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Posted: May 26, 2019:  

Athletics: Albert Korir and Tigist Girma lead at today's Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

Scotiabank Charity Challenge raises more than $800,000

May 26, 2019 - Ottawa - Kenya's 25-year-old Albert Korir won today's Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon with a strong time of 2:08:03. Two Ethiopians - Abera Kuma, 28 and Tsedat Ayana, 23, finished close behind with times of 2:08:14 and 2:08:53 respectively.

In the women's category, Tigist Girma, 25, from Ethiopia pulled ahead of the pack just after the half-way mark to post a personal best time of 2:26:34 - a full 10 seconds faster than her 2018 personal best set at the Guangzhou, China Marathon last December. This marks the 10th year in a row that an Ethiopian woman takes top prize in the marathon distance in Ottawa. Joining Girma in second and third place were fellow Ethiopians Betelhem Moges, 28 with a time of 2:27:00, and Etaferahu Temesgen, 29, with 2:28:44.

Placing eighth overall and the first Canadian man was Reid Coolsaet, 39, from Hamilton. Crossing the finish line with 2:17:37, the two time Olympian was considered one to watch coming into this year's race. Rounding out the top three Canadians were Alister Gardner, 38, with a time of 2:31:54 and Francois Landry, 43, at 2:36:51.

Top Canadian woman and placing sixth overall today was Dayna Pidhoresky, 32, from Vancouver, who came in at 2:37:19. Second and third place Canadian women were Krista Duchene, 42, with 2:38:46 and Rachel Hannah, 32, with 2:41:31.

"We assembled a very competitive field of men and women elite runners again this year and are pleased with the strong results they delivered," says Manny Rodrigues, Elite Athlete Coordinator, Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend.

Albert Korir from Kenya wins the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon - Credit: PhotoRun

2019 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend a resounding success!

More than 32,000 runners participated in the six races that made up Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend on May 25-26.

No course records were broken this year, but elite racers gave spectators some exciting moments at the finish line of the 10K race with the top two women - Kenyans Dorcas Kimeli and Valery Jemeli finishing just three seconds apart.

Thunderstorms predicted for the region over the weekend didn't materialize at critical times, although some Ottawa 10K participants got drenched in a downpour Saturday evening while the race was underway.

Road closures due to major construction and recent flooding resulted in route adjustments for the 10K and marathon distances - both of which have IAAF Gold status. But crowds remained strong on the courses, with thousands of Ottawa residents and visitors cheering the efforts of family, friends and people running for their favourite charities.

Here's how final registration numbers for the 2019 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend shaped up:

  • Ottawa 2K - 2,861
  • Ottawa 5K - 7,743 - (SOLD OUT)
  • Ottawa 10K - 8,179
  • Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon - 3,515 - (SOLD OUT)
  • Scotiabank Ottawa Kids Marathon - 1,167
  • Scotiabank Ottawa Half-Marathon - 8,738
    TOTAL: 32,203

"We faced a number of unique challenges coming into this year's races, what with road work and recent flooding forcing changes to some of the routes," says John Halvorsen, Race Director, Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. "But I am very happy with this year's memorable turn-out, thanks to the athletes, our partners and especially the volunteers."

The sun was shining for the 45th edition of the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, with 3,500 taking part. - Credit: Run Ottawa

More than $800,000 raised through fundraising through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge

More than $800,000 was raised as part of the Scotiabank Charity Challenge by participants who used the event to support one of 70 local charities.

Scotiabank has been investing in communities for 187 years. Scotiabank believes in helping young people reach their infinite potential, and many organizations who take part in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge have a direct impact on young people in our communities. At Scotiabank we are dedicated to supporting the success of young people for the long-term. We recognize what is possible when young people have the guidance, confidence and tools they need to achieve their dreams.

"The Scotiabank Charity Challenge provides a simple way for runners to support local causes that make a big difference in people's lives," says Frank Bilodeau, District Vice President, Ottawa Centre & Gatineau at Scotiabank. "This weekend, racers demonstrated their commitment to their community by raising more than $800,000 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 all racers for their efforts."

