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#whyi9runrun Race Director Brenda Tirrell



I started running in 1991 after my 3rd child was born.


I say “run” but it was more walk and sit, on the closest bus stop bench. All I really wanted to do was get out of the house. Saying I was going for a “run” sounded a lot better and I thought it legitimized my time out of the house.


Fast forward to 2010.


Having already completed many 10k races, some half marathons, a few full marathons, and now competing in Ironman 70.3. It seemed like an interesting and doable request when my city councilor asked if I could organize a half marathon for our chief of police. Who at the time was running a half marathon a month to raise awareness and funds for youth drug and alcohol abuse.


In 2010 I also started as a City of Ottawa Volunteer Fire Fighter. I had in previous year worked for the Paramedics Association, add in the Chief of Police, and it seemed like a natural idea to include all 3 emergency services in a running event. I called up five or six of my best girlfriends who also compete in races and triathlons and together we all talked about what we liked best about those events we had all participated in. We brainstormed a big list and that helped us shape what the event would look like.


The 9runrun was born.


Today the 9runrun offers a 2k Family Fun Run, 10K and Half Marathon run. All courses incorporate the scenic Trans Canada Trail and is held in the heart of Stittsville.

Every year, we invite the City of Ottawa; Police, Firefighter and Paramedic Chiefs to trade their caps and uniforms for chef’s hats and aprons and show us who’s got the best stuff in the kitchen. Each service representative prepares their special chili recipe and we ask the 2500 participants, spectators and volunteers to vote on the best chili creation.



The "CHIEF”S CHILI CAULDRON TROPHY" is the coveted reward!! In the past 9 years, the Fire Department has won 6 times, Paramedics 3 times and the Police…….well, maybe this is their lucky year!!




9RUNRUN provides runners with a second-to-none fall running experience combined with an amazing opportunity to support Ottawa’s fire, police and paramedics services.


The funds raised by 9runrun participants and their donors will support the newly formed Ottawa First Responders Foundation. www.ottawafrf.ca


Evidence shows that first responders are at least twice as likely compared to the general population to suffer Post Trauma Stress Disorder (PTSD), due to the risk of the routine exposure to trauma stressors. The average person may experience an average of one traumatic incident in their lifetime. The average first responder will encounter 600 such incidents within their working life.


Each year, the organizers of 9RUNRUN hope that the race can help shine a brighter light on mental illness in our communities and help everyone, from youth to first responders, get access to the mental health support they need.



Article submitted and written by: Brenda Tirrell, Race Director, 9runrun


Want to read more about 9runrun or register for this year's race? Visit the WEBSITE

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