Due to health concerns about the coronavirus, most of Vancouver’s significant running races were cancelled in 2020. Some were cancelled in 2021 as well, while others simply took place as virtual events. Hopefully more will be able to take place as live events in 2022.
Marathons, Half Marathons, 10K and 5K Runs
Below is a calendar list of the city’s main running races. Some are huge events, like those mentioned above. The popular races can attract tens of thousands of participants and just as many spectators.
Other races in our list are smaller and limited to only a couple of hundred entries. Some are along level urban streets and others are up rugged trails through the mountains.
In short, there’s something for everyone (except for people who simply don’t like running!).
January Vancouver Runs
- Vancouver Chilly Chase – 5K, 10K, 15K and half marathon routes in late January around False Creek.
February Vancouver Runs
- Fort Langley Historic Half Marathon – a 5K, 10K, half marathon and kids race run in mid-February.
March Vancouver Runs
- Big Jungle Run – a new event in the Lower Mainland (as of 2022), this is a family-friendly “fun run” that happens at Burnaby Lake Park.
- St. Patrick’s Day 5K Run – a colourfully green race around Stanley Park on a weekend around March 17th. Costumes are highly encouraged for this holiday-themed race.
- Vancouver’s Hot Chocolate Run – run, jog or walk 5K, 10K or FunK (0.6km) at Stanley Park.
- Shamrock’n Race – 5K, 7 miler and half marathon running races around Burnaby Lake in mid-March.
- Cap Crusher – a rugged 12K and 24K run through the trails at Capilano River Regional Park starting at the Cleveland Dam. Race capacity is just 200 participants. There is also a 1 km kids run with free registration.
April Vancouver Runs
- Big Easter Run – a fun, social and family-friendly Easter-themed running event at Jericho Beach. It happens on the Easter Long Weekend (which is sometimes in March but more often in April).
- Up the Creek Run – in late March there is a 5K, 10K and 500m Kids’ Run. The trail starts at the Hyde Creek Rec Centre in Port Coquitlam. Cost is about $35 or so, but free for children participating in the kids run.
- Vancouver Sun Run – one of the world’s largest 10 km runs takes place in mid-April. During the run, you get to see all of downtown Vancouver including Stanley Park. There are thousands of people ready to cheer you on at different places throughout the racecourse.
May Vancouver Runs
- BMO Vancouver International Marathon – one of Vancouver’s biggest marathons. The run takes place in early May and starts at Queen Elizabeth Park. There is also a half marathon, an 8K and a 2.5K kids run.
- 5 Peaks Golden Ears Race – this is the second of six events in the 5 Peaks series. The race includes an 8.5K Sports Course, 13K Enduro Course, 1K Children’s Challenge and 3K Timed Kids’ Race at Golden Ears Provincial Park.
- Fairmont Mother’s Day Run – a 3K, 5K, and 10K run and walk from Stanley Park to Jack Poole Plaza and benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation on the Mother’s Day Weekend.
- Survival of the Fittest – grueling but spectacularly scenic 18K and 35K runs. Both begin on the lands of Quest University in Squamish. Race capacity: ~250 runners.
- Vistas Run – a 5K walk/run, 10K run and 4K Family Walk to raise money for the Ridge Meadows Hospice Society at Kanaka Creek Regional Park.
- 5K Foam Fest – a running race that includes obstacle-course elements and lots of foam in late May.
- RBC Run for the Kids – 2 and 5 km fundraising runs benefiting the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.
June Vancouver Runs
- World Vision Charity Run – a 6-km charity running race in Maple Ridge. 100% of the money raised goes to fund water projects in the Republic of Congo in Africa. (Interestingly, 6 kilometres is the average distance people have to walk for water in the developing world, which is why the race is this distance).
- 5 Peaks Mt. Seymour Race – the third of six events in the 5 Peaks series, with a 6K, 12K, 1K Children’s Challenge and 3K Timed Kids’ Race at Mount Seymour Provincial Park at 1700 Mount Seymour Road.
