Marathon

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Vancouver’s only marathon, the BMO Vancouver Marathon is one of the world’s top, best, destination marathons, annually welcoming runners from 60+ countries!

Date: Sunday, May 7, 2017
Time: 8:30am* (Must clear Start Line by 8:40am)
Start Line: Midlothian Avenue in Queen Elizabeth Park
Finish Line: West Pender St. (between Bute St. & Thurlow St.)
Max Participants: 5,000 
Age: 18+
Course Time Limit: 7hrs
Marathon Elevation
Total Elevation Gain: 222m
Total Elevation Loss: -279m
Max slope: 8.6% and -13%
Average slope: 1.8% and -2.3%
Average elevation: 18m
Lowest point: -4m
Highest point: 91m

What is included with 2017 Registration

  • Race bib with built-in timing chip
  • Technical t-shirt
  • Commemorative finisher’s medal
  • On-course services including water, toilets, electrolyte, bananas, and gels and medical
  • Water stations along the Marathon course
  • Live entertainment along the marathon course!
  • Exciting downtown Finish Line, with music, food, a Finish Line Street Festival, and more!
  • Free Health, Sports & Lifestyle Expo

Award winning

The BMO Vancouver Marathon is considered one of the Top Destination Marathons in the world and now annually welcomes runners from 60+ countries. Event accolades include top rankings by Forbes, CNN, USA Today, and many other established publications. Learn more.

Boston Qualifier

Yes, the BMO Vancouver Marathon is an AIMS certified race and top qualifying course for the Boston Marathon. Learn more.

Bib Lookup

You will be able to look up your bib number closer to race day by visiting here.

Package Pickup

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There is no package pick-up race day. Please pick-up your package within Expo Hours:
Thursday, May 4, 5pm-8pm
Friday, May 5, 11am-8pm
Saturday, May 6, 10am-6pm

Every runner is required to pick up their own runner package. Proxy pick up is not available.

How to… You will need your bib number and your picture ID in order to pick-up your race package. Make sure to get everything you came for! Your race package includes race goodies including your race bib and timing chip, and short-sleeved technical shirt.

Prestige Runners have access to an express pick-up line at the Health, Sports & Lifestyle Expo. Look for the special entrance marked Prestige Runners.

TravelSmart to the BMO Vancouver Marathon

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Public transportation is key to the success of the event.

Traveling to the Start Line is easiest with Canada Line. Take the Canada Line from downtown Vancouver (southbound) or from Richmond (northbound) and get off at Oakridge-41st station. From there, walk to the Start Line – this takes about 15 minutes and volunteers will guide you to the Runners’ Compound.

As Marathon runners are getting to the Start Line, Half Marathon runners will be traveling down Cambie Street. Marathon runners are therefore advised to get off the Canada Line at Oakridge-41st Station instead of King Edward Station (as it will be difficult to cross Cambie Street from King Edward St while the Half Marathon is underway).

For more information on public transportation, please visit the TransLink website.

Car Drop-offs: If you are being dropped off near the Start Line, we recommend Main Street near East 30th Avenue. Please make sure to give yourself lots of time to walk to the Start Line – at least 15 extra minutes. Expect delays and lots of traffic, but try to embrace the anticipation and action as it’s all part of the journey!

Start Line

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Start Time: 8:30am* (Must clear Start Line by 8:40am)
Start Line: Midlothian Avenue in Queen Elizabeth Park (Event Map)

*Schedule subject to change:

  • 7:00am-7:20am: Half Marathon participants leave
  • 7:30am-7:50am: Marathon Check Gear near Ontario Street and 33rd Ave
  • 7:50am-8:00am: Time to find your corral!
  • 8:00am: High-fives and stretches!
  • 8:15am: Music and leg warm-up
  • 8.30am: Race begins! First corral of runners leave; subsequent corrals follow.
  • 3:30pm: Marathon course closes

Things to remember:

  1. Please arrive at least one hour before your race starts if you want to check your gear.
  2. We encourage all participants to arrive at least 45 minutes early.
  3. Washrooms are available at the Start Line.
  4. The Start Line is equipped with: toilets, Gear Check, water, a medical tent, and electrolyte drink.

