This weekend in Ottawa is “Ottawa Race Weekend”. Tens of thousands from the national capital region and around the world will put on a pair of shorts and run around a variety of tracks as fast as they can. On Saturday, thousands will run a lovely 10K route that goes from Ottawa City Hall, down the Rideau Canal to Dow’s Lake and back. On Sunday, the half-marathon and marathon are run. Both courses are terrific. The marathon course takes you right by 24 Sussex, the Governor General’s Residence, the Museum of Civilization, er, Canadian Museum of History, and has great views of Parliament Hill.
I’ve done the 10K event before but this weekend, for the first time in this event, I’m running in the half-marathon. [Course map] I’ve run this distance — a half-marathon is about 21 kilometres — three times in my life, one of which was in another race event (that’s me finishing that event, the 9-Run-Run last fall, above), but I’ve always run it before with an attitude of “just finishing means you’re a winner.” This time, though, I want to be faster than I’ve ever been. (My fastest is 1 hour and 57 minutes over this distance.)