Vancouver Marathon

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Vancouver Marathon
BMO logo.png
BMO Bank of Montreal Vancouver Marathon Logo
DateFirst Sunday in May
LocationVancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Event typeRoad Race
Official siteBMO Vancouver Marathon

The BMO Vancouver Marathon is an annual race held on the first Sunday of May each year in Vancouver, British Columbia. As the second largest international marathon in Canada,[1] it has a certified running distance of 26 miles and 385 yards long. The marathon saw over 14,000 people participate on May 4, 2014,[2] with over 3700 completing the marathon distance.[3] This marathon is certified by the International Association of Athletics Federations & Association of International Marathons and Distance Races as a qualifying marathon race.

The race started in 1972, when a small group of 46 runners ran five loops of Stanley Park to complete the first Vancouver International Marathon (known as Lions Gate Road Runners International Marathon).[4] The marathon grew over the next few years to 300 participants in 1977. However the event suffered a major setback in 1976 when a participant, Dr. Leslie Truelove, collapsed mid-race and died due to aneurysm. The Dr. Leslie Truelove Memorial Trophy was established to honour the first male finisher in the 50+ age category. His widow, Rosamund Dashwood, subsequently took up running and became a national champion for her age group.

The 1983 race became known as the "Long Marathon" after runners were misdirected during its running — adding an extra 561 yards to the race.

Currently, several different options are available for participants:[5]

Its current title sponsor is the BMO Bank of Montreal thus the marathon is known as BMO Vancouver Marathon. Previous title sponsor was Adidas in 2001–2005, known as the Adidas Vancouver International Marathon.


The event is hosted by the Vancouver International Marathon Society (VIMS), a non-profit organization run by a volunteer Board of Directors, and managed by staff of the Society.

Each year, VIMS recruit volunteers to help with pre-race preparations and race day operation. In total, about 4000 volunteers help to run the marathon smoothly. Volunteers help in areas such as water stations, medical stations, set-up/take down, food services, given out shirts & medals to runners.

Event details[edit]

A free Friendship Run organized by the Running Room is held during the race week for those who wish to participate.


The Marathon is kicked off by an Expo where runners to pick up their information packages and to receive promotional materials from various sponsors and athletic associations.

Race Day[edit]

All participants start off using a staggered time system to ensure timing accuracy. Along the race course, various safety officials are on course, including paramedics and amateur radio operators from VECTOR (Vancouver Emergency Community Telecommunications Organization).

The award ceremony are held on race day. Cash prizes will be presented to the top three male and female full and half marathon runners while merchandise will be awarded to the fastest relay team.

Past winners – Full marathon[edit]


