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Sunday, May 29, 2011

The city welcomes the world to marathon

The city didn’t just host the Ottawa Marathon on may29th. To a large degree, the city was the Ottawa Marathon.

When the world’s best hockey players come to city, it’s not actually Ottawa that hosts them - at least not in the same way. They use luxurious and exclusive amenities, of the similar type they use everywhere they go.

And except for those lucky residents who have Senators tickets, it’s almost a matter of trivia that a normal season game is happening here - unless you’re stuck in traffic on the Queensway on game night. By contrast, when some of the world’s best marathon runners come to city, they run on the same ground as the 5,000 other runners, the same ground all Ottawans walk and cycle and drive on every day.

Race Weekend as a whole pushed through lots of runners. Between seven events of various distances, almost 40,000 people participated. Together they took hundreds of millions of strides on Ottawa pavement. At a conservative estimate, more than $5 million worth of running shoes hit the ground. Organizers say the three-day event generate $25 million for the Ottawa-Gatineau economy.

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