in Running News and Events

Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend’s Team Awesome

The news is finally out — I’m a part of Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend’s Team Awesome.

Team AwesomeIt’s a group of about 20 runner-bloggers who are running one of the races at the 2015 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend and who want to share their training journey to support other runners along the way. Team Awesome is a great name for the group and a play on the overall theme for the event, “True North Strong, and Awesome”.

Canada’s Best Race Weekend

I’m pretty excited to be a part of the team, and also to be returning to the nation’s capital for my fourth Ottawa Race Weekend in 2015. I ran my fourth half marathon in Ottawa at my first Race Weekend back in 2009. In the spring of 2010, I ran my very first full marathon at the Race Weekend. I’ve been back just once since (in 2011, for the half marathon), but I’ve enjoyed the entire experience every time we’ve made the trip up from Toronto.

Ottawa Marathon finish

At the finish of my first marathon (Ottawa, 2010)

Since that first marathon in 2010, I’ve run six more full marathons in various cities in Canada. I’m looking forward to coming back to the race where it all started for me. I’ll be running the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon as my eighth full marathon in May.

A Two-Day Long Celebration of Running

Ottawa Race Weekend is a pretty special event. The entire city seems to get involved in the races and it becomes a two day long celebration of all things running. I love going out on the Saturday night to watch the 5km and 10km races while thinking about my own race the next morning. There’s always people I know to cheer on and to cheer with. It’s really a ton of fun if running is your thing.

Sunday is always my race day in Ottawa. I’m already looking at the course map and thinking about what my goals will be. I’m also super excited that in 2015 both myself and my wife Ginny will both be running a marathon at the same time for the first time ever. She ran her first marathon in Chicago this year while I cheered with our two girls so it’ll be nice to toe the line with her in her second full marathon.

Pre-season Training

I’ve already started what I call pre-season training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon. While the real work won’t start until mid-January, that doesn’t mean that I’ll be sitting around until then. I hope to share all the ups and downs of training and also to share some of my experience with you as you train for your race.

As any runner will tell you, there’s always more to learn. I’ve learned so much from the runners in my life who were happy to share their advice and experiences with me, and I trust that being part of Team Awesome will be as much about learning from others for me as it is for you.

Where to follow along

This blog will be the primary channel where I’ll share information and advice leading up to the Race Weekend. I’d love to talk more in the comments on each post, so don’t be afraid to drop me a line there if you have something to say or share.

You can also follow me on Twitter (@jameskoole). I’ve already warned all my friends that I’ll be talking about running even more often that usual over the next five months. Feel free to give me a follow and say hi. Make sure you tag all your Ottawa Race Weekend and training tweets with #TORW2015.

For those of you that use either DailyMile (jameskoole) or Garmin Connect (jameskoole), give me a follow there as well and I’ll do likewise.

I’m a big proponent of keeping a training log or blog, so if you don’t yet keep track of all your runs, I strongly recommend as a great way to do it. It’s a fantastic “Facebook for runners” that lets you track your runs and is also a welcoming and supportive community.

Last but not least, I’ll also be posting on Instagram (jameskoole) from time to time. It’s the least running-centric of the channels I post on, but if you also like seeing pictures of Toronto, and some kids-related stuff, check it out. During the race weekend, I’ll be sure to share some of the excitement of the expo, and the various races.