About the Half Marathon
The BMO Vancouver Half Marathon starts at 07:00am* on Sunday, May 4, 2014, at Queen Elizabeth Park in the centre of city. The start line is located on Midlothian Avenue near Hillcrest Community Centre.
Tier Structure & Registration Policy
To improve your race experience and ensure our suppliers and stakeholders have enough time to meet our event requirements, we’ve introduced changes to our registration policy in 2014.
Click here and login to the Participants Dashboard to check if you’ve successfully completed your registration. Your name will appear within our searchable database if you’ve registered for the 2014 race. This database is updated daily; however, once you register, please allow 24 hours before confirming your entry online.
Age Groups and Awards
Both male and female runners are automatically entered into the following competitive age groups: under 19; 20-24; 25-29; 30-34; 35-39; 40-44; 45-49; 50-54; 55-59; 60-64; 65-69; 70-74; 75-79; 80-84; 85-89; 90-94; 95-99; 100 and above.
First, Second, and Third Place medals are sent by mail after the race; winners are recognized on our website.
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THERE WILL BE NO RACE PACKAGE PICKUP ON RACE DAY. PLEASE ENSURE YOUR PACKAGE IS PICKED UP WITHIN THE EXPO’S HOURS OF OPERATION. NO EXCEPTION.
Expo/Package Pickup Location:
Expo/Package Pickup Hours of Operation:
- Thursday, May 1, 2014 : 4:00pm – 8:00pm
- Friday, May 2, 2014 : 11:00am – 8:00pm
- Saturday, May 3, 2014 : 10:00am – 6:00pm
How to pickup your race package:
You will need your bib number and your picture ID in order to pickup your package.
Make sure to get everything you came for! Your race package includes:
- Race Chip
- Saucony® short-sleeved Tech Shirt
- Race goodies!
- FREE Transit Ticket (pickup from the transit booth located at the Expo)
How to pick up somebody else’s race package:
To pick up a friend’s race package, you’ll need:
- His/her bib number and name
- Your own photo ID
You will also need to fill out and sign a Bib Pickup Proxy Info Sheet. This document indicates that you are solely responsible for your friend’s race package.
Express Check In for Platinum Runners
Platinum Runners have access to an express pickup line at the Health, Sports & Lifestyle Expo. Look for the special entrance marked for Platinum Runners. Please bring your bib number and photo ID.
BMO Power Of Blue
If you are a BMO customer, enjoy the blue carpet treatment when picking up your race package. Simply show your BMO® Debit Card and BMO MasterCard® at Package Pickup to enjoy the BMO Power of Blue fast track line. Look for the special entrance marked BMO Power of Blue. Learn more about the BMO Power of Blue here.
- 06:00am: Arrive early to experience the Start Line vibe. Get your picture taken!
- 06:00am-06:15am: Check your gear at our booth.
- 06:15am-06:30am: Find your corral!
- 06:45am: Warm-up Show with music and entertainment!
- 07.00am*: Race begins! First corral runners leave; subsequent corrals to follow.
- 11:00am: Half Marathon course closes
Things to remember
- Please arrive at least one hour before your race starts if you want to check your gear.
- We encourage all participants to arrive at least 45 minutes early.
- Washrooms are available at the Start Line.
- The Start Line is equipped with: Toilets, Gear Check, Water, a Medical tent, and Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Drink.
Please note: the Hillcrest Community Centre washroom, changing, and dining facilities are NOT available to participants. Thank you for respecting the Hillcrest Community Centre staff and members.
Public transportation is key to the success of the event. We do not provide parking for runners, but instead encourage you to take public transit using the FREE Translink passes that are available at the Health, Sports & Lifestyle Expo.
Traveling to the Start Line is easiest with Canada Line. Take the Canada Line from Downtown Vancouver (southbound) or from Richmond (northbound) and get off at King Edward or Oakridge-41st stations. From either station, you will walk to the Start Line; this takes about 15 minutes and volunteers will be there to guide you to the Runners’ Compound.
For more information on public transportation in Vancouver, please visit the Translink website.
Please note that the Canada Line (Vancouver’s rapid-transit line) is the most convenient way to get to the Start Line from Downtown Vancouver. If you plan to stay Downtown during race weekend, please take the Canada Line, which opens at 4:48am daily and travels between Downtown Vancouver and Oakridge/41st station (preferred station to get to the Start Line).
