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Is this 8x5K looped course Canada’s most mind-numbing marathon?

Ottawa's Winterman Marathon is a soul-crushing out-and-back, and yet one runner managed it in under three hours

Winterman Marathon
Photo: Instagram/@swimbikerunkat_

Dubbed ‘Canada’s ultimate winter marathon,’ this past Sunday, Feb. 18, marathoners ran the 42.2K along the Sir John A MacDonald Parkway as part of Ottawa’s annual Winterman Marathon. 2018 marked the 10th anniversary of this event.

No ordinary course, the Winterman consists of a mind-numbing 5.274 kilometer out-and-back loop. That meant that marathon participants ran the route eight times to complete the distance, with bad footing, freezing conditions and a nasty hairpin turn. In 2016, the marathon and half-marathon distances were cancelled due to extreme cold.

Related: A Canadian race a week for all of 2018 

What may not stand as Canada’s most enjoyable course, sub-zero temperatures and the repetition of a 5.274-kilometer loop add to the challenge of the distance. 
 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BfV163GDmZ8/

This year’s marathon champion was Eric Deshaies from Gatineau, Que., who impressively finished the course in just under three hours. With an official time of 2:59:19, Deshaies won the Winterman Marathon more than 25 minutes, ahead of the second-place runner. He also scored Boston qualifying time by an impressive 25 minutes. 
 
Taking home first place for women was Viviane Marcotte-L’Heureaux of Montreal, Que. with a finishing time of 3:38:33.
 
The event includes marathon, marathon relay, half-marathon, 10K, 5K and 3K events and runs annually as part of Ottawa’s Winterlude Festival. 



For a better sense of the typical weather at Winterman, check out this video from a few years back at the finish line.

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