Ottawa Race Weekend 2018
Burka Gelete wins the marathon at Ottawa Race Weekend (credit: PhotoRun)


This past weekend marked the 2018 edition of Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend and it was a record breaking affair. Ethiopian runner Gelete Burka broke Canadian and women’s records in the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, finishing with a time of 2:22:17. Her fellow Ethiopian Yemane Tsegay dominated the men’s field with a time of 2:08:52. The top Canadians were Tristan Woodfine who won the men’s race with a time of 2:18:55 and Kait Toohey who won the women’s race with a time of 2:45:07.

“This year’s field of elite women started fast and sustained an impressive pace through much of the race,” said Manny Rodrigues, Elite Athlete Coordinator, Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. “Eventually Gelete Burka pulled ahead and tore up the course for a dramatic record-breaking finish.”

Over 33,000 participants took part in six race events over two days.

In the 10K race, another Ethiopian runner, 19-year old Andamlak Berta, finished in first place in the man’s race with a time of 31:36, while Alia Mohammed of the United Arab Emirates won the women’s race with a time of 31:36. The men’s 10K Canadian National champion and 9th place finisher overall was Evan Esselink of Guelph, Ontario with a time of 30:31. The women’s Canadian National Champion was 5th overall finisher Rachel Cliff of Vancouver with a time of 32:23.

“For this year’s race we brought together one of the strongest fields since the 10K race earned its IAAF Gold Label status, and they made the race an exciting one,”
said Manny Rodrigues, Elite Athlete Coordinator, Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. “The dream team added an element that created more excitement because the men and women were competing each other for every spot.”

Aside from the big races, Ottawa Race Weekend is also about the community.

This marked the 10th anniversary for the Scotiabank Ottawa Kids Marathon, where 1800 kids aged six to 12, representing 42 schools, ran the 1.2 km course.

Organizers also brought back the Scotiabank Charity Challenge to raise money for charities, especially those dedicated to impacting youth.

“We are thrilled to bring the Scotiabank Charity Challenge back to Ottawa this year,” said Frank Bilodeau, District Vice President, Ottawa Centre & Gatineau at Scotiabank. “Racers demonstrated their commitment to their community by raising more than $775,000 in support of local charities. We’re proud that the Scotiabank Charity Challenge continues to be an important part of the weekend events, year after year and applaud every participant for their efforts.”

In another charity initiative, Gracefield, Quebec based charity Camp Misquah, which provides camping experiences for people of all ages with developmental disabilities, won $3,000 through the 10K Dream Team Challenge. Sixteen elite runners were chosen to run in teams of four. Racers competed to win individual prizes, team prize money and money for local charities taking part in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. Their team’s efforts raised $3,000.00 for
their chosen charity, while each team member took home $500.00. The winning Dream Team members were Andamlak Berta (Ethiopia), Edith Chelimo (Kenya), Gladys Kimaina (Kenya), and Angela Tanui (Kenya).

“Run Ottawa is thrilled with this year’s results,” said John Halvorsen, President of Run Ottawa and Race Director of Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. “We were proud to host another outstanding field of elite athletes and to organize six race events for more than 33,000 participants of all ages. Our thanks also go to those who raised funds for charities and the 2,500-plus volunteers who made Canada’s biggest race weekend possible.”


2018 Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon


1. Yemane Tsegay (Ethiopia) – 2:08:52

2. John Kipkosgei Korir (Kenya) – 2:09:14

3. Adugna Takele (Ethiopia) – 2:09:26

10. Tristan Woodfine (Canadian National Champion) – 2:18:55


1. Gelete Burka (Ethiopia) – 2:22:17

2. Hiwot Gebrekidan (Ethiopia) – 2:26:11

3. Sara Hall (USA) – 2:26:20

7. Kait Toohey (Canadian National Champion) – 2:43:11

2018 Ottawa 10K


1. Andamlak Berta (Ethiopia) – 27:48

2. Benard Kimeli (Kenya) – 28:22

3. Mohamed Reda (Morocco) – 28:23

9. Evan Esselink (Canadian National Champion) – 30:31


1. Alia Mohammed (United Arab Emirates) – 31:36

2. Edith Chelimo (Kenya) – 31:47

3. Gladys Kimaina (Kenya) – 32:19

5. Rachel Cliff (Canadian National Champion) – 32:23