By Jennifer Copley (Last Updated 27 October 2015)
Description: The GoodLife Fitness Marathon event includes a full marathon (42 km) a half marathon (21 km), an 8 km race, and a kids’ race, all starting and finishing in downtown Victoria. Most of the course runs along the seawall, so there is plenty of gorgeous scenery, as well as a number of tourist attractions along the way including the BC Legislative Buildings, the Steamship Terminal Building, Ogden Point, the Olympic Mountain Range, the statue of Terry Fox at Mile ‘O’, and Beacon Hill Park.
- The best time for the full marathon in 2015 was 2:25:40, the longest time was 7:36:56, and the average was 4:22:30.
- The best time for the half marathon was 1:05, the longest time was 6:16:11, and the average was 2:14:09 (I just did the half this time, as I was recovering from a minor injury and I enjoy the halves more than the whole marathons anyways – I came in at 2:11:00).
- The best time for the 8 km race was 26:16, the longest time was 4:04:26, and the average was 57:13.
Cost: For the full marathon, prices range from $90 to $130, depending on how early you register (the earlier you register, the lower the price); half-marathon prices range from $65 to $95; 8 km race prices range from $35 to $50; and the kids’ race costs $17.
Difficulty: This course is relatively flat. Although there are plenty of ups and downs, the inclines are mild. Participants are allowed to walk the half and full marathon courses, and there is an earlier start option for those expecting to take a long time, so you can scale the difficulty level to your requirements.
Required Equipment: Running shoes, comfortable running clothes, water (there are aid stations, but bringing your own water is always a good idea), carbohydrate gels or snacks
- The course provides plenty of beautiful scenery.
- There are pace leaders (people who carry signs indicating a particular time and finish at that time).
- You’re allowed to wear headphones.
- The race can be used as an official qualifier for the Boston Marathon.
- You get a good quality shirt and finisher medal (I didn’t like the colour of the women’s shirt though – a sort of pink and wine mix – I would have preferred one of the men’s blue shirts, but they wouldn’t make the switch. I wish they would offer race shirts in a range of colours).
Victoria doesn’t really have the infrastructure to deal with big events. Downtown was completely clogged up, with traffic at a standstill in many places, and the less expensive hotels tend to get booked up quickly prior to the marathon (fortunately, we had somewhere to stay, so we didn’t have to worry about finding a hotel). It’s also extremely difficult to find parking unless you’re willing to pay for it.
The professional race photos they take can only be viewed in a small size with a big copyright notice scrolling overtop of them, so it’s difficult to determine whether they’re worