2022 Edit: Pretty much all of this generally remains true, and it’s helpful that Run Van has made a point to keep the course the same year over year. There are a couple of new bits three years after originally writing this, so I’ll sprinkle those in.
Outside of the Pacific Northwest, the Vancouver Marathon‘s not a huge deal, and a lot of people don’t know about it.
The marathon’s organizers are definitely are trying to grow out of that as evidenced by pushing hard to bring in 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi and other stars. As evidenced by the race selling out and setting an attendance record this year it appears the race’s popularity is indeed growing.
I’m among the few US outsiders outside of the PNW who has made the trek to run the race. In 2019 there were 17 of us from Chicago, all of us probably surprised that the other 16 even knew about this race let alone were there. There were 4 runners from nearby Indiana. There were 3 runners from nearby Wisconsin, and two were a couple running together. The great state of New York only had 24 finishers. (As of 2022 I’m now running out of Nevada, which in the race’s last edition in 2019 had a whopping FOUR finishers.)
It’s not a destination race yet. But as the secret gets out in the US about how challenging yet beautiful the race is, I think (to quote Jim Ross) business is about to pick up.
I’m going to throw out a few things to consider for people unfamiliar with but considering running the Vancouver Marathon.