Event Updates

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Join the BMO Vancouver Marathon

Thanks for your continued enthusiasm in the BMO Vancouver Marathon organized annually by the local non-profit RUNVAN®, traditionally with the support of nearly 4,000 volunteers. We hope restrictions will be lifted so we may host an in person event on Sunday, May 1, 2022. Event capacity will be limited. Please stay tuned for details! @bmovanmarathon #bmovm #runvan

Due to COVID-19 global pandemic, non-profit event organizers were not permitted to host a mass in-person event in 2020 or 2021. 2020 deferral runners, your deferral rates were made valid for 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. An in-person Marathon event is not permitted currently. Thank you in advance for cooperating and considering our Virtual Race this year. Please enjoy our stunning images as inspiration for future travel once travel restrictions are lifted. 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 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 couldn’t the 2020 or 2021 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 permit 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 and stay connected with us virtually.

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. As a result, the BMO Vancouver Marathon has not been permitted to host an in-person event in 2021 as initially planned.

How do I receive my race kit?

For locals, the event offers in-person Package Pickup options. 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 costs. You have the option to add mailing to your purchase order during 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 evolving time.

Thank you, and we hope to see you again soon.

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