Friday, July 19, 2024

Two Ottawa runners set to run the ‘Paris 2024 Marathon Pour Tous’

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Running is a passion for Ottawa resident Kitdapawn E and she has hundreds of medals to prove it.

Dozens of shoes and hundreds of medals are displayed in her home showcasing every race the 65-year-old has participated in, including the six majors in Berlin Chicago, New York, Tokyo, Boston and London.

“I started running the year 2000 and I haven’t stopped since,” she said.

And she’s not done yet. In August, she’ll be off to Paris joining 20 thousand other amateur runners from around the world to run in the same marathon course as Olympic athletes.

“This race is called Paris 2024 Mass Participation Marathon. It’s going to be happening on Saturday, August 10th,” she said.

The run is taking place in the evening between the men’s and women’s marathon. The route will start from the Hôtel de Ville (Paris City Hall) at 9 p.m. make it’s way to Versailles then finish on the Esplanade des Invalides, offering scenic views and iconic monuments of Paris along the way,

This will be a first in Olympic history. In order to qualify, runners needed to take part in challenges at the beginning of the year. Those who earned enough points were then entered into a draw.

“I thought it was spam,” said Susan Ibach who also qualified for a race bib. “When I got the email saying I got a bib I was like no,  I didn’t actually get a bid for this. Like, no way!”

Ibach hopes to finish the race in four hours, but she’s being realistic.

“It’s a tough course and I have no idea how I’m going to feel,” she said. “The goal is to finish the race and enjoy it, because I can’t go back and run it next year,” Ibach said.

With just weeks left to train, both are squeezing in as many run sessions as they can.

“It’s so unreal that here I am going to go to participate in the Paris marathon, surrounded by the best,” said Kitdapawn E.

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