The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is the largest Canadian road race and this morning they named Ian Fraser as the new race director, taking over the job from John Halvorsen. Fraser is a coach, athlete and entrepreneur behind the Somersault event series, Human Performance Triathlon Club and Cyclelogik Bike Shop. He hasn’t gone longer than ten days without running in the last 46 years.
“I’ve experienced every high and every low that the life of an entrepreneur could possibly offer and I’m at a time in my life where I feel the pull to participate in something profound,” says Fraser, adding that flourishes to Canada’s most popular race weekend will be felt on the course this May. He says, “I think Run Ottawa and I found each other at just the right time.”
Big city races like Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Winnipeg and increasingly Edmonton are making great efforts to put on a show along with their 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon races. To that end, Fraser says increasingly activations around race weekend and extending both the runway and the event tail will be part of his initial planning.
“Races that are currently doing well — like the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend — provide a journey to the event, not just the event,” Fraser says. “Big city races need something special for the supporting cast and crew that a large number of runners bring with them. Things to do, places to see that will make the experience memorable and that (in some ways) transcend the event itself.”
The event, commencing this year on May 24, is the leading light on the road running year in this country. Canada’s Boston, the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is an event that must be experienced by everybody that runs. With great crowd support, incredible elite competitors, activations for the kids and a thriving race expo, the weekend was left to Fraser in good hands by John Halvorsen. Fraser, for his part, says he’s chomping at the bit to begin. He’s ready for the ride of his life.
“I will be focusing on developing and implementing a long-term strategic plan for Run Ottawa that we can make operational. This will drive the “why” of what we do and equally important will be showcasing Run Ottawa as “the” brand and adding profile to the other great events we produce year-round for the community,” he says. “I want to see the Ottawa Marathon continue to test the fastest runners, showcase Canada’s capital and present a compelling reason to come here and participate at any ability level. When they leave, participants must go away with the impression that they’ve been part of something really special.”