- Seek the Peak – a race benefiting breast cancer research from Ambleside Park in West Vancouver to the top of Grouse Mountain’s Grouse Grind in mid-June.
- Father’s Day Walk/Run – 2K, 5K and 10K strolls, walks and runs around Burnaby Lake benefiting the BC Prostate Cancer Foundation on Father’s Day Weekend.
- Scotiabank Half Marathon – a major 5K and half-marathon race in late June.
July Vancouver Runs
- 5 Peaks Cypress Mountain Race – the fourth of six events in the 5 Peaks series, with a 6K Sports Course, 11K Enduro Course, 1K Children’s Challenge and 3K Timed Kids’ Race on July 12 at Cypress Provincial Park.
- Knee Knackering North Shore Trail Run – a thirty-mile trail run recognized by Running Wild magazine as one of twenty-five most challenging races on the continent. The run usually goes from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove along the North Shore’s Baden-Powell Centennial Trail and climbs some 8,000 feet along the way. Just over 250 runners participate and are selected by lottery.
- Bucking Hell – brutal but beautiful 15K, 50K and 2-person 50K relay running races through the North Shore mountain trails beginning and ending in Deep Cove.
August Vancouver Runs
- 5 Peaks Whistler Blackcomb Race – the fifth of six events in the 5 Peaks series, with a 6.6K Sports Course, 10.6K Enduro Course, 1K Children’s Challenge and 3K Timed Kids’ Race at Whistler-Blackcomb.
- SeaWheeze Half Marathon – a 21.1K run from the waterfront by the Convention Centre, through downtown Vancouver, along the False Creek seawall, over the Burrard Street Bridge twice, through the West End, around Stanley Park and then back to the start. The cost includes access to the Sunset Festival in the evening at Stanley Park.
September Vancouver Runs
- Coho Run – a 14K run ending at the annual Coho Festival at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver.
- Run for Women – a 5K walk/run, 10K run and 1K Little Steps run for kids benefiting the BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre Foundation at UBC’s Wesbrook Village.
- Terry Fox Runs – fundraising run with multiple venues around the Lower Mainland including at Stanley Park.
October Vancouver Runs
- Granville Island Turkey Trot – a 10 km Thanksgiving run, walk or stroll on Granville Island. A 1.1 km Turkey Trot Kids Run also takes place around the same time.
- Diez Vista 50 Km Trail Run – a 50-km run for up to 200 participants through rugged forested trails in Belcarra Regional Park.
- Hallow’s Eve Trail Race – 10K, half and full marathon rough terrain trail races in late October in North Vancouver. Costumes are encouraged.
- Run Ridge Run – 13K and 25K runs at Belcarra Regional Park by both Sasamat Lake and Buntzen Lake. The participant capacity is just 225. There is also a 1 km kids race with free registration.
November Vancouver Runs
- Boundary Bay Marathon – a 5K, 10K, half marathon, Boston-qualifying marathon and 4-person marathon relay starting at Boundary Bay Park’s Centennial Beach.
- The Great Trek – a 5K, 10K and half marathon at UBC (and formerly called the Fall Classic).
- The Phantom Run Trail Race – 12.5 km, 19.5 km and 24.5 km trail runs starting at North Vancouver’s Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve.
- Vancouver Historic Half – a 5K, 10K, half marathon and half marathon relay around Stanley Park’s seawall.
- Vancouver Undie Run – an unconventional 2 to 3-km run where participants run in their underwear to raise money and awareness about cancer and other men’s health issues as part of Movember.
December Vancouver Runs
- Santa Shuffle – a 5K Fun Run and 1K Elf Walk at Stanley Park with proceeds going to the Salvation Army.
- Big Elf Run – a fun running event where participants get a complimentary elf toque! The event includes 1 km, 5 km, 10 km and 15 km routes.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver Calendar of Events
- Festivals and Events in Vancouver
- Vancouver Shows and Entertainment
- Outdoor Recreation in the Lower Mainland