The Victoria Marathon is a major running race on Thanksgiving Sunday in October each year. The event includes a marathon, half marathon, 8K and 1.2K kids’ race.
The Victoria Marathon is Vancouver Island’s only Boston Marathon-qualifying running race and it has been taking place since 1980.
Formerly known as the Royal Victoria Marathon and now called the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, the event attracts over 10,000 runners between its various races, and close to a couple of thousand for its full marathon.
Victoria Marathon Dates
The Victoria Marathon takes place on Thanksgiving Sunday, so on October 11th in 2020. The main marathon, half marathon and marathon relay all begin at around 8 am, the road race starts shortly before 9 am, and the Thrifty Foods Kids Run begins shortly after 10:15 am.
Victoria Marathon Running Routes
All of the various races in the Victoria Marathon event start in downtown Victoria near the Parliament buildings and Inner Harbour. The marathon, half marathon, marathon relay and kids’ race starting line is on Menzies Street at the corner with Kingston on the west side of the legislative buildings. The 8K race begins a little further down at Government and Humbolt near the Tourist Information Centre.
Full Marathon Route
The first section of the full marathon race begins on Menzies Street, goes around the back of the Parliament buildings, along Government Street past the Empress Hotel, on Wharf Street along the waterfront, up Johnson Street and then down Cook Street towards Beacon Hill Park. Full marathoners then run through the park and then east along Dallas Road towards Oak Bay. They run along the waterfront until Gonzales Bay before heading north on a number of smaller roads including Richardson. Up until this point the full marathon and half marathon routes are the same.
Whereas the half marathoners turn back in the direction they came from after running along Richardson for a short ways, marathon runners continue on through Oak Bay along McNeil, then Hampshire and a couple of other smaller residential streets before turning east along Oak Bay Avenue. At Monterrey and then Oliver they then head south back to the waterfront before continuing east along Beach Avenue, through the Victoria Golf Course, and all the way up to Uplands.
Half Marathon Route
The half marathon route is the same as the full marathon from the Inner Harbour, through Beacon Hill Park and on to Oak Bay. At Richardson, however, runners do a loop and retrace their steps back to Beacon Hill Park. Instead of going back into the park or north up Cook Street, however, they continue along Dallas Road, past Ogden Point and around the waterfront of James Bay back to the Inner Harbour and finish line on Belleville Avenue.
8K Turkey Trot Running Route
The 8K race follows the same route as the first section of the full marathon from the Parliament buildings to Beacon Hill Park. At the park instead of running through and then heading east, 8K competitors run along the eastern edge of Beacon Hill Park and then turn west on Dallas Road. From there, the same as the last section of the half marathon route, they run along the waterfront in James Bay all the way back to the Inner Harbour and the finish line on Belleville in front of the Parliament buildings.
Thrifty Foods Kids Race Running Route
The kids’ run begins on Government Street, turns right on Superior, another right on Menzies and when they hit Belleville they turn around and go back the same way they came. For this reason, participants are asked to stay to the right of the course so there aren’t any collisions. Kids 12 years and younger are invited to participate and parents can join their children for no extra cost
Here are some tips and extra information to help you navigate this event.
TIP #1: Make sure you hang out after your race for snacks and music.
TIP #2: Wear the shirt you get from registering to the race! Most other people there will be wearing theirs too and it looks pretty cool everyone’s matching.
TIP #3: If you’re going to be driving near any of the race routes be aware of runners and very patient as many roads will likely be temporarily closed.
For more information on this event, click GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon.