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Vancouver’s Christmas Big Elf Run at Stanley Park

Vancouver's Big Elf Run

The Big Elf Run is a fun Christmas-themed running race where runners get to wear elf hats and run around Vancouver’s Stanley Park in December.

The event happens on a Saturday in December. It features runs of various lengths. Participants also have the option of walking if they don’t feel like running. It’s a fun and social event, not a competitive race.

In 2023 the run happens on December 9th. See the Big Elf Run website for full details.

TIP: When you register for the event, use the promo code VBP10 and you’ll save 10%.


Big Elf Run


The Christmas-Themed Big Elf Run

The Big Elf Run is an annual run that takes place in Stanley Park each year a week or two before Christmas. The event is one of several in the Big Fun Run Series which hosts runs for different holidays such as Easter.

Each run in the series has its own distinct theme and folks can dress up to spread the fun! Participants also usually get a complimentary elf toque (or bunny ears at the Big Easter Run in the spring)!

Participants of the 2023 Big Elf Run have the choice of routes that span 1, 5, 10, and 15 kilometres. The people who place at the top of the leaderboards finish each of the three longer distance runs in about 20, 40, and 56 minutes respectively. With that said, the Big Elf Run isn’t a race! The only requirement is to finish in two hours.


Big Elf Run


2023 Big Elf Run

Similar to the event in previous years, the 2023 Big Elf Run has routes that are 5, 10, and 15 kilometres long. Kids can also partake in the Wee Elf Run that’s just 1 kilometre.

In 2023 the run takes place on Saturday, December 9th, from 11:30 am to 4:00 pm at Lumberman’s Arch in Stanley Park. The kids’ event begins at 1:00 pm while the longer runs start an hour later.

The route for the Big Elf Run begins at Lumberman’s Arch and typically goes on a trail that passes the Vancouver Aquarium. Folks run alongside Highway 99, enter downtown, and circle around Devonian Harbour Park in Coal Harbour before heading back to Stanley Park.

The remainder of the run happens beside Stanley Park Drive before concluding in Lumberman’s Arch. This route is 5 kilometres long, so the folks running for 10 and 15 kilometres repeat this once or twice depending on their planned distance.


Big Elf Run Starting Line
Big Elf Run Starting Line


2023 Pricing

The entry fee for the 1 kilometre Wee Elf Run starts at $20 while the other runs start at about $35 per person. These are early bird rates. Closer to the date prices go up a little bit.

Everyone who joins gets a Run Kit that includes costume items (like an elf toque). The kits can either be picked up an hour before the race or mailed for an additional $9. Folks also have the option of picking up their kits in advance from noon to 6:00 pm on December 7th or 8th at Kintec stores either in North Vancouver or on West Broadway in Vancouver.

Proceeds for the Big Elf Run support The Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau which is an organization that supports families and children during the holiday season.

TIP: If you use the promo code VBP10 you’ll save 10% on your registration fees!


Stanley Park Big Elf Run


Other Information

Visit the Big Elf Run website to learn more about the event.

Also see the Big Fun Run Series website for more information about other similar runs.

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