Running through the Summer with Team Heart

In this photo from 2018, patients, friends, family and staff celebrate their Ottawa Race Weekend accomplishments.

Team Heart has been raising funds for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) Foundation by participating in Ottawa Race Weekend for the past three years.  The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is the biggest multi-distance race event in Canada and has the largest marathon in Canada. The event provides a wide range of options for any skill level – from a 2km walk with your family to running a marathon.

This year, to adapt to the pandemic restrictions, the event has gone virtual! So, instead of participating in a weekend-long event with thousands of other racers, participants can race and compete against each other by submitting their race results online.  Participants can also choose their own route and do their race anytime between now and September 7th. Some may prefer a quiet run; others are choosing to add excitement and flavour by letting their neighbours and friends know so they can have a cheering squad, to racing virtually with other participants – the sky’s the limit. Another interesting feature with this format is that participants can re-submit their results throughout the summer, and work on improving their time – the last result logged in the system by September 7thwill be used as the final score. And like other years, all participants will receive a race t-shirt and medal.

Many participants race for the personal health challenge and/or as a way to get or stay in shape. The UOHI has some great online resources to help you exercise safely, as well as a new exercise app. The Scotiabank Charity Challenge provides another great reason to get involved in the race – participants can raise money for a charity such as the UOHI Foundation. Racing through the charity challenge also means the chance to win special prizes. Last year, Team Heart received the prize for the largest number of fundraising runners with over 120 runners!

Do you think you’d you like to join the team? Regardless of your skill level and whether or not you can raise money, Team Heart would love for you to join them. Joining a team can be a great motivator, a fun way to connect virtually with other runners and provides extra support for your experience. Already, there are 98 participants registered and over $18,500 has been raised. It would be exciting to surpass our past record of 130 runners!

Before you register, contact Team Heart to receive an access code for a 20% discount on event registration. Once registered, a representative from the UOHI Foundation will support you with your fundraising efforts, share updates by email and cheer you on! Check out the Foundation’s Facebook page and click on their #FacesOfTeamHeart posts to hear from some of this year’s team members. Bonus – anyone who raises or donates more than $20 for Team Heart will receive a Team Heart buff!

For more information, visit the Foundation’s Team Heart page and the event site including FAQs.