03 July 2018, 7am
Sun 7 October 2018
The beautiful Okanagan Valley lies in south-central British Columbia. With its low hills and oblong lakes it is a popular destination for runners.
During Canadian Thanksgiving weekend the Okanagan Marathon welcomes thousands of participants to Kelowna’s premier running event – recognised as Western Canada’s flattest and fastest course.
The Marathon starts and finishes at City Park on Okanagan Lake which features a long sandy beach and is a wonderful place for runners to begin and end their race. From the Park runners pass through sections of downtown before heading into established neighbourhoods. The course then loops back towards the waterfront pathway, finishing at the beachfront public park.
Also known as a family fitness and lifestyle weekend, the Okanagan Marathon attracts many seasonal and recreational runners and boasts five races from the ABC Kids Fun 1km run to the Marathon. Racers can also take part in three other events including a 5km, 10km and Half Marathon. Everyone will enjoy scenic views along Lake Okanagan on a fast course certified as a Boston Marathon qualifying race.
Every year families delight in the picturesque landscape and festive atmosphere as their children take part in supervised movement activities on the grassy greens of City Park. Face painted youngsters enjoy jumping jacks, the long jump, a shuttle run, and hurdles, followed by a 1km run, where enthusiastic parents often join in. One of the highlights is watching the smiling faces of children completing their first race wearing a race t-shirt and receiving an official course medal, the same size and weight as the other participants receive.
Kelowna receives over 2000 hours of sunshine annually which makes the event one for the fall calendar. The Okanagan has received worldwide attention for its award-winning wineries, and the organisers set up an area on site for local wine tastings. Many racers extend their stays to enjoy wine tasting tours at the 200-plus wineries dotted along the valley.
The Running Room Friendship Run on Saturday provides access to running tips and insights from Running Room founder John Stanton. Participants can overcome any pre-race nerves and enjoy the camaraderie among old and new friends.
Participants arriving outside the Sports Expo on race day can’t miss the wooden crates of apples, freshly picked and provided by Okanagan Valley farms. With the sweet aroma of apples in the air it provides the quintessential, classic Canadian fall atmosphere.