Kick start year by tackling your calendar – yes, that’s right, your calendar. Tackle your event planning now – you don’t want to miss out on “must do” events and early registration dates. Some Vancouver events are getting so iconic they sell out in hours or even minutes – have you tried the SeaWheeze? Veterans say the frustration is worth it.
Vancouver has a run for everyone. There are must do races for the experienced and there are lesser known fun runs and fundraisers to kick off your running career. Check our our picks for each month of 2018 plus three unique events to challenge your body.
The Ultimate Resolution:
Starting – Jan. 28 – The MEC Road Race Series – Ranging from 5K to marathons the MEC Road Race Series hits six different communities. For the bargain price of $72 for six races, this is the Lower Mainland’s best race deal. Tackle various lengths and build toward your first half or full marathon – Now that’s a great resolution. If trails are your thing check out MEC’s Trail Series.
Feb. 25 – Snowshoe grind – Snowshoers of all abilities are welcome to The Snowshoe Grind Mountain Run. Enjoy Grouse’s mountain top trail in this timed race.
Mar. 10 – The Dirty Duo – This scenic trail race is all about the North Shore. Runners and bikers both have options in this race with distances ranging from 15-50K. Tackle it on foot, on wheels, in a relay or for the ultimate challenge: a solo run/bike.
For those that feel the road calling their name these are JoyViva’s top run events for 2018:
Jan. 21 Steveston Icebreaker – Sponsored by the Kajaks this is a fun, flat and fast 8km race along a scenic Fraser River certified route. There is a warm start and finish at the Steveston Community Centre where there will be soup and prizes! Runners and walkers are welcome!
Feb. 2 – Hypo ½ – Enjoy this half marathon starting at Jericho Beach and wrap with a celebration brunch. Each participant receives an awesome Hypothermic Run Set, which includes a running backpack and toque, and a finisher’s medal along with brunch. It offers extra brunch tickets to celebrate with family and friends.
Feb. 11 – The First Half Half – This Vancouver classic that’s been going on since 1991. This race, put on by the Pacific Road Runners travels along False Creek to Stanley Park and back and is a fundraiser for Variety.
Mar. 3-4 – The West Van Run – The West Van Run is an annual weekend of family events with a variety of 1K, 5k and 10k running events in West Vancouver followed each day with a post sweat party at Park Royal.
Apr. 8 – BMO Sunshine Coast April Fools Run – The annual BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool’s Run a bit of a hidden gem. The events begins in Gibsons and ends in Sechelt. With low entry fees and a rural scenic route check out this event.
Apr. 22 – The Vancouver Sun Run – It seems that every runner in Vancouver has done the Sun Run at least once – in fact so many do it is the largest attended race in Canada with over 50,000 runners. With outreach training groups and run clubs gearing up for this mega-run it is a fantastic entry into fun run training.
May 6 – BMO Vancouver Marathon – The BMO Vancouver Marathon might be Vancouver’s most famous marathon. The event features a full marathon, marathon relay, half marathon, 8k run, and streets lined with thousands of spectators. Beginning in Queen Elizabeth Park and finishing downtown the race attracts international competitors.
Jun. 2 – Whistler Half – This scenic 21.1 course is designed to show Whistler at its best. The glaciers tower over the valley throughout the town’s only half marathon, making this a bucket list run for many people.
Jun. 24 – Scotiabank Half Marathon – Established in 1998, The Scotiabank Half Marathon draws over 5,000 runners. It is a point-to-point course from UBC to Stanley Park. With a net drop of almost 300ft this is the fastest course in B.C. If you want to better your half time – this is the race for you
Jul 14 – The Knee Knacker – For the trail runners – this is the venerable North Shore race. It is a challenging 30-mile foot race along the Baden-Powell Centennial Trail from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove. This is a race for runners with experience on trails and endurance. You will ascend 8,000 feet and descend even more.
Aug. 12 – Women’s Run – The Vancouver Rocky Mountain Soap Women’s Run & Walk is the sister race to the popular Canmore event, It is a great starter run for girls and women of all ages 5km, 10km and half marathon distances.
Sept. 22 – SeaWheeze – This is one of the toughest tickets to get in the city. Lululemon promises “an out of this world weekend where you’ll get your yoga on, crush your running goals, and celebrate it all with family and friends at the best outdoor concert of the summer.” Registration opens Jan. 25 – be ready to snap up one of these coveted entries.
Oct. 8 – The Turkey Trot – This is the foodie-run: gourmet food and a great band help finishers celebrate this fantastic Food Bank fundraiser. There is a family fun run and a 10K. This popular run generally sells out and is a part of many families Thanksgiving tradition.
Nov. 4 – Boundary Bay Marathon – The full range events offers a full marathon, marathon relay, a half plus a 10 and 5K. The out and back – flat – route follows a scenic ocean view trail.
Dec. 15 – The Big Elf Run – Starting at Lumberman’s Arch, the Elf Run traverses wintery forest trails and along the sea wall. The route passes Vancouver landmarks and takes runners to hot chocolate (and water) stations and ends at Winter Wonderland park.