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Runners lace up on Day 1 of Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

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It’s one of the biggest events of the year in the nation’s capital – Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is finally here.

More than 37,000 people are expected to lace up their sneakers for this year’s edition. That includes Devin Kennedy's son Tristan.

"He beat me last year, so I'm going to try to beat him this year. But we're both getting older and I’m getting slower," joked Kennedy.

Joining them for the 2k run on Saturday was Kennedy’s wife Meg Davies.

"I'm recovering from knee surgery, and this is my first big race," she said.

Saturday’s events focused on the kid’s marathon run, the 2K, 5K and 10K races with participants coming from near and far.

"The best part of the race is by the 38 kilometer, because we're running back into the city and there's so many people and there's so much love. It's a great atmosphere,” said Sylvan Suave from Montreal.

Those running the marathon and the half marathon on Sunday can expect a cool start to the morning with temperatures expected to reach the mid 20s by the afternoon.

"I think the morning it's going to be like around 12 C. So it's going to be okay. I'll try to pace up in the morning and then maybe slow down," said Suave, who will be running the marathon.

Each person who approached the start line on Saturday was running with a purpose.

"Team Rob was my best friend that we lost to cancer back in 2015," said runner Derrick La Plante. "We're doing this in honor of him to raise money for The Ottawa Hospital, because cancer research gave us five more years with him."

"I do it every year with my family since I was a little kid," said Ashley Delaney, hoping to finish the 2K race in under 15 minutes.

More than 37,500 participants are scheduled to take part in the two-day event with this year being the 50th anniversary.

"The spirit, the community vibe is unbelievable. Just the energy here," said Ian Fraser, the event's outgoing executive race director. He’s handed the reins over to Mike Vieira.

"We're seeing thousands and thousands of people coming out," said Vieira. "Tons of kids behind us, dressed up in costumes, ready to race, ready to have a really good time."

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