01 July 2014, 7am
GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon
Sun 12 October 2014
The event – which includes the Marathon, Half Marathon, 8km Road Race and a Kids Run – is a tradition for many participants who return to run the scenic course year after year. Over half of the route – which has a maximum elevation of 25m – shoulders the ocean. The course is known for breathtaking views of the Olympic Mountains and Mount Baker, enthusiastic cheering stations through quaint neighbourhoods, entertaining music and a memorable finish in the Inner Harbour in front of the British Columbia Legislature.
Participants run past famous landmarks including Mile ‘0’ and the Terry Fox statue, honouring the 22-year-old who attempted to run across Canada in his Marathon of Hope in 1980 but died of cancer before completing it. The world’s fourth largest totem pole (38.8m) stands at Beacon Hill Park, and Queen Victoria herself looks down over the runners at the Marathon finish line. Her statue has graced the lawns of the Legislature since 1919.
The Victoria Marathon Race Weekend features a sold-out race expo with an international speaker series – past speakers have included North American running icons like Kathrine Switzer, Dick Beardsley, Bart Yasso, Rod Dixon and Jacqueline Gareau. It also has a reputation for its quality merchandise and clothing – all marathoners this year receive a technical jacket, participant medals, and locally crafted awards.
The 35th edition has boosted elite athlete program funding by $15,000 including a $1,000 bonus for the top Canadian male and female finishers. The increased funding benefits the top runners and will also encourage up-and-coming provincial runners by giving them valuable racing experience. Course records stand to Lamech Mokono and Lucy Njeri with 2:13:42 and 2:37:56 respectively, set in 2013 and 2011.