The fifth National Capital Marathon was another great event, as good as the first four, thanks to the City of Ottawa and the Marathon Committee. Jerome Drayton of Toronto beat a field of 4000, running alone in the lead from 10 km. After passing 32 km on a race record pace, he slowed to finish two minutes off the record in 2:18:06. Montreal's Jacqueline's Gareau defeated a strong women's field, just missing the women's record. The masters 40+ competition saw three top Canadians cross the line within three minutes of each other, all under 2:35, Ed Whitlock establishing the 1979 Canadian masters best with his time of 2:31:27.