Starting downtown and finishing at BC Place Stadium on Sunday, April 21, 2024, the Vancouver Sun Run is a great 10-kilometre running race for all skill levels.
The race attracts tens of thousands of runners every year, including pre-teens, senior citizens and elite athletes.
The forecast for Sunday calls for rain, unfortunately, but more in the afternoon than in the morning, so runners will get wet, but not experience anything too terribly bad (hopefully).
2023 Vancouver Sun 10K Race
Not only is the Vancouver Sun Run Canada’s largest 10-kilometre race, it’s also one of the world’s most beautiful.
The race starts downtown around the corner of Georgia and Burrard Streets. From there, runners heads towards Stanley Park, but then turn up Denman Street before going into the park. Participants then run along the edge of English Bay, cross the Burrard Street Bridge, head east, go over the Cambie Street Bridge and run the final stretch to the finish line by BC Place Stadium.
The views during the run are beautiful. Runners can feel inspired and push on when greeted with vistas of mountains, beaches, skyscrapers, bridges and the ocean. And if the Sun Run lives up to its name and happens under sunny skies, the views are spectacular.
The Vancouver Sun Run is a fun event for everyone – professional runners, joggers and walkers. There are world-class athletes competing as well as seniors, children and thousands of recreational runners. Some people even walk a chunk of the way. There’s even a race for folks in wheelchairs!
Musicians along the route play upbeat music to motivate runners, and thousands of cheering friends, supporters and other spectators line the route as well to cheer participants on to the finish line.
Even if you aren’t a runner, head downtown anyway to cheer on your friends or other participants and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
2023 Race Details
The Vancouver Sun Run can be run as an individual 10-kilometre road race or as part of a team of eight or more people. There is also the Youth Team Challenge which is for groups of runners under the age of 19.
For those who want to take part in the 2023 Sun Run but do a shorter distance, the Shaw Mini Run, which is 2.5 kilometres, is also an option. This is open to all ages and isn’t timed.
After finishing, participants can rest their tired legs at BC Place Stadium and enjoy free refreshments, live entertainment and an awards ceremony inside the stadium for the top finishers.
Race day in 2023 is on Sunday, April 16, and it starts at 9:00 am in downtown Vancouver.
2023 Race Day Schedule
The schedule of events for the 2023 Vancouver Sun Run is as follows:
- 8:00 am – 2.5-Kilometre Mini Sun Run Start (at Pacific Boulevard by BC Place Stadium)
- 8:30 am – Vancouver Sun Run Post-Race Party Begins (by BC Place Stadium)
- 8:30 am – Club16 Fitness Warm-Up (at the 10-kilometre starting line)
- 8:40 am – Competitive Wheelchair Start (at Georgia and Burrard Streets)
- 8:50 am – Women’s Elite Race Start
- 9:00 am – Start of the 10-Kilometre and Men’s Elite Race
- 9:00 to 9:06 am – Pink, Yellow, Green and White Waves Start
- 9:15 to 9:20 am – Purple and Blue Waves Start
- 9:24 am (approx.) – Winners cross the Finish Line
- 11:00 am – Awards Ceremonies (on Main Stage at BC Place Stadium)
Sun Run Route & Photos
The starting line for the Vancouver Sun Run is downtown on Georgia Street by Burrard. Runners line up for several blocks, organized in categories according to their expected running times.
Before reaching Stanley Park the race usually turns up Denman Street. Participants then turn at Robson Street and continue on towards the ocean. The race then makes its way through Stanley Park along Lagoon Drive and then Beach Drive past English Bay.
From Beach Drive, the route then typically goes up over Burrard Street Bridge and crosses False Creek.
Participants in the run make their way to 6th Avenue and then to Cambie after crossing the bridge. Runners cross False Creek again, this time via Cambie Street Bridge.
The Cambie Street Bridge crossing is a beautiful part of the race. It’s the final kilometre for the runners, so they are exhausted but full of renewed energy and determination. The views of the city from the bridge are also spectacular.
From Cambie Street Bridge, the normal route turns east into its final stretch toward BC Place Stadium.
There are usually thousands of fans, supporters and tired runners at the finish line. An announcer naming many of the runners as they cross the line is also present.
Thousands of recuperating runners are greeted and reunited with their friends and supporters on the road outside BC Place at the end of the race. In addition to the crowds celebrating outside the stadium, thousands more go inside BC Place to enjoy the free concert. An awards ceremony and general post-run celebrations also take place.
Vancouver Sun Run Tips
Below are some suggestions to help you make the most out of your Vancouver Sun Run experience.
TIP #1: If you’re a runner and you don’t like crowds, this isn’t the best run to take part in. There are well over 40,000 participants. In comparison, at the Vancouver BMO Marathon in May, there is a maximum of just 5,000. For a list of other running options, both big and small, click Vancouver Running Races.
TIP #2: As a runner, you don’t have to run the second your group sets off. With modern technology, your timer begins the moment you cross the start line.
TIP #3: If you’re a spectator, one of the best places to watch the run is on the east sidewalk on Cambie Street Bridge. The sun is perfect for photos and runners are excited. Participants, however, still need encouragement as it’s their final kilometre. The views of the city are also stunning.
TIP #4: Avoid driving downtown at all costs on race day as traffic gets heavily snarled. Take public transit instead. And if you want to cheer your friends on at different points throughout their run, consider taking your bicycle. That’s the best way to get around much of the downtown core on race day.
Sun Run Race Recent History
The Vancouver Sun Run was cancelled in 2020 because of COVID-19. The beloved 10-kilometre road race became a virtual event in 2021, in keeping with BC provincial government guidelines around social distancing during the pandemic. The Vancouver Sun Run resumed its original format as an in-person race in April 2022 and continues in this format on April 16, 2023.
The Sun Run has taken some huge steps in reducing the amount of waste production from the event over the years. For example, participants can choose to bike to the start line. There is a free bike valet that can hold up to 150 bikes at a time.
If possible, participants should also bring their own reusable cup or water bottle and not use disposable energy gel packs as these cannot be recycled. Don’t stress, however, if you aren’t able to bring your own water bottle. Everything at the event is usually recyclable or compostable.
There are typically volunteers at the recycling stations to ensure that participants have properly disposed of all materials. For more information on this event going green check out Sun Run Environmental Initiatives.
Click on the Vancouver Sun Run website to learn more about the event.
For information on other running events at different times of the year, including the Scotiabank Half Marathon, check out Vancouver Running Races.