Kimeli and Ziani win the 2019 Ottawa 10K race

Two women fight to the finish to earn first place and the race's Gender Prize

Ottawa, May 25, 2019 - This evening's most dramatic moment was witnessing two elite women compete to the wire for a coveted first place finish in the Ottawa 10K race.

In the end, 21-year-old Kenyan Dorcas Kimeli's time of 31:09 was just 3 seconds faster than the 31:12 finish by fellow Kenyan Valery Jemeli, 27.

Kimeli also won the race's Gender Prize, awarded when a woman crosses the finish line ahead of the lead man with the 3 minute 40 second start time advantage given to elite women. For tonight's work, Kimeli takes home $5,000 for her first place result and an additional $2,000 for the Gender Prize.

Tonight's fastest man was 26-year-old Moroccan Mohammed Ziani, who led with a time of 28:12. Ziani is no stranger to Ottawa. The Moroccan star won the race in 2016 with a time of 28:38 and his 28:23 finish last year placed him fourth overall.

Credit: PhotoRun

Credit: PhotoRun

No course records were broken tonight, but Vancouver-based Natasha Wodak's time of 32:31 earned her the women's 2019 10K Canadian National Championship title - her first after four consecutive 2nd place finishes. Wodak, 37, is enjoying a strong year. She came to Ottawa with a Vancouver Sun Run win under her belt and her second fastest 10,000 metre race with a time of 31:43 at California's Payton Jordan Invitational.

The race's fastest Canadian man tonight was Ottawa's own Dylan Wykes, 35, who posted a time of 29:56 - taking home this year's men's 10K Canadian National Championship title.

"The Ottawa 10K race's IAAF Gold Label status always attracts the best of the world's elite athletes, and tonight's race produced very strong finish times," said Manny Roddrigues, Elite Athlete Coordinator, Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend.

2019 Ottawa 10K winners

1.	Mohammed Ziani	28:12	Morocco
2.	Wilfred Kimitei	28:16	Kenya
3.	Mohamed Reda El Aaraby	28:22	Morocco
1.	Dorcas Kimeli	31:09	Kenya
2.	Valary Jemeli	31:12	Kenya
3.	Paskalia Kipkoech	31:30	Kenya

Complete results available from

Canadian Cancer Society wins $1,000 in 2019 10K Dream Team Challenge

Earlier this year, Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend organizers invited four Canadian elites to each pick three elites to be part of their Dream Team. The fastest team competed for $6,000 to be shared amongst the four, as well as $1,000 for the captain's Scotiabank Charity Challenge charity of choice.

This 2019 winning Dream Team was led by Captain Justin Kent and included Valery Jemeli (Kenya), Stacey Ndiwa (Kenya) and Mohamed Reda El Aaraby (Morocco). Each member took home $1,500 in addition to his or her individual prize money, and $1,000 went to the Canadian Cancer Society.

About Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

The 2019 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend welcomed more than 32,000 participants in six races, including the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, the Scotiabank Half Marathon, the Ottawa 10K, the Ottawa 5K, the Ottawa 2K and Scotiabank Ottawa Kids Marathon. This year, runners raised $800,000 for 70 local and national charities, through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge.

The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is one of only two running events in the world to host two IAAF Gold Label races: the Ottawa 10K and the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon. The 2020 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend will take place May 23-24, 2020. For more information: RunOttawa,ca.

About the Scotiabank Charity Challenge

The Scotiabank Charity Challenge is a turnkey fundraising program that provides a simple way for runners in these races to support local causes that make a significant impact on Canadian communities. Participating charities keep 100 per cent of the proceeds raised, as Scotiabank pays for all transaction and credit card fees. Scotiabank offers the Scotiabank Charity Challenge at six sponsored marathon events across Canada including Montréal, Halifax, Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto.

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