To accommodate popular demand, the Vancouver International Marathon Society, in partnership with Translink, is offering an optional shuttle service on Race Day for participants staying or living in areas without access to early-morning transit services.
This offer applies to participants staying in the East-West corridor and in North/West Vancouver only. Shuttles are available from Surrey, South Burnaby, North Burnaby, West Vancouver and North Vancouver.
Space is limited, and is booked on a first come first serve basis.
You are eligible to take advantage of the service if you are:
- A registered half marathon or marathon participant (not available for 8KM participants)
- Staying in areas without early transit access (please refer to Translink website to find out bus/skytrain schedules)
- Be at the pickup location on time
The Shuttle Service is FREE in 2014.
Our new shuttle service to the Start Line takes off from four locations:
- Scott Road Station (Surrey) at 5:45am from Bay 2. Download Area Diagram here.
- Lonsdale Quay (North Vancouver) at 5:40am and 5:50am from Bay 10. Download Area Diagram here.
- Brentwood Mall (Burnaby) at 5:25am, 5:35am and 5:45am from Bay 3. Download Area Diagram here.
- Patterson Station (Burnaby) at 5:40am, 5:50am and 6:00am from Bay 2. Download Area Diagram here.
Space is limited. We are using buses that provide both seating and standing room. Seats are available on a first come, first serve basis. Please arrive on time; the shuttle will not wait for late-comers.
If you need to be dropped off near the Start Line, we recommend Main Street, near East 30th Avenue. Please make sure to give yourself lots of time to walk to the Start Line (about 5 minutes). Expect delays and lots of traffic, but try to embrace the anticipation and action–it’s all part of the journey!
If you plan to check your gear at the Start Line, please arrive at least 1 hour prior to your race.
Half Marathon Gear check closes at 06:45 a.m.
- Collect your clear plastic bag from Gear Check at the Start Line
- Put your gear into the provided 21 x 26 clear plastic bag
- Detach the label from your race bib and zip it to the bag
- Bring your bag to the Gear Check counter
- Go to the Gear Check Pickup Area on W. Pender St near the Finish Line (between Bute and Burrard).
- Show your bib to the volunteer; your bib number matches the label that you attached to your gear.
- Any lost or left items must be claimed from the Information Tent at the Finish Line by 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 4th
A corral is a blocked-off area at a race’s starting line, where race runners are grouped according to their Estimated Finish Time. The fastest runners are usually in the first corrals and the slowest runners are in the corrals at the back. Corrals are enforced at many large-scale running events to ensure a safe and efficient start and to prevent line-ups at aid and water stations along the course.
Here’s how it works:
Your corral is assigned to you according to your estimated finish time, which you were asked to provide as part of your registration process. (An Estimated Finish Time calculator is available here. You must provide or update your estimated finish time by April 9, 2014)
You will be able to check your bib number and corral colour about 2 weeks before the event. After picking up your bib during Expo hours prior to Race Day, you’ll see that the colour along the bottom edge of your bib corresponds to the colour of your corral!
Once you are assigned to a corral you cannot switch to another.
- Yellow corral: bib #10000-12999 | Approximate start time 7:00am
- Blue corral: bib #13000-15999 | Approximate start time 7:03am
- Pink corral: bib #16000-18999 | Approximate start time 7:08am
- Green corral: bib #19999-21999 | Approximate start time 7:13am
- Purple corral: bib #22000-24999 | Approximate start time 7:15am
Pace Bunnies may look cute in their pink rabbit ears, but it’s serious business trying to run even splits (each kilometre at the same pace) for a Marathon! Thanks to the Running Room, our Pace Bunnies will help you maintain your pace and complete your run. Pace Bunnies are located in each corral at the start of the race and will run 10 minutes and walk 1 minute throughout the course.
Half Marathon Pace Times
2014 Pace Bunny finish times will be announced shortly.
In 2013, Pace Bunnies will be offered for the following finish times:
- 1:45 (Brian W.)
- 2:00 x 2 (Connor P. & Trevor W.)
- 2:15 x 2 (Courtney L. & Marie L.)
- 2:30 x 2 (Deborah K. & Donna K.)
By following the appropriate Pace Bunny, you should be able to cross the line within your desired finish time!