Please note: the Hillcrest Community Centre washroom, changing, and dining facilities are not available to participants. Thank you.

Gear Check and Pick-up

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Gear Check Location: UPS trucks located by Ontario St. and 33rd Avenue

The BMO Vancouver Marathon is a point-to-point course. You may utilize Gear Check near the Start Line, and have goods transported to the Finish Line for you.

Bag-in-a-bag Procedure:

  • Collect your clear plastic bag from Gear Check near the Start Line
  • Put your gear into the provided 21″x26″ clear plastic bag
  • Detach the label from your race bib and zip it to the bag
  • Bring your bag to the Gear Check counter
  • Marathon Gear check closes at 8:15am

Pick-up Procedure:

  • After you finish, continue along Pender in the runners compound to the Gear Pick-up Area on West Pender Street near Burrard St.
  • Show your bib to the volunteer; your bib number matches the label that you attached to your gear
  • Any lost or left items must be claimed from the Information Tent at the Finish Line by 5:00pm on race day

Corrals

BMOVM.M.Images-1000x300-A-1-2016-Corrals.JeffBell.VancouverMarathonA corral is an area at a Start Line where race runners are grouped according to their Estimated Finish Time, with the faster runners closer to the front. Corrals are enforced at many large-scale running events to ensure a safe and efficient start and to prevent line-ups at aid and water stations along the course.

Here’s how it works: Your corral is assigned to you according to your Estimated Finish Time, which you are asked to provide as part of your registration process. (If you would like to utilize an Estimated Finish Time calculator click here).

You will be able to check your bib number and corral colour about two weeks before the event. After picking up your bib during Expo hours, you’ll see that the colour along the bottom edge of your bib will corresponds to the colour of your corral. Once assigned to a corral you may not switch to another.

Pace Bunnies

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Pace Bunnies may look cute in their pink rabbit ears, but it’s serious business trying to run even splits (each kilometre at the same pace) for a Marathon. Pace Bunnies help you maintain your pace, so you can race. Pace Bunnies are located in each corral and can help you finish with your goal race time!

Finish Line

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The big downtown Finish Line features thousands of spectators, entertainment, and a Finish Line Street Festival. To view a map and learn more, click here.

Cross the Finish Line in style! After all of your hard work, you’ll be congratulated by cheers, volunteers, receive your medal, have a photo opportunity, plus enjoy water and food. Next, head to Gear Pick-up, and make your way to the Street Festival on West Hastings Street to relax and celebrate with friends and family.

Please note:

  • The Runners’ Compound Is available to Runners, Staff & Media Only
  • Keep moving forward once you cross the Finish Line, you may meet your Friends & Family at the Street Festival
  • Spectators may watch on W Pender St (before the Finish Line, between Georgia and Bute)
  • Friends and family members may meet you at the Street Festival on Hasting St.
  • Once you pick-up your finisher food, you may proceed to Gear Check or exit the compound
  • You may not re-enter the compound once you exit and enter the Street Festival

Results Live Feed

For your Finish Time, visit the Results Tent at the Street Festival or check online at bmovanmarathon.ca/results

Sportstats West, our official timing company, also provides a live tracking feature which posts social media updates for Marathon and Half Marathoners! You can sign up to have your progress posted to your Facebook wall and/or Twitter feed, or have a friend sign up to follow you! The feature will track the runner’s chip to the timing mats on course and post updates with the runner’s location and time as they pass over the mats.

Timing mats will be located at the following points:

  • Marathon: Start Line, 13KM, 21.1KM, Finish Line
  • Half Marathon: Start Line, 5.5KM, 10.5KM, Finish Line

Age Groups and Awards

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Both male and female runners are automatically entered into the following competitive age groups: under 19; 20-24; 25-29; 30-34; 35-39; 40-44; 45-49; 50-54; 55-59; 60-64; 65-69; 70-74; 75-79; 80-84; 85-89; 90-94; 95-99; 100 and above.

Winners will be recognized and first place finishers will receive free entry into the following year’s race! Chip time, not gun time, will determine age group awards.

Planning for the Weather

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Please plan for all types of weather on Race Day. You should prepare for changes in the weather during the race as well as be properly equipped for post-race recovery. Consider checking warm gear at Gear Check to be used after racing, or ask someone from your support crew to bring warm clothing to the Finish Line. Please note that Finish Line blankets will not be provided. While we hope for sunshine, we encourage you to plan in advance for our Westcoast weather. To view race day notices and expected event conditions, click here.

Finisher Food

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Food is provided to every runner at the Finish Line.

Entertainment

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More music, more cheering, and more spectators! We add on-course entertainment to motivate, inspire, and entertain both runners and fans. Watch for local musical groups, community cheer groups, dance groups, and thousands and thousands of spectators along the course. Fans can win prizes, too!

Learn more about the Entertainment groups and the Community Challenge presented by Chevron. Over 90,000 spectators are expected out on-course!

Friendship Run

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Meet John Stanton on the day before the Marathon for a fun run that will stretch your legs and relax you before your big race!

Meet your pace bunny and get a few last minute tips from John Stanton, founder of the Running Room. After, head out for a short fun run or walk to loosen up your legs and work out any last minute nervous energy. More info at the Denman Running Room Store – 679 Denman Street, Vancouver, BC. P: 604 684 9771

Legacy Runners

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The Legacy Runners Club recognizes runners who have participated in and completed the Vancouver Marathon, Half Marathon or 8KM event multiple times since their inaugural dates of 1972, 1989, and 2008, respectively. Legacy runners of 15, 20, and 25 or more years, receive special perks as recognition for their dedication and amazing accomplishments. Find more details and a list of the Legacy Runners on the runvan.org website.

Road Closures


The event follows a rolling road closure/opening protocol. This means that roads will close and later re-open as runners pass through the course; NO roads are closed for the entire duration of the race. Consequently, the BMO Vancouver Marathon has an event time requirement of 7 hours.

Participants must maintain an approximate 8-minute per kilometre pace until Burrard Bridge – reaching the Burrard Bridge or 30KM mark by at least 1pm – and a 14-minute per kilometre pace from Burrard Bridge to the Finish Line. Participants must complete the marathon distance – Start Line to Finish Line – within the seven hour event time requirement. Runners who attempt to start after 8:40am will not be permitted.

If you or someone you know lives along the Marathon course, or if you are traveling to and from Vancouver for the event, please be aware that extensive street closures will take place on Race Day. Further, “No Parking” zones along the course will be enforced in the early morning hours on Race Day.

Note: Vancouver’s only marathon features a traffic control plan that allows runners of the BMO Vancouver Marathon to race uninterrupted at key junctures. Our vision is to be the world’s best running experience, celebrating all that is Vancouver.

Further information is available on our Road Closure page. TravelSmart to the BMO Vancouver Marathon.

Clocks and Kilometre/Mile Markers

The BMO Vancouver Marathon course is marked every kilometre and every five miles.

Digital clocks are positioned at the Start Line, Halfway Point, and Finish Line. These clocks are synced with the official Start Time but please note digital clocks at the Finish Line will display “unofficial” finish times – “official” finish times are unique to each individual runner’s chip, and therefore cannot be determined by looking at the digital clock.

Note: Corrals or groups of runners are released in intervals to ensure safe emergency access to Vancouver’s major hospitals (Children’s and Women’s Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital, Vancouver General Hospital). In the case that emergency roads are accessed on Race Day, two sets of timing mats (one at 49th Avenue/Oak Street and the other on Granville Street) will enable our timing company to adjust your finish time for accuracy. AIMS officials have ratified and sanctioned this event, including the use of mats as noted above.

Visually Impaired Policy

Visually impaired participants must use a ‘Guide’ and be comfortable with starting in the first corral with Elite Athletes. Visually impaired participants must register as a visually impaired athlete. Guides are provided a complimentary entry. For more information, please [email protected] call 604 872 2928.

Wheelchair Policy

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With consultation from BC Athletics, BC Wheelchair Sports, the Vancouver Parks Board and BCAS, wheelchair participation in the Marathon will not be permitted due to the safety risk along the Stanley Park Seawall. The Seawall was constructed decades ago with narrow passages and does not offer adequate emergency response options for a wheelchair marathon event. Hand-cycles are also prohibited.

Note: Details subject to change. Vancouver’s only marathon event is organized by the local non-profit Vancouver International Marathon Society.