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Victoria highlights handful of Canadian marathons taking place this Thanksgiving

Victoria highlights the handful of Canadian marathon events taking place this Thanksgiving long weekend

Reid Coolsaet
Photo: Victoria Marathon.

Although the focus of the running world will be mostly aimed at the Windy City for Sunday’s running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, there are also a number of signature events taking place on this side of the border, including marathon events in Victoria, Kelowna, Ottawa, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland (technically Labrador).

The Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon will be running for the 39th time on Sunday and features the sensationally scenic, seaside marathon course that highlights many of Victoria’s nicest neighbourhoods and green spaces. There is also a popular half-marathon as well as an 8k race. The event is one of the most popular of the fall season for all the west-coast and attracts top athletes from British Columbia, Alberta and beyond.

RELATED: Destination Race – Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

A few hundred miles inland, Kelowna, B.C. will host the 24th annual Okanagan Marathon. The BQ-qualifying marathon follows two 21.1K loops of an entirely flat course that has participants primarily following the shoreline of the sprawling Okanagan Lake and which finishes in picturesque City Park. Half-marathon, 10K and 5K races are also offered.


On the other side of the country, Wolfville, N.S. hosts the Valley Harvest Marathon, which starts from the historic Acadia University campus. The course heads west toward the village of Greenwich passing pastoral scenery that includes apple orchards, horse farms and seasonal fall foliage. In the past, the event has been among Canada’s top races for runners to hit their BQs.

In Ontario, the Ottawa Fall Colours Marathon is a BQ-qualifying race that starts and ends at the Cumberland Heritage Villiage Museum and as the name implies is ripe with constant panoramic views of seasonal scenery and splendor.

Arguably the most unique event of the weekend will be the Trapline Marathon that runs from North West River to Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Labrador. Organized by the Trapper’s Running Club and having celebrated its tenth year in 2017, the event honours the traditions of trappers who made the annual autumn trek from North West River to their traplines.

Although participants are sure to enjoy the exceptional organization including generous race amenities (such as a post-race meal of traditional Labradorian foods), they should note that there is no or very limited cell phone coverage (sorry, no IG selfies); that road and weather conditions can be poor, and services such as access to gas, are limited.

And for those not stuffed from their Thanksgiving feasts, the Granville Island Turkey Trot in Vancouver will take place on Monday, October 8th and features a single 10K run/walk/stroll that starts and ends on Granville Island and offers an incredible tour of all sides of False Creek.