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Mayor Mark Sutcliffe to run Ottawa Marathon to support father of Barrhaven homicide victims

Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe crossing the finish line at the Ottawa Marathon. May 28, 2023. (Jackie Perez/CTV News Ottawa) Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe crossing the finish line at the Ottawa Marathon. May 28, 2023. (Jackie Perez/CTV News Ottawa)
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Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe is lacing up for a second marathon in just over a month.

Sutcliffe posted to social media Tuesday to say that he's "still not fully recovered" from the London Marathon he ran in April, but he intends to run in the Ottawa Marathon this coming weekend.

"I've decided to run the marathon at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend for two reasons. It's the 50th edition of the marathon and I want to be part of this big milestone! And I want to support the fundraising organized by Ottawa Victim Services for Dhanushka Wickramasinghe, who is coping with unimaginable pain and loss," he said.

Wickramasinghe is the sole survivor of a mass homicide in March in which his wife, his four children, and a family friend were killed. Febrio De Zoysa, 19, is facing six counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in connection with the case.

The Wickramasinghe family is pictured here in this undated image. The four young children and their mother were killed in their Ottawa home on March 6, 2024 alongside a family friend. The father was seriously injured in the attack. A 19-year-old suspect is in custody and is facing multiple counts of first-degree murder.

Sutcliffe said anyone interested in donating to the fundraiser for Ottawa Victim Services can specify their donation is for Dhanushka Wickramasinghe in the personal message section.

"Together we can rally around Dhanushka and help him rebuild his life," Sutcliffe said.

The Tartan Ottawa International Marathon takes place Sunday, starting at 7 a.m.

Sutcliffe, an avid marathon runner, ran the Ottawa Marathon last year and helped to raise more than $26,000 for Ottawa Salus to pay for repairs to its Scott Street building after it was damaged by flooding. He finished with an official time of 4:08:13. He has since run the Berlin and London marathons while mayor, though his running of the London Marathon attracted controversy because of the timing of an Ottawa Tourism trade mission to the UK the same week the marathon was taking place. Sutcliffe said all expenses related to the London Marathon were paid for out of his own pocket. 

Ottawa Victim Services (OVS) is a non-for-profit organization that runs four programs that offer different kinds of support to people who have been affected by crime or tragedy including: immediate help following a crime or tragic incident; help with financial costs of victimization; and help to stay safe after a crime. OVS works in partnership with the Ottawa Police Service Victim Support Unit.

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