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Sports | Media Release

Media Release: BMO Vancouver Marathon surrounded by community love

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Most countries ever represented, 100,000th Marathoner finisher, Marriage on Marathon, and many more great stories mark Vancouver's Marathon weekend.

Full Start Line BMO Marathon by Chris Morris Media Release (05/07/2017) Vancouver, BC - Vancouver's only Marathon event, the BMO Vancouver Marathon welcomed runners from more countries than it ever has before - with 65 countries, plus 48 of 50 United States represented. The Marathon reached a milestone by welcoming its 100,000th all-time finisher, and the event was again the proud host of the BC Half Marathon Championships.

"We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to carry on this amazing tradition established in 1972, and help showcase Vancouver to the world," says Graeme White, Executive Director of the non-profit Vancouver International Marathon Society, organizers of the event. "This historic milestone is only possible because of the passion of a handful of pioneering runners and the first 32 finishers."

Among the close to 16,000 total runners registered this year, a few stories stood out including the city's first-ever Marriage during a Marathon.

Anthony and James, representing the Navajo and Saddle Lake Cree Nations, tied the knot while on-course! The two held a ceremony around the 32KM mark and then continued to the Finish Line as a newly married couple.

"BMO, as the title sponsor of BMO Vancouver Marathon, is extremely proud to help create a community that values and encourages diversity and inclusion," adds Michael Bonner, Senior Vice President and Regional Head, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Now, more than ever, it is important that we continue to foster the community spirit that unites us all."

Kenyan Daniel Kipkoech went back to back as the first overall finisher of Vancouver's only Marathon with a time of 2:19:09. The women's Marathon title went to Gladys Tarus from Kenya with a time of 2:39:38. Canadian superstars Kip Kangogo and Natasha Wodak claimed the Half Marathon titles for the men and women with fast times of 1:06:08 and 1:12:58.

"The Vancouver community is why I come back every year, they're so cheerful, loving and welcoming. It's a beautiful place, especially the people," says Kipkoech.

"It went out pretty quick with the downhill start, tried to stick it through and run my own race," says Wodak. "I love this course, I love running in Vancouver, the crowd is great. Anytime there is an opportunity to run in Vancouver I like to be here."

Anthony Tomsich and Natasha Wodak were victorious the BC Half Marathon Championships.

"BMO would like to congratulate all of the incredible participants, spectators and volunteers who came together for a great day at the 2017 BMO Vancouver Marathon," added Bonner. "We'd also like to give a special recognition to Daniel Kipkoech on winning this year's marathon, and to all BMO employee volunteers who offered their support to make this a memorable event."

Canadian Olympian, Evan Dunfee race walked the entire course, minus the fast downhills.

"People were giving out freezies from their houses, It was really cool to see the community come together and rally behind this event," says Evan Dunfee. "Pretty much the entire course was lined up with people cheering."

The event was supported by nearly 4,000 volunteers, thousands of spectators, over 35 entertainment stations, and new Community Cheer Stations in Chinatown, Coal Harbour / West End, Kitsilano, and Yaletown. A new live feed was also available for international spectators, along with a live tracking app.

The fun continued post-event with a Street Festival. In the coming weeks, event organizers will further reward Top Volunteer Groups and Community Cheer Challenge presented by Chevron award winners.

Race weekend started with a free three-day Health & Sports Expo showcasing over 120 brands and exciting activations. New this year, runners, friends and family were able to record a personalized 'cheer video' at the Expo and have it displayed on a Giant 'cheer screen' on-course during race day to their favourite runners!

Other festivities including the 'Fastest Feet' competition, an interactive dance floor game, and many other new exciting activations from sponsors which invited all to compete for amazing prizes including Air France flights to Paris, and Whitecaps tickets from BMO.

The lucky 100,000th all-time Marathon finisher received a round-trip flight for two to Paris and two entries to the Paris Marathon courtesy of Air France, a $200 BMO Mastercard, $100 Running Room gift card, Saucony shoes, and a Powerbar prize pack.

Legacy Runners who have completed the event 15, 20, and 25 or more times were also specially recognized by event organizers.

To view race results and more stories, please visit


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About the BMO Vancouver Marathon

The BMO Vancouver Marathon features races for everyone with Vancouver's only marathon, a fast Half Marathon, 8KM race, Relay, 2.5KM Walk and Kids Run. Recognized by Forbes, CNN, USA Today and others as one of the world's top destination marathons, the event is renowned for its unique scenic views including snow-capped mountain ranges, cherry blossom trees, and 70% shoreline views. Join in at the free Expo: May 4-6, and on Race Day: May 7, 2017.

About the Vancouver International Marathon Society

The Vancouver International Marathon Society RUNVAN® is the non-profit organization responsible for the BMO Vancouver Marathon, Granville Island Turkey Trot, and Fall Classic Run at UBC. The Society is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and delivers running events with a mandate to promote healthy living, increase participation in the sport, and celebrate the value the sport delivers to our communities.

About the title sponsor, BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of $692 billion as of July 31, 2016, and over 45,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

Media Contact

Leland Chung, Content Marketer, Vancouver International Marathon Society
P: 604 872 2928


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