Eating an extra large meal (or two) for Thanksgiving is much easier (and produces less guilt) after making time to do a few runs. Some may even take it one step further and line up for a race.
Sunday Oct. 11: Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon
Certified, Boston Qualifier, Race Expo, Popular, Historic, Destination Race
Profile: The Victoria Marathon is a historic and popular event that in addition to it’s world-class marathon, also offers a half and 8K race options. The marathon is an at-times hilly, out-and-back course that features a scenic tour of the city’s downtown and historic regions as participants pass through pretty parks and alongside the Pacific Ocean on Vancouver Island’s south coast. Participants enjoy well-supported aid stations, on-course entertainment and cheering crowds as well as an excellent expo, signature long-sleeved New Balance shirt, and a commemorative finisher’s medal.
By the Numbers: Participants: 12,000; Fee(s): $90-130 (Marathon); $65-95 (Half); $30-45 (8k)
Charity: KidSport Greater Victoria, Raise A Reader, and GoodLife Kids Foundation
Ratings: Scenery: 5; Atmosphere: 5; Organization: 5; Amenities: 5; Swag/medals: 5
Sunday Oct. 11: BMO Okanagan Marathon, Kelowna, B.C.
Certified Course, Boston Qualifier, Race Expo
Profile: The Okanagan Marathon takes place in beautiful Kelowna B.C. during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The marathon route is mostly flat and features an out-and-back course with several loops. The route provides a scenic tour of Kelowna with much of it run along the stunning Okanagan lakeshore. Well organized from registration to post-race, this is an ideal event for the first-timer as well as the veteran runner.
By the Numbers: Participants: 2,800; Fee(s): $80-115 (Marathon); $60-90 (Half); $35-50 (10K)
Charity: Sunshine Dreams for Kids
Ratings: Scenery: 4; Organization: 4; Atmosphere: 4; Amenities: 4
Sunday Oct. 11: Valley Harvest Marathon, Wolfville, N.S.
Certified, Boston Qualifier
Profile: Valley Harvest has something to offer everyone from a 50K ultra-marathon right down to a 5K. The event takes place from the historic and picturesque campus of Acadia University. Participants start in front of the Atlantic Theatre and do a short loop of downtown Wolfville, running past quaint cafes, pubs and shops, before heading out of town toward the village of Greenwich. From there, they pass apple orchards, horse farms and pastoral scenery, through gently rolling terrain, and enjoy the splendid scenery of the valley during the autumn harvest.
By the Numbers: Participants: 2,000; Fee(s): $70-80 (Ultra & marathon); $60-70 (Half); $50-60 (10K); $35-45 (5K)
Charity: Supports several community organizations
Ratings: Scenery: 4; Atmosphere: 4; Amenities: 4; Family-friendly: 4
Sunday Oct. 11: Trapline Marathon, Happy Valley-Goose bay, N.L.
Certified, Boston Qualifier
Profile: Held annually on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, the Trapline Marathon showcases the community spirit and heritage of Labrador. The point-to-point marathon course is unique in both its challenging nature and spectacular scenery. A half-marathon, 10K and kid’s 3K race are also offered. Participants enjoy aid stations along the way and everyone is welcomed at the finish line with refreshments and a buffet of traditional Labrador food.
By the Numbers: Participants: 350; Fee(s): $75 (Marathon); $60 (Half); $40 (10K)
Ratings: Scenery: 5; Organization: 4; Atmosphere: 4; Refreshments: 5
Monday Oct. 12: Granville Island Turkey Trot, Vancouver
Profile: This traditional Thanksgiving event is a well-organized, scenic, flat and friendly run that starts on Granville Island. The course leaves the iconic island and loops over Burrard Bridge to the north side sea wall before turning at Science World and heading back along the south side sea wall to Performance Works on Granville Island. Participants finish on the boardwalk and enjoy a post-race celebration that includes gourmet foods and a house band.
By the Numbers: Participants: 1,000; Fee(s): $36-60
Charity: Greater Vancouver Food Bank
Ratings: Scenery: 5; Atmosphere: 4; Amenities: 4; Value: 4