Association of International Marathons and Distance Races

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Features

01 June 2016, 2pm

Blue skies and sunshine attract 16500 runners to the 45th anniversary race against a scenic mountain backdrop

A race for all

BMO Vancouver Marathon
Sun 1 May 2016

Vancouverites were treated to great weather and great fun while celebrating the 45th year of the Vancouver Marathon. Nearly 16,500 people from over 60 countries signed up – a 40% increase in participation since 2011. While the Marathon is the marquee event all six races held over the weekend thrilled the crowds.

There are races for everyone: a Kids Run, a 2.5km Walk, an 8km race, a Relay and the Half Marathon and Marathon. The event touched 12 neighbourhoods from Cambie to Kits, and from False Creek to Coal Harbour. Locals created crazy signs and neighbourhood cheer stations to encourage runners under the blue skies and sunshine.

“In 1972 the Vancouver Marathon had 32 finishers” says Charlene Krepiakevich, Executive Director of the Vancouver International Marathon Society. “This year the six separate races led to a combined total of nearly 14,000 finishers.”

Organisers of the event, the Vancouver International Marathon Society, made special efforts this year to celebrate the event’s rich history, including interviewing the early founders in a Legacy Talks video series and by continuing to acclaim Legacy Club members who have run the race 15 times or more.

In a nice echo of the event’s history Tom Howard, the first-ever Marathon winner in 1972, 1973 and 1974, once again finished first — in his 65–69 age category for the 8km event — with a time of 36:42.

Runners of all abilities joined in, including many youngsters and students along with more than 1000 participants over the age of 60. More than 700 were Run4Hope Charity runners supporting different local and national causes. Thousands of fans lined the streets to cheer them on.

The marathon weekend started with a free three-day Health, Sports & Lifestyle Expo at the downtown waterfront Vancouver Convention Centre West and concluded with a Street Festival.

“It is incredible what can be created through a passion for community and sport,” says Krepiakevich. “We are proud to build on the legacy created 45 years ago and to expand the race experience to athletes of all abilities, young and old. We are grateful to have such support from the City of Vancouver, sponsors, and locals.”

The Half Marathon incorporated the British Columbia Championships, won by Lisa Brooking and Terence Attema, but also attracted runners from as far away as Japan, United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Finland, Ireland, Spain, and many others.

Organised annually by the local non-profit Vancouver International Marathon Society the BMO Vancouver Marathon is truly a team effort. The Society is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and delivers running events with a mandate to promote healthy living, increase participation in the sport and celebrate the value the sport delivers to the local community. The event relies on the support of 4000 volunteers and many stakeholders including above all the City of Vancouver.

Recognized by Forbes, CNN, USA Today and others as one of the top destination marathons in the world the event is renowned for its unique scenic views including snow-capped mountain ranges, cherry trees in blossom and 70% shoreline views.

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