MEC race in Gatineau Park

Ottawa

Two provinces, one big run adventure

Urban

A little tougher

Half day

If you’re an Ottawa runner in search of a new long-run route (or up for an adventure), this 20km loop will take you from sidewalks and trees to rivers and forests, all the way into the province of Quebec and back. Get your runners ready, it’s going to be a long – but satisfying – journey.

Ottawa

45.394330, -75.708449

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Planning your run

Get ready for a little bit of everything

What to bring

This 20km loop isn’t your average walk in the park, so make sure you’ve got all the gear you need. You’ll be running mostly on pavement, so well-fitting road running shoes and proper running gear are a must. You’ll also need to bring enough water to last you 7–10km and some energy gels or chews. Since this is a long run that will take you through many streets (and two different provinces), a running watch with GPS and a map of the area will come in handy.

The warm up

This run starts at the Arboretum, on Prince of Wales Drive, and takes a path through Queen Juliana Park all the way to Carling Avenue where you hop onto Sherwood Drive. Take the time to warm up properly before you start.

Pick up the pace

By the time you make your way to Island Park Drive, you’ll have covered just over 3km (only 17 more to go). This road will take you straight into Quebec where the real fun on this run happens. Once you’re over the Champlain Bridge and into Quebec, peer back over the river and see if you can spot Parliament Hill. At this point, you’ve tackled about 7km (a good spot for a riverside break) and the next section is Gatineau Park.

Gatineau Park

The run brings you through the very southern tip of Gatineau Park, one of the province’s best spots for trail running (and home to the MEC Ottawa marathon, one of Canada’s toughest). Run up Promenade de la Gatineau and down Lac des Fées Pathway for a quick intro to the park’s trails and to escape into the trees for some respite from the sunny road running portions of the route.

Back to civilization

Make your way westward out of the park for a bit of a riverside run before you pop back over to Ontario via the Portage Bridge. When you’ve completed the loop, hop onto the Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway and head over to the pier to grab a cold drink or a Beaver Tail. You’ve earned it.

Essential gear

No blisters, no chafing is a must for long distances.

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