Year Male winner Female winner
1972 Tom Howard  Canada 2:24:08 Patricia Loveland  United States 3:39:23
1973 Tom Howard  Canada 2:21:46 Deborah Collins  Canada 3:24:39
1974 Tom Howard  Canada 2:14:34 Maria Brzezinska  Canada 3:03:15
1975 Joe Skaja  Canada 2:22:30 Linda Winslow  United States 3:06:49
1976 Ross Jackson  New Zealand 2:22:30 Doris Brown Heritage  United States 2:47:34
1977 Chris Bolter  Canada 2:22:36 Meg Gordon  Canada 3:14:32
1978 John Hill  Canada 2:20:49 Gail McKean  Canada 2:55:33
1979 Bill Scott  Australia 2:15:56 Gail McKean  Canada 2:44:53
1980 Garry Henry  Australia 2:13:14 Marilyn Belwood  United States 2:45:27
1981 Brian Morgan  Australia 2:19:42 Nancy McLaren  Canada 2:48:23
1982 Steve Pomeroy  Canada 2:16:56 Sue Krenn  United States 2:45:25
1983 Paul Bannon  Canada 2:19:42 Beverly Bush  Canada 2:45:23
1984 Ric Sayre  United States 2:16:34 Carol Raven  New Zealand 2:52:03
1985 Adrian Wellington  Australia 2:24:24 Kikue Tejima  Japan 2:55:32
1986 Hiromi Nishi  Japan 2:21:14 Joi Belyk  Canada 2:45:37
1987 Tetsuji Iwase  Japan 2:21:12 Cathy Kroll  United States 2:46:50
1988 Mitsumasa Matsuyama  Japan 2:19:20 Isabelle Dittberner  Canada 2:50:33
1989 Shem-Tov Sabag  Israel 2:19:41 Anne Mangal  Canada 2:50:05
1990 Yoshikazu Tanese  Japan 2:23:47 Reiko Hirosawa  Japan 2:55:41
1991 Shigemi Tamori  Japan 2:25:01 Misao Miyata  Japan 2:52:14
1992 Masato Kojima  Japan 2:23:24 Yuka Terumuma  Japan 2:43:16
1993 Hayashi Morozumi  Japan 2:18:37 Eniko Feher  Hungary 2:47:27
1994 Makoto Sasaki  Japan 2:17:24 Eniko Feher  Hungary 2:46:24
1995 Graciano Gonzalez  Mexico 2:23:11 Yoko Okuda  Japan 2:48:50
1996 Juan Gonzalez  Mexico 2:17:47 Eniko Feher  Hungary 2:52:38
1997 Juan Gonzalez  Mexico 2:22:53 Eniko Feher  Hungary 2:49:56
1998 Juan Gonzalez  Mexico 2:22:48 Krystina Pieczulis  Poland 2:43:20
1999 Atsunari Saito  Japan 2:21:33 Krystina Pieczulis  Poland 2:43:46
2000 Ulrich Steidl  Germany 2:18:53 Krystina Pieczulis  Poland 2:45:32
2001 Ulrich Steidl  Germany 2:18:56 Leteyesus Berehe  Ethiopia 2:45:51
2002 Ulrich Steidl  Germany 2:17:01 Angela Strange  Canada 2:45:46
2003 Ulrich Steidl  Germany 2:20:22 Angela Strange  Canada 2:46:22
2004 Ulrich Steidl  Germany 2:18:26 Mary Akor  United States 2:44:43
2005 Kassahun Kabiso  Ethiopia 2:15:40 Rimma Dubovik  Ukraine 2:44:05
2006 Kassahun Kabiso  Ethiopia 2:18:28 Malgorzata Sobanska  Poland 2:37:06
2007 Thomas Omwenga  Kenya 2:25:27 Claudia Camargo  Argentina 2:35:50
2008 Thomas Omwenga  Kenya 2:15:59 Mary Akor  United States 2:37:54
2009 Benard Arasa Onsare  Kenya 2:28:26 Mary Akor  United States 2:46:24
2010 Thomas Omwenga  Kenya 2:16:55 Emma Muthoni Kiruki  Kenya 2:37:17
2011 Benard Arasa Onsare  Kenya 2:19:54 Keddi-Anne Sherbino  Canada 2:43:40
2012 Gezahgn Eshetu  Ethiopia 2:21:51 Ellie Greenwood  United Kingdom 2:42:16
2013 Thomas Omwenga  Kenya 2:24:09 Lucy Njeri  Kenya 2:40:34
2014 Berhanu Mekonnen  Ethiopia 2:21:08 Kimberley Doerksen  Canada 2:37:00
2015 Luka Chelimo  Kenya 2:18:37 Lioudmila Kortchaguina  Canada 2:37:37
2016 Daniel Kipkoech  Canada 2:21:04 Hirut Guangul  United States 2:39:52
2017 Daniel Kipkoech  Canada 2:19:09 Gladys Tarus  Kenya 2:39:38
2018 Rob Watson  Canada 2:27:38 Zhiling Zheng  China 2:43:50
2019 Yuki Kawauchi  Japan 2:15:01 Yuko Mizuguchi  Japan 2:41:28
2020 cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic[7]
  • Note: Bold face text denotes current course record holder.

Current World Records established at the Vancouver Marathon[edit]


  • May 1, 2005 BJ (BETTY JEAN) McHUGH of North Vancouver, BC Canada established a world W77 single age Marathon record with a time of 4:11:28
  • May 3, 2009 GWEN McFARLAN of Richmond, BC, Canada established a World W75 age group Marathon record for and a W75 single age world record with a time of 3:57:30


  • May 4, 1997 BJ (BETTY JEAN) McHUGH of North Vancouver, BC Canada established a world W69 single age Half Marathon record with a time of 1:41:39
  • May 4, 2008 BJ (BETTY JEAN) McHUGH of North Vancouver, Canada (Single age record for Women aged 80 years old, 2:04:19 Half Marathon)[8]
  • May 2, 2010 GWEN McFARLAN of Richmond, BC, Canada established a World W76 single age Half Marathon record a world record with a time of 1:52:23
  • May 2, 2010 BJ (BETTY JEAN) McHUGH of North Vancouver, BC Canada established a W82 world single age Half Marathon record with a time of 2:23:08

Race Dates[edit]

The race is held on the first Sunday of May each year.

  • May 2, 2010 (39th)
  • May 1, 2011 (40th)
  • May 6, 2012 (41st)
  • May 5, 2013 (42nd)
  • May 4, 2014 (43rd)
  • May 3, 2015 (44th)
  • May 8, 2016 (45th)
  • May 7, 2017 (46th)
  • May 6, 2018 (47th)
  • May 5, 2019 (48th)
  • Due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 race was cancelled, while the 2021 event was virtualized. [7]


After the 2015 Vancouver Marathon, a video surfaced regarding the lack of coordination with traffic police. Runners were stopped mid-race at intersections. The Marathon director addressed the video and as of 2016, the race no longer begins in waves. Now all runners begin once the gun goes off.[9]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]