Press Release – Major Milestones

Major Milestones Achieved for the 2014 BMO Vancouver Marathon with Strong Support from Runners, Volunteers, and the Community.

Some races, Expo, and volunteer roles at capacity

Vancouver, BC – March 27, 2014 – Strong demand from runners, exhibitors, volunteers, charities, and other corporate and community supporters has produced sellouts and waitlists at the 2014 BMO Vancouver Marathon race weekend.

With just over a month to go, event organizers report a sellout of the Kids 1-Mile Fun Run with a waitlist established; a sellout of the Health, Sports & Lifestyle Expo; 100% capacity for the RUN4HOPE charity program with a waitlist for next year; 100% capacity for all course stations with a waitlist for volunteers; and 100% capacity for the coveted volunteer Bike Escort Team with a waitlist established.

“We are overwhelmed with this outpouring of support,” commented Charlene Krepiakevich, Executive Director for the Vancouver International Marathon Society. “Since our volunteer Board of Directors created a bold new strategic direction for the Society in 2011, we continue to experience increased demand and support for our vision to be a world class event. Clearly, our 43-year legacy in the community coupled with our focus on sustainability and engagement with runners, volunteers, and the community is resonating and producing excellent results.”

The five races over the weekend are all near capacity:

  • Marathon – capped at 5,000, currently at 98% capacity
  • Half Marathon – capped at 10,000, currently at 85% capacity
  • Kids 1-Mile Fun Run – capped at 250, currently at 100% capacity
  • 8KM – capped at 2,000, currently at 58% capacity (40% increase from 2013)
  • 8KM Teen Challenge – capped at 500, currently at 19% capacity (17% increase from 2013)

In addition to the races, the community aspect of the event is strides ahead from last year, with many areas holding waitlists for 2015. The BMO Vancouver Marathon’s charity program, RUN4HOPE has a waitlist of 12 charities that will be considered for next year. With a total of 25 causes: five national, ten official and ten community charities, the program provides runners with a variety of options to give back.

“We’re excited to see participation rates, for both runners and volunteers, leaping ahead,” said Mike Bonner, Senior Vice President, BC & Yukon Division for BMO Bank of Montreal.  “BMO is proud to be in its ninth year as title sponsor of one of the most scenic and well-loved running events in Canada.”  Newly arrived in B.C., to head up personal and commercial banking, Mike was pleased to see that the BMO Vancouver Marathon is in the top five of the Bank’s sponsorship properties in Canada.

Volunteers play a vital role in the success of the event; each year, the BMO Vancouver Marathon attracts approximately 4,000 volunteers who contribute 16,000 hours over several months. Major volunteer areas have been filled prior to race weekend. This year, the volunteer cycling team also has a waitlist of applicants. The group has reached a maximum of 50 cyclists which is the largest number the event has recruited to date. The 2014 courses have also filled 29 water stations with volunteer groups.

The BMO Vancouver Marathon has provided more contest opportunities for 2014 to facilitate high demand, reward registered runners and encourage those runners who have been training to commit to an event. Currently, the Final Stretch Contest, which ends April 4th, provides three unique prizes consisting of two roundtrip flights to Tokyo, two nights’ accommodation at a Vancouver hotel and one free race entry for the 2015 event, and ten free entries for the Victoria Marathon in October, 2014.

Adding to the excitement over race weekend, this year marks the 43rd running of the Marathon and the 25th anniversary of the Half Marathon. To celebrate this milestone and build on the event’s history, the Vancouver International Marathon Society has launched a Legacy Runners Club that recognizes returning participants. Runners who have completed the event 15, 20 or 25 times since the inaugural race in 1972 will receive unique race week perks including specialized bibs. This added program will not only continue to honour dedicated and loyal runners, but will inspire participants to work towards a goal, with new members joining the Legacy Club each year.

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High resolution BMO Vancouver Marathon images are available on bmovanmarathon.ca/media/photo

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