Photo by Brynn Featherstone

The 2018 GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon was officially launched last night with a Magical Mystery Retro Run in downtown Victoria. Runners wearing headbands, sunglasses and tie-dye shirts ran to three mystery stops on the 5km route, ending at the Distrikt club in the Strathcona Hotel.

At the club new initiatives, including an online training program and floating cheering stations for race day were announced, in conjunction with the launch of volunteer registration and the CHEK Charity Pledge Program. The 39th Annual GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon will take place on Sunday, October 7th.

Olympian Bruce Deacon has been the event’s online coach for nine years, offering training programs for the Marathon, Half Marathon and 8K Road Race. This year will see a free runVictoria Online Training Group which participants can access through Facebook. On race day, in conjunction with the Victoria HarbourCats, DFH, The Wilson Group and BC Transit, there will be floating cheering buses along the course. “We are excited about these new partnerships and look forward to supporting all of the participants,” said Cathy Noel, General Manager of the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon.

Photo by Brynn Featherstone

The online volunteer registration system through Race Roster was launched – a key component of the event organization with 1,600 individuals volunteering every year. “We will be recognizing our returning volunteers through the Team Sales Volunteer Spirit Program, which we launched last year,” added Noel.

The Marathon event has 12 charity partners – three official charities: KidSport Greater Victoria, Pacific Autism Family Network and the GoodLife Kids Foundation – and nine in the CHEK Charity Pledge Program: Autism Speaks Canada, BC Cancer Foundation, Cerebral Palsy Association of BC, Greater Victoria Lifetime Networks, KidSport Greater Victoria, MOVE Adapted Fitness, NEED2 Suicide Prevention, Special Olympics, and the Victoria Hospitals Foundation. “Since the program’s inception in 2005, over $1.7 million has been raised. The CPP is a great opportunity for large and small charities to raise money and awareness by using the marathon as a fundraising platform,” said Noel.

Since the first Victoria Marathon in 1980, 195,000 participants have crossed the finish line and this year it will surpass 200,000. “The economic impact to this community is tremendous, amounting to millions of dollars each year. In 2001 the economic impact was $2.1 million and in 2010 it was over $7.1 million. We will be conducting another study this year and we fully expect it to have grown even more,” said Jonathan Foweraker, President of the Victoria Marathon Society.

To date there are 671 registered for the marathon (cap is 1,500), 1,084 for the Half Marathon (cap is 3,500), and 440 for the 8K (cap is 2,750). Race fees are currently $110 for the Marathon, $85 for the Half Marathon, $40 for the 8K Road Race and $20 for the Thrifty Foods Kids Run.

To register go to: www.runvictoriamarathon.com

 

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