BMO Vancouver Marathon
Thanks for your continued enthusiasm in the BMO Vancouver Marathon. Your patience has been appreciated as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 global pandemic. Your deferral rate has been extended for an extra two years and therefore may be redeemed in 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 or 2025. Details will be emailed to all deferral runners shortly. Safety is always a top priority for event organizers, the local non-profit RUNVAN®.
As a passionate run community, we all shared in your disappointment of not hosting Vancouver’s only Marathon event in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was sad for us all, and we apologize for the inconveniences it brought upon you. Thank you, as well, for your patience as we worked through the fall-out of that unprecedented situation and tabulated all of the associated costs. While the majority of funds dedicated to the cost of running the 2020 event had already been allocated, thanks to the support of the Canadian Government, our valued sponsors and many suppliers, our local non-profit was been able to improve upon the initial offer.
BMO Vancouver Marathon 2020 registered runners all received the Virtual Race, exclusive tech tee and medal, plus had opportunity to receive Option A: 100% deferral to the Great Trek Fall Classic 2020, plus 40% off the BMO Vancouver Marathon 2021, 2022 or 2023 event, or Option B: 75% off the BMO Vancouver Marathon 2021, 2022 or 2023 event. Since the COVID-19 global pandemic has been more impactful than initially anticipated, RUNVAN® has since extended the deferral discount an extra two years so it will be valid in 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 or 2025.
RUNVAN® redirected all savings from the 2020 event cancellation back to registered runners through future race offerings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Additional Event Cancellation FAQS
What was the decision making process?
The decision to cancel the 2020 event was made in response to COVID-19 concerns, and the current directive from the British Columbia Provincial health officer to ban all mass gatherings. Postponing the event did not address the unknowns around when COVID-19 concerns may be resolved. The non-profit Vancouver International Marathon Society is led by a volunteer Board of Directors who are all runners, and is supported by nearly 4,000 volunteers. As a passionate run community, we all share in your disappointment of not hosting Vancouver’s only Marathon event in 2020. We collaborated to present alternative solutions that we feel are fair overall. Thank you for your support and understanding given the unfortunate circumstances.
Why were the new options better than the initial offer?
Vancouver’s only Marathon event relies on registration and sponsorship funds and is operated and managed by the local non-profit RUNVAN®. While the majority of funds dedicated to the cost of running the 2020 event had already been allocated, we kindly requested you to be patient as we continued to work through the fall-out of this unprecedented situation and continued to tabulate all of the associated costs. Thanks to our sponsors and suppliers, who were generous with contracts despite the event’s cancellation, we are able to share better deferral options directly with you, and have since extended the deferral discount an extra year.
Why can’t you just refund my registration?
Entry fees are non-refundable as per race policies agreed to upon registration. While it would be ideal to offer refunds during this difficult time, our non-profit would not be able to financially sustain refunds given the majority of the budget has already been allocated. In other words, funds have been spent per traditional ordering timelines and can’t simply be returned without causing serious cash-flow concerns that may jeopardize the overall sustainability of this long-standing community event. RUNVAN® has instead redirected all savings from the 2020 event cancellation back to registered 2020 runners through future race offerings. As a non-profit, RUNVAN® is still forecasting to operate at a financial loss in the short-term.
Where was the money spent?
The majority of the event’s initial budget was already committed to prior to the event’s cancellation. RUNVAN® invests in a marketing campaign that helps to attract runners from 65+ countries, has fixed operational costs, plus makes large advance purchases. Since that product was ordered months in advance of the event cancellation, refunds on products like the 2020 tech shirts and medals are unavailable. Many supplier deposits were also non-refundable. The event still offered in-person Package Pickup for local residents when it was safe to do so, allowing runners to still collect those commemorative rewards. For non-local residents and those unable to make an in-person pickup, rewards were mailed at no additional cost to participants. If you didn’t receive your race kit, please feel free to still contact us: [email protected] Thank you for understanding.
What is COVID-19?
On March 11, the COVID-19 outbreak was characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. March 12, B.C. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry stated that event organizers are to cancel all gatherings of 250 people or more. March 13, the volunteer Board of Directors at RUNVAN® officially announced the cancellation of this year’s event. Vancouver’s only Marathon event draws runners from 65+ countries and many of those countries have their own travel restrictions, as well, as a result of COVID-19. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) further suggests a ban of large scale events. Given the directive of the health organizations, the BMO Vancouver Marathon could not safely proceed as initially planned.
Why couldn’t the race be rescheduled?
COVID-19 concerns were proving to be dynamic and ever changing, and we could not predict when the Public Health Agency of Canada would have deemed it safe to hold a large scale public event. We fully respect decisions that are being made by the health authorities to keep our communities safe, and we want to be part of the solution. As such, we focused on options to honour all the hard work you put into preparing for the 2020 race. We also wanted to give you, and our stakeholders, time to create alternative plans. Marathon planning for our non-profit starts more than a year in advance, and we are now focused on delivering the new Virtual Race, and organizing the event’s next race edition.
Event organizers RUNVAN® continue to work closely with City Vancouver, Vancouver Parks Board and the Public Health Officer to put on in-person events in the Fall of 2021. Please stay tuned for more updates.
What happens to the money I’ve been raising for charity?
Thank you. Runners have now helped to raise over $16 million dollars for charity through our RUN4HOPE Charity Program. Charity Runners had the ability to still run and fundraise until May 15, 2020. Charities are also feeling the impact of COVID-19 and we encourage individuals who may have the financial ability to donate during this difficult time to consider supporting our RUN4HOPE Charities, including our gold-level charities: BC Cancer Foundation, Canadian Mental Health Association, Vancouver-Fraser, Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School, St. John Ambulance, BC & Yukon.
Thank you again for your patience and understanding during this uncertain and evolving time. We remain hopeful that the public health risk associated with the COVID-19 pandemic will improve and encourage everyone to follow the lead of the Public Health Agency of Canada and related health organizations.
Thank you, and we hope to see you again soon.