Join us virtually this year
Join the BMO Vancouver Marathon virtually this year!
Thanks for your continued enthusiasm in the BMO Vancouver Marathon. Due to COVID-19 global pandemic, non-profit event organizers are not permitted to host a mass in-person event this May. 2020 deferral runners, your deferral rate will be extended for two extra years and therefore may be redeemed in 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 or 2025 – details were emailed to deferral runners on January 26, 2021. Should you have additional questions, please see our FAQ section below or email: [email protected]
You may learn more about the fun Virtual Race at bmovanmarathon.ca/virtualrace.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 in the Fall of 2021. 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. The 2021 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 2021 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 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 being able to host Vancouver’s only Marathon event in-person this year. Please consider still joining the Virtual Race if it’s safe to do so in your geographical area.
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 BMO Vancouver Marathon can not safely proceed as initially planned again in 2021.
How do I receive my race kit?
For locals, the event will offer in-person Package Pickup when it was safe to do so. For non-local residents and those unable to make an in-person pickup, you may have your 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.