When Anick Losier first got involved with Ottawa Race Weekend seven years ago, she remembered thinking that it was huge.
“There were 11,000 people. I thought, ‘what a big event!’” laughed the event spokeswoman.
As participation for the event breaks the 30,000 mark for the first time in its 34-year-history this weekend, Losier said organizers are “thrilled.”
“This is really exciting,” she said.
By the time registration closes, organizers are expecting about 31,500 runners for the two-day event.
While 75 per cent of the runners are from Ottawa, participants are also expected from Gatineau, Toronto, New York and as far as Texas, California and Florida.
“We’ll get at least one runner from every province and territory,” said Losier. “I think the Ottawa Marathon is getting recognized as a very well-put-together event.”
It can’t hurt that the Ottawa Race Weekend recently received a Silver Label designation that ranks it among one of the best races in the world.
“There’s only one other race in Canada that has it, and that’s the Toronto Marathon,” Losier said.
In addition to the approximately 3,700 people who are running the marathon; 9,000 people are in the half-marathon; up to 9,000 in the 10-kilometre race; 7,000 at the 5k and 2,500 the 2.5k, and there will be 1,200 children participating in the kids’ marathon, a new initiative this year to create more active kids.
The event is staffed by 1,500 volunteers and is expected to draw between 30,000 and 50,000 spectators.