed for a good separation of runners at the start such that you weren’t crowded on the course and were running along with other of your pace.
I finished the 5K at a very easy pace and got back to the corrals with plenty of time. In fact I had to keep moving so that I would not get cold before the start of the half.
Unlike the weather I am accustomed to when running the Hottawa events on the May race weekend, the September race was cool and comfortable.
The course for the half will be familiar to those who have run the full marathon in May as it follows much of the same track. The spectator support along the course is okay but the aid stations were all well attended and supplied. There was a section in the later part of the race as we went along Col. Bye where there where photos honouring veterans of the Armed Forces. I found this section inspiring.
The post race area was fantastic. Plenty of food, massages and for those doing a challenge the swag was incredible.
I would highly recommend this race. In fact, I may forego the May race weekend and make this my must do Ottawa race.