U.S. Military Shadow Run On May 5, 2013

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U.S Military troops joined the BMO Vancouver Marathon from overseas on May 5th, 2013

Troops honoured the marathon by completing a shadow run in Western Asia

Vancouver, BC – May 8, 2013 – U.S Military troops located in the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar participated in the BMO Vancouver Marathon on May 5th. With members from almost all fifty states, the Special Operations Command – Central (SOCCENT) group ran the Half Marathon and Marathon starting at 4:30am due to the heat in Qatar.

The military group is a joint unit with ranging services that cover every spectrum of military operations including the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force. The group started running last Fall with about 10 runners and over time has grown to 50 participants. This May, all 50 military runners competed, 12 of which are female. Forty-three took part in the Half Marathon and seven members ran the Marathon.

“This is the first time we’ve participated in a shadow run in Canada,” says Daniel Yablonski, the officer who organized the shadow race. “We are thrilled to have been able to join runners from around the world to be a part of the BMO Vancouver Marathon. This has special meaning and allows us to connect with communities back home.”

Due to the geographical physical limitations at the base, the SOCCENT group ran circles around the perimeter, with the half marathoners completing five laps and the marathoners completing ten. Very similar to the event that occurred in Vancouver, SOCCENT organizers provided medical support and set up water stations throughout the course for military participants. A souvenir shirt, bib and medal have been sent to the military runners.

“We are honoured to support this Qatar-based U.S military group in their first Canadian shadow run,” said Charlene Krepiakevich, Executive Director of the Vancouver International Marathon Society, the non-profit organization in charge of the BMO Vancouver Marathon. “For the other 16,000 runners that came from over 40 countries, the shadow runners offer a very motivating and inspiring message!”

“As the official bank of the Canadian Defence Community for over 100 years, BMO is especially pleased that U.S Military troops in Qatar participated in the BMO Vancouver Marathon,” said Joanne Gassman, Senior Vice President, BC & Yukon, BMO Bank of Montreal.

“BMO also sponsors the annual Canada Army Run where thousands of Canadians and military personnel fundraise for Soldier On and the Military Families Fund, which provide direct assistance to ill or injured soldiers and military families.”

About The Vancouver International Marathon Society

The BMO Vancouver Marathon and Half Marathon is organized and operated by the Vancouver International Marathon Society, a non-profit organization. The event is Canada’s largest marathon and has a 41-year history within Vancouver and the running community internationally. The event will take place on May 5, 2013, featuring the three point-to-point courses, showcasing the city’s famous landmarks, shorelines and neighbourhoods. The 2013 events will remain capped at 5,000 for the Marathon, 10,000 for the Half-Marathon, 2,000 for the 8km, 500 for 8km Teen Challenge and 500 for the Kids 1-Mile Fun run participants.

About BMO

BMO Bank of Montreal is proud to be in its eighth year as title sponsor of the BMO Vancouver Marathon. BMO supports the running community through sponsorship of marathon events in Vancouver, Kelowna, Charlottetown, Phoenix, Arizona, and Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin.  BMO has a long and proud history of supporting sports in Canada. We believe our ties with sports reflect some of our most deeply held corporate values, such as contributing positively to a healthy quality of life in the community, and promoting the achievements of people, regardless of age or ability.

Media Contacts:

  • Charlene Krepiakevich, Executive Director, Vancouver International Marathon Society, Office: 604-872-2928, Cell: 604-374-8999, charlene@vanmarathon.ca
  • Laurie Grant, BMO Media Relations, 604-665-7596, laurie.grant@bmo.com