Over 18,000 runners to take on Vancouver’s award-winning destination marathon
Vancouver, BC – May 1, 2019
Vancouver’s only Marathon event has recorded over 18,000 runners to break new all-time and international runner registration records set last year. Recognized for its scenic beauty, the BMO Vancouver Marathon now annually attracts runners from nearly 65 countries.
“Vancouver’s stunning nature and shoreline are surely a big draw to the city for destination runners,” shares Eric Chéné, Race Director of RUNVAN®. “But it’s the local community who have done a fantastic job making everyone feel welcome come race week.”
This year’s edition sees one of the most competitive elite fields since its inception, headlined by defending champion Robin Watson, course record holder Luka Chelimo of Kenya, and 2018 Boston Champion Yuki Kawauchi of Japan, who will make his much anticipated Canadian Marathon debut on Sunday, May 5.
On the women’s side, China’s Li Zhixuan looks to become only the second Chinese runner to win the Vancouver Marathon title after Zheng Zhiling took the gold last year, while the event also welcomes Yuko Mizuguchi of Japan, Mexico’s Margarita Quintero and other top athletes.
Named one of the world’s Top Destination Marathons by the likes of Forbes, CNN, and USA Today, the event takes runners on a scenic route starting at Queen Elizabeth Park and through twelve of the city’s most iconic neighbourhoods.
Organized by the local non-profit Vancouver International Marathon Society RUNVAN®, Vancouver’s only Marathon event has seen exponential growth since the event started in 1972 with 32 finishers.
“We’re excited to share in the celebration of the event’s legacy and continue growing the Marathon in this city,” adds Chéné.
With races for everyone, the BMO Vancouver Marathon also features a fast Half Marathon, 8KM, Relay, and Kids Run. All races are sold out, led by the growth of international runners, which have increased by 25% over the last two years. The Marathon looks to maintain the top spot it claimed last year as the largest Marathon race in all of Canada.
The event is a key economic driver in the provincial economy, and third-party research suggests the event helps to generate close to $60 million in regional economic activity annually.
Marathon weekend begins with a free Health, Sports & Lifestyle Expo at the Vancouver Convention Centre East, Friday and Saturday. Open to the general public, the Expo features over 120 exhibitors showcasing the latest in health and fitness for you to experience.
New this year, an Elite Athlete Panel will also be held at the Expo on Saturday, May 4 at 12pm. Key speakers include Yuki Kawauchi, Robin Watson, Kim Doerksen and Margarita Quintero.
Vancouverites are encouraged to join in the festivities and check out the event’s new Kitsilano and English Bay block parties. Spectators further have a chance to win cash prizes just for cheering anywhere on-course as part of the Community Cheer Challenge presented by Chevron.
On race day, Sunday, May 5, the first finishers are expected to cross the Finish Line early around 8am. Expect the Marathon champ around 10:45am. The Finish Line is located on West Pender and the party continues post-race with a free Street Festival on W Hastings between Bute and Burrard St.
Vancouver’s only Marathon is made possible annually with the support of nearly 4,000 volunteers, and annually draws nearly 90,000 spectators. No one runs a Marathon alone. You make all the difference.
Come check out the festivities, cheer on thousands of runners from around the world, and be inspired!
For a full schedule of events, road detour information and more, please visit bmovanmarathon.ca/prerace