Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Running in Ottawa -- Finding Inspiration

Sometimes its the shorter runs that make you feel, "Wow I am so happy I am a runner". That can take a lot for most people to say and can easily be cast aside if not careful. Once the title 'runner' is lost it can be hard to FEEL like a runner again.

I was in Ottawa for a few days visiting friends. I have never been before, so I was eager to explore. One absolutely amazing thing about Ottawa is the vast green spaces and trails interwoven in and around the city. Our friends explained that Ottawa for a long time has a protected Green Belt (equivalent to London's Green Belt) that is owned by the City. They have also built their impressive Transitway upon this land, meaning little to no houses were affected by the building. What is this transitway? Its like a highway for buses and emergency vehicles ONLY. That means less congestion on Ottawa's roads.

Anyways this Green Belt is connected via paths and trails, not to mention the canals and river have their own respective walkways. How much you ask? About 150km worth (93 miles). What's even better is that one can take the 'O Train' to the Ottawa River waterfront.

My three runs in Ottawa utilised this Green Belt to (what I feel) is a good extent. I did a run to an old Quarry (Conroy Pit) and enjoyed some light trail running. The quarry also allowed for dogs off their lead, but when I saw a dog who looked excited to see a running thing I simply slowed down and held my hand out. They sniffed and moved on (guess I am not exciting). However I just loved the trail, it was great having the exhilaration of trail running on a sunny but chilly day. Everything seemed perfect!

The last run I did involved running along the Ottawa river to Parliament, then a quick huff and puff up to Nepean Point near the National Gallery of Canada. The view, even on a bit cloudier day than the previous, was fantastic. It's views like this that reaffirm your love of running :)

Hate to say it but I do not do so well on out and back runs-- I like to make a loop or mix it up whenever possible. So I decided to follow the Rideau Canal back to the O-Train. Again, lovely pathways and bridges all the way along and people saying 'Good Morning' (it IS Canada!).

If you happen to find yourself in Ottawa-- do definitely bring your running gear, you will NOT be disappointed!

Good Running Routes

  • Rideau Canal: easy to navigate and various connection points to the Green Belt
  • Ottawa River: always pretty easy to navigate a river ;) 
  • If you are lazy and are near an O-Train you can follow my 10k route, starting at Bayview and ending at Carling
  • Green Belt: Obviously check where you are staying but chances are there is a green spot not far away!
  • Gatineau Park: On the Quebec side of Ottawa -- could not make it this trip but it looks fantastic!
Where to Eat/Drink Back Calories: