The Vancouver Chilly Chase is an event featuring 5 km, 10 km, 15 km and half marathon running races. It’s part of the Try Events series of runs.
Starting and finishing in Olympic Village, in 2023 the event took place on January 22nd. It’ll happen at around the same time next year too.
Other Lower Mainland runs in the Try Events series include the Fort Langley Historic Half, Hot Chocolate Run, Shamrock’n Race, Rubber Ducky Race, Boundary Bay Marathon and Vancouver Historic Half.
Chilly Chase Running Events in Vancouver
The Vancouver Chilly Chase is the first run in the Try Events series of races. As its name implies, the Chilly Chase takes place during winter each year. Participants embrace the cold January weather, bundle up in warm clothes and gloves, and run along the picturesque False Creek Seawall. Actually, January isn’t usually too cold, and the toques and mitts typically come off just before the start.
As with other events in the series, the Chilly Chase offers a few different distances to choose from. Folks can run a total of 5 km, 10 km or 15 km. There’s also the option to run 21.1 km, which is a half marathon.
All participants borrow a time tag which tracks the amount of time each person takes to complete their chosen route. The top three fastest runners for each distance receive a special medal. All participants receive souvenirs as well. In 2023, for example, all runners received Chilly Chase socks and a finisher’s medal. The event also features music, snacks and random prizes to be won each year.
Another reason to participate in the annual event is to help support local charities. Try Events partners with a different charity for each of their running events. In 2023, the charitable beneficiary for the Chilly Chase was the Strathcona Community Policing Centre which approaches crime prevention as a community.
Where and When
The Chilly Chase happened on Sunday, January 22nd, in 2023. It’ll likely take place on a Sunday in January in 2024 too.
The event goes along the False Creek Seawall. The start and finish line is behind the Creekside Community Recreation Centre, located at #1 Athletes Way in the City of Vancouver.
Warm-ups usually begin at 8:45 am and the runs kick off at staggered times shortly after. In 2023, the half marathon began at 9:00 am, the 15 km run started at 9:03 am, the 10 km run started at 9:06 am and the 5 km run began at 9:09 am. The route closed at noon so everyone had almost 3 hours to finish.
All four runs began at the same spot and then followed the seawall towards Stanley Park. Again, the start and finish line was at the same location, meaning people had to turn around halfway and head back along the same path.
Costs to sign up vary depending on how early you register and which route you run.
Price ranges from 2023 are listed below. The lowest prices were available until November 28th in 2022. The highest prices, on the other hand, were the costs to register on the day of the event.
- 5 km – $50 to $65
- 10 km – $55 to $70
- 15 km – $60 to $75
- 21.1 km – $65 to $80
All participants receives a race bib, souvenir finishing medal and swag item. Everyone has the chance to win random prizes as well. The same as other years, in 2023 there were also snacks available after the races, including oranges, bananas and hot drinks.
The pricing system will likely be similar in future years. Sign up as early as possible to save money and guarantee your spot.
Vancouver Chilly Chase Video
For an idea of what the Chilly Chase looks like, check out the following video. It shows scenes of the start of the event in 2022.
As you’ll see in the video, there is a warm-up session before the races begin. It’s led by one or two fitness instructors and the entire crowd takes part. After the warm-up, runners in the various race categories are invited to the starting line. The half marathoners head out first followed by the 15K runners a couple of minutes later. The 10K and 5K participants head out in their respect groups soon after.
The races start and finish right outside Creekside Community Recreation Centre. The races begin with the runs heading east for a couple of blocks, then north past Science World, and then west along the north side of the False Creek Seawall. Runners in each category run half the route in one direction and then turn around and head back along more or less the exact same route.
To learn more about the runs starting in Olympic Village in January, visit the Try Events website.
Other events in the Try Events series include the Fort Langley Historic Half in February and the Hot Chocolate Run and Shamrock’n Race in March. In October there is the Rubber Ducky Race and in November both the Boundary Bay Marathon and Vancouver Historic Half Marathon take place.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver Marathons and Running Races
- Outdoor Recreation in Vancouver
- Lower Mainland Parks and Nature
- Vancouver Festivals and Events