Get To Know Your Running Clubs: OAC Racing Team
In this edition of Get to Know Your Running Clubs we chatted with Ken Parker, Jess Filoso and other members of the Ottawa Athletic Club Racing Team, a women’s distance running club.
Ken founded OAC Racing Team in 1981 and is the current coach of the team. Jess has loved running since she began training and competing in high school. After university she wanted te continue training and found the Ottawa Athletic Club Racing team. She's been running with the OAC Racing Team for a year and loves all the support everyone brings to the group.
Want to learn more about them? Read on!
Tell us a bit about your club history
Ken: The OAC Racing team was founded back in 1981, currently we work with female distance runners, everything from 5K right up to the marathon distance.
Tell us a bit about your membership? What level of runners do you cater to?
Jess: We are a women's racing team, with teammates focusing on distances ranging from the 5K to the marathon. One of the biggest perks of training with a group of competitive and like-minded women is the supportive and positive drive, and we make sure to have a ton of fun while doing it!
Where/when do you usually meet?
Ken: The club does group workouts on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, we meet for a warm-up run then get into training.
Jess: That said, you can usually find someone to run any distance, any day of the week.
Any cost to be a member/join?
The club fee is $141.25 (including HST). This does not include access to the tracks.
Are you affiliated with any events?
Ken: Our group is affiliated wih Emilie’s Run, a women’s 5K event named in honor of Emilie Mondor, who was a Canadian Olympian and the first Canadian women to run sub 15:00 for 5K. Emilie was killed in a car accident in September of 2006.
Jess: Emilie's Run was started in 2005 by our coach, Ken Parker. The event aims to provide an opportunity for competitive women to lead a race, set the pace, and be the overall race winners, as well as encourage new runners to come out and experience the race day environment for the first time. The run was named in memory of Émilie Mondor, the first Canadian woman to run sub-15:00 in the 5K and a member of Team Canada at the 2004 Olympics. Originally from Mascouche, Quebec, Émilie was living in Ottawa to train for the marathon when she died in a car accident in the fall of 2006.
Where are your favourite spots to run in/around the city?
Ken: Some of the best spots to run are the paths on both sides of the Rideau Canal and along the Ottawa River adjacent to the Western Parkway and Along the Rockcliffe Parkway.
Jess: Rockliffe Pathway along the river, where we train in the early spring, Gatineau Park trails, and the paths around the Rideau Canal.
Do you have any favourite races? Outside of anything that you’re affiliated with of course :)
Ken: Three words. Ottawa Race Weekend!
Jess: Ottawa Race Weekend, and the MEC series (affordable and well organized - also fun to do some races on the trails).
What part of the city does your group usually run in/around?
Jess: For runs, we usually meet at the Sunnyside Library in downtown Ottawa to run along the Rideau Canal pathway, often crossing over into Gatineau, Quebec, and looping back along the Rideau River or along the Ottawa River pathway. This route can range from 10-25K+, depending on what people are training for. For workouts, in the winter we get some quality work in at the Louis Riel Dome indoor track. In the spring and summer, we can be found doing mile loops in the hills at Rockliffe Park, or speed workouts at the Terry Fox track at Mooney’s Bay.
Anything else that we should know?
Ken: We’re always excited to connect with members of the running community and are happy to welcome new members who would like to train with us!
Jess: Ken Parker is the founder of www.runnersweb.com, a go-to resource for all things running and triathlon related.
Want to connect with the OAC Racing Team or just learn a bit more about them?
Check out their information below:
Looking for runs in and around Ottawa?
Have a look at the RunGuides list of Ottawa Runs for a list of all upcoming runs in the area.