Finish Line Diagram (coming soon)
In 2013, we moved the Half Marathon and Marathon Finish Line to W Pender Street. We wanted you to enjoy a big Downtown finish, with thousands of spectators, entertainment, and a street festival.
This year, cross the Finish Line in style. After all of your hard work, you’ll be congratulated by dozen of volunteers, receive your medal, and enjoy some free water and delicious food. Next, head over to Gear Checkout or make your way to the Street Festival on West Hastings Street to relax and celebrate with your friends and family!
Please note: For safety and security reasons, W Pender Street is only available to participants, volunteers, media and staff on Race Day.
Check your race results at the Results Tent, located at the Finish Line Street Festival on W Hastings Street.
Planning for the Weather
Please plan for all types of weather on Race Day. You should prepare for changes in the weather during the race as well as be properly equipped for post-race recovery. Consider checking warm and waterproof gear at Gear Check to be used later, or ask someone from your support crew to bring warm clothing to the Finish Line. Please note that Finish Line blankets will not be provided; while we hope for sunshine, we encourage you to bring warm post-race gear, which may include blankets.
Food will be provided to each runner at the Finish Line. This year, we wanted to provide athletes with nutritionally-sound, balanced meals in a convenient format. We wanted to ease the dietary concerns, reduce waste, improve the hygiene and food handling practices. And we wanted to give back to the community by donating unused meals to food banks.
Used at the Disney Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon, Fitful boxes will be distributed to runners in 2014.
More music, more cheering, and more spectators! For 2014, we’re adding more on-course entertainment to motivate, inspire, and entertain our runners. Watch for local musical groups, community cheer groups, dance groups, and thousands and thousands of spectators along the course on May 4, 2014.
There will be 10 different music groups/bands/musicians on the Marathon course!
Represent your neighbourhood! We expect over 90,000 spectators at this year’s race, so grab your sign, and come to one of our hotspots to cheer on that special runner in your life!
Legacy runners will be provided with a special 15, 20 or 25 years Legacy Club Runners bib.
20 and 25 years Legacy Club Runners will have priority access for package pickup. You can find more details and a list of the Legacy Runners here
The event follows a rolling road closure/opening protocol. This means that roads will close and later re-open as runners pass through the course; NO roads are closed for the entire duration of the race.
Consequently, the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon has an event time requirement of 4 hours. Participants must maintain an 10-minute per kilometre pace (approximately) and complete the half marathon distance—Start Line to Finish Line—within the four-hour event time requirement.
If you or someone you know lives along the Half Marathon course, or if you are traveling to and from Vancouver for the event, please be aware that extensive street closures will take place on Race Day. Further, “No Parking” zones along the course will be enforced in the early morning hours on Race Day.
Clocks and Mile Markers
The Half Marathon course is marked every kilometre and every five miles.
Digital clocks are positioned at the Start Line, Halfway Point, and Finish Line. Digital clocks are synced with the official Start Time but please note that digital clocks at the Finish Line will display “unofficial” finish times–”official” finish times are unique to each individual runner’s chip, and therefore cannot be determined from looking at a digital clock.
Note: Corrals or groups of Half Marathon runners are released in intervals to ensure safe emergency access to Vancouver’s major hospital and to avoid congestions at stations. AIMS officials have ratified and sanctioned this event.
Visually Impaired Policy
Visually impaired participants are welcome, and must use a guide as well as be comfortable with being placed in the first corral (with Elite Runners) at the Start Line. For more information, please contact Runner Services or call 604-872-2928.
Athletes with racing wheelchairs are welcome to participate in the Half Marathon and 8KM events only. Hand-cycles are prohibited. Please indicate that you would like to register as a wheelchair athlete by emailing registration@
We will allow individuals with a disability to be pushed in a race approved wheelchair in the Half Marathon only. Both participants must be registered; please contact email@example.com or call 604.872.2928 to register. Escorts will be required to have the wheelchair tethered to their body (arm, wrist or waist) to ensure the wheelchair does not leave their company for the duration of the event. The Vancouver International Marathon Society reserves the right at any time to revoke the privilege of these participants if a safety risk is determined.
All wheelchair participants must submit a picture of their race wheelchair for approval prior to April 25, 2014. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For all sub 50 minute wheelchair participants in the Half Marathon, you may be force to slow your pace if the course comissar representative from AIMS/BC Athletics/BC Wheelchair determines there is a road safety issue.