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 unique deferral discount code was recently emailed to you on January 26, 2021, and your deferral rate has been extended an extra two years so it may now be redeemed in 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 or 2025. Should you have additional questions, please reference the FAQ section below or email: [email protected]
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 Government, our valued sponsors and many suppliers, our local non-profit improved upon the initial deferral 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
Is travel to BC permitted?
All non-essential travel to and within BC should be avoided currently due to the COVID-19 global pandemic as directed by our local health authorities. Please stay local and support local. Thank you in advance for cooperating and considering our Virtual Race this year. Like you, we’re passionate about exploring BC, but now is not the time to travel. Please enjoy our stunning images as inspiration for future travel when the time is right. We look forward to welcoming visitors again when travel and mass participation events are permitted again.
Are other events permitted?
By order and direction of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), all events are currently suspended in an attempt to reduce COVID-19 transmissions related to social interactions and travel. You may learn more about our Province-wide restrictions on the BC Government website. In the future, you’re encouraged to extend your stay pre and post-race to enjoy beautiful British Columbia.
RUNVAN® has presented to the Public Health Authority, City of Vancouver and Vancouver Parks Board various alternative ‘flow-through’ outdoor event options that would include limited and staggered wave starts (ie. Physically distanced wave starts of 50 or less people released every 60 minutes at an outdoor venue with flow-through options to try and limit personal contact and the potential spread of viruses). These permit requests have not been accepted. Permits currently are not being issued for any events in Vancouver due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Why can’t the race be rescheduled?
COVID-19 concerns are proving to be dynamic and ever changing, and we can not predict when the Public Health Agency of Canada will deem it safe to hold a large scale public event. We respect decisions that are being made by the health authorities to keep our communities safe, and we want to be part of the solution. 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 Virtual Race, and organizing the event’s 50th Anniversary in 2022.
Event organizers RUNVAN® continue to work closely with the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Parks Board and the Public Health Officer to hopefully put on in-person events when it is safe to do so. Please stay tuned for more updates. Please also note, 2022 will mark the 50th Anniversary of Vancouver’s only Marathon and Canada’s largest Marathon race. This year’s Virtual Race will run all of May 2021, and the next race date is scheduled for Sunday, May 1, 2022.
What was the decision making process?
The decision to cancel the in-person portion of the 2020 and 2021 events 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 does 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-person again this year. Please consider still joining the Virtual Race again if it’s safe to do so in your geographical area.
Why are the new deferral 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 two extra years.
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 had 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 2020 budget was already committed to prior to the in-person event cancellation in 2020. 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 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, 2020, 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. Restrictions have continued into 2021 within BC and globally. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) further suggests a ban of large scale events. Given the directive of the health organizations, the in-person portion of the BMO Vancouver Marathon can not safely proceed as initially planned again in 2021.
How do I receive my new Race Kit?
2020 rewards were mailed at no additional cost to participants. If you didn’t receive your 2020 medal and tech shirt, please email us: [email protected] For this new year, the event will offer in-person Package Pickup for locals when it was safe to do so. For non-local residents and those unable to make an in-person pickup, you may have your 2021 rewards mailed for a fee to cover shipping cost. You have the option to add mailing to your purchase order during race registration. The BMO Vancouver Marathon traditionally attract runners from 65+ countries and we’re happy to mail your race kit if you’d like to cover the cost of shipping as stated during registration.
May I still raise funds for charity?
Yes! Runners have now helped to raise over $16 million dollars for charity through our RUN4HOPE Charity Program. 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.