The Royal Victoria Marathon will return this year, but in a watered-down format.
The Victoria Marathon Society announced Wednesday (June 2) there will be an in-person half-marathon and 8K race on Oct. 10. The race was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s event is again subject to provincial health orders of the day.
“We are very excited to return to an in-person race and know that runners will be equally thrilled to get to a start line and experience the excitement that builds prior to the gun going off,” race director Cathy Noel said.
The upcoming race traditionally attracts more than 8,000 runners.
The marathon distance will not be held this year but will return in 2022, said society president Jonathan Foweraker.
“The marathon has traditionally attracted participants not only from Victoria and Vancouver, but across Canada and abroad. Not knowing exactly what travel will be like in the fall, we would prefer to stage the 41st Royal Victoria Marathon in 2022, when we can truly celebrate a return to running,” he said.
Registration for this year’s races opens Tuesday (June 8) at 10 a.m. Runners who register for the entire Royal Flush Virtual Series of five events have the option of running the half-marathon or 8K on Oct. 10 at no additional charge.
Noel expects high demand for this year’s races. Last month, the Finlayson Arm 100K ultramarathon sold out in 48 hours.
“People are itching to get to the start line. For so many people, it’s their social life. People will register because they don’t want to be left out and they want to have a goal,” Noel said.
To help runners along the way, online coach Bruce Deacon is updating the half-marathon and 8K training schedules, while Frontrunners is offering in-person training programs as the race’s official training partner.
In addition to the race, the CHEK Charity Pledge Program will be run for the 17th year. To date, the program has raised more than $2 million for local charities.
For more information, go to: www.runvictoriamarathon.com.