by Kari My oldest daughter attended her first bike race at three months old; we were there to cheer on Daddy, she slept the entire time. Since then, she has managed to travel the world, and often stayed awake, to cheer on Mommy or Daddy. There was the Bermuda Marathon, Ironman New Zealand, and most recently a trip to South Africa for an eight day mountain bike race, Cape Epic. It was only a matter of time before I signed her up for her own event; the National Capital Marathon (NCM) Weekend Family 2K Run seemed the perfect choice. With 3700 participants, you can practically guarantee that your child will not be last!
I’ve participated in NCM events several times since moving to Ottawa, and I love them. The energy in the air is intoxicating, no really, it is. As she headed to the start line, I hoped she too, would feel it. You are surrounded by thousands of walkers and runners; somehow this feels like a kinship or a special club. The spectators are incredible and almost completely line this short run course; they shout encouragement, clap and wave colourful signs as you pass. All participants get a race shirt, and all finishers get a medal – very popular with the young ones. With the sound of the gun, her ‘race’ began and I’m proud to say she ran (jogged) almost the entire thing :-) She loved it.
As an active city, Ottawa has no shortage of family runs, tris, and even bike races:
- Somersault Events has developed the Wylie Ryan Kids’ Events Series, it includes 1K or 2K runs plus the occasional Swim / Run combination.
- Ottawa Kids Triathlon has two events this summer, they each feature duathlon, triathlon, and FunDu options.
- If you plan to soak up some Italian Week culture, you might consider their Kid Bike Races (ages 7 and under).
- If you’d prefer something off the beaten path for your offspring, the Kids All Terrain Triathlon and Family Cross Country Runs are an option.
Whether you have a budding athlete or dawdler, I would encourage you to give one of these events a try or perhaps you’ll take part in the NCM Family Run next year. If you know of any other events, please let us know by leaving a comment.