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Vancouver marathon draws international competition

Exposure and running times are expected to go up with the swap in location

NOV. 27, 2017, Vancouver, B.C. -A runner makes tracks along the seawall at dawn on Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. - Perrin Grauer Photo
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Reported by Perrin Grauer

Vancouver will be hosting the B.C. Championships Marathon in 2018, and race organizers are hoping the move will bring higher stakes and hotter competition.

Vancouver is taking over from Victoria as host city, meaning the run will be held on the award-winning BMO Vancouver Marathon course in May of 2018.

Race will attract more international talent and exposure

RUNVAN™ race director Eric Chéné said he hopes moving the race to the mainland will attract even greater international exposure, and top athletes from around the globe. “One of the reasons we bring in the international elite is to really try to get some faster times out on the course, and pushing our local Canadians and B.C. residents,” Chéné said. “Having those faster runners up front, they can run as a pack and hopefully get some great times.”

Chéné says last year’s BMO marathon broke records with athletes from over 65 countries participating, as well as from 48 out of 50 states and all 13 provinces and territories.

Maurice Wilson, technical manager of road & cross country running with B.C. Athletics, said the timing of the race is a huge asset for B.C.’s competitive runners. “The national championships will be in Toronto in October, so having a provincial championship in the spring allows our provincial champion then to go on and represent us at the national championship in the fall,” Wilson said.

‘Fresh challenges for athletes’

Competitive runner Nicholas Browne, who ran the BMO course in 2013 and placed third in this year’s GoodLife Marathon in Victoria, said the Vancouver course offers some fresh challenges for athletes. But Browne was excited for the opportunity that combining the B.C. Championships race with the larger BMO marathon would offer local runners.

“It’s a bigger race than Victoria marathon, which was great, but as a competitive athlete it’s nice to have people to race against,” Browne said. “And the option of having someone to race against is greater at a bigger race like the BMO marathon.”

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