a peek inside the fishbowl

29 May, 2011

A peek inside Ottawa Race Weekend

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Ottawa for kids|Easy ways to make kids happy|Multimedia experiments|Ottawa

Emma and Sarah both ran the Kids 1K this morning. It was pretty awesome. It took some time getting downtown, but I was glad we drove. Note to self: ALWAYS park at the World Exchange Centre! It’s free on weekends, and there was still plenty of parking that early in the morning.

I was so excited for the girls. They ran with a good friend who we picked up on the way there, which made it was extra fun for them.

Mark and I dropped them off in the “zone” and found a spot near the starting line to wait for the start. We only had about 15 minutes before the race began and my stomach was in knots for them the whole time.

I was so impressed by how organized the race was, and how fun they made it for the kids. They warmed up to music, someone chatted with them over the loudspeaker and got them all riled up and ready, and there was a guy dressed in a rabbit suit. That’s the pace bunny:

Ottawa Race Weekend 2011

When I was looking at that group shot I realized I could see Emma:

Ottawa Race Weekend

Here’s what we saw from the sidelines… an ocean of kids! You have to watch this to get an appreciation of what it looked and sounded like. There were big cheers for everyone.

I was amazed to see so many kids: big and small, short and tall. Amazing. I got teary just thinking about how proud I was of all of them. And speaking of which, here are the girls with their medals!

Ottawa Race Weekend 2011

Ottawa Race Weekend 2011

We collected the girls in the kid corral. Some parents wore bright hats or brought helium balloons so they’d be easier to find. I thought that was pretty smart. It took us a few minutes to find them but it wasn’t a big deal. They munched on snacks while we checked them out. The whole process was very smooth.

As we walked back to our car we passed many adult runners who were obviously heading out to their own marathons. Many gave the girls big smiles and thumbs up. I thought that was so lovely and inspiring. I hope those thoughtful people know that their friendly encouragement really meant something. At least it did to me.

Next year: the Family 2K. Who’s with me? :)

8 Responses to "A peek inside Ottawa Race Weekend"

1 | Lynn

May 29th, 2011 at 10:33 am


We did the 2K last night for the second year in a row, and we hope to make it an annual event. Actually, I did the 2K with the girls while the boys ran the 5K. I just love this event – the spirit and enthusiasm is so awesome. We always have a fantastic time!

2 | Leah Eustace

May 29th, 2011 at 10:41 am


Yay Emma and Sarah! I’m so proud of you.

3 | Ginger

May 29th, 2011 at 2:54 pm


Congratulations on your first race girls! Great job! :)

And Andrea, I think that is so awesome! I wish I had been encouraged to run in something like that as a kid. And I think running a family 2K would be great fun! I hope that when the boys are a bit older our family will run an event together. Although Emory did finish my first race with me last weekend!

4 | Stefania

May 29th, 2011 at 3:57 pm


I think everybody should be part of the race experience as a runner and/or a volunteer. It’s a wonderful experience and it feels so good. Your girls did an awesome job.

5 | Kaitlin

May 30th, 2011 at 10:16 am


In addition to helium balloons, the general rule of thumbs is that if you want to find your (kid, spouse, friend) make sure they don’t wear the race shirt (which, defeats the purpose of the race shirt, I know). It’s a sea of orange! I agree with Stefania: Everyone should be part of the race experience. It’s so much fun and it does feel really good.

6 | Sara

May 30th, 2011 at 11:30 am


Hooray for Sarah and Emma! I ran the 2K with DS1 on Saturday night (his first race) and I might have cried :) Can’t wait for next year

7 | meanie

May 30th, 2011 at 12:05 pm


count me in. I was devastated to learn it was sold out when i went to register myself and the kids…..

8 | andrea

June 2nd, 2011 at 10:39 am


We are definitely going to do it next year! Woot. Running is a great personal challenge, and you don’t need much to do it. Just a pair of shoes and some willpower. A great thing to do with kids…

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (24) and Sarah (22). During the day I work as a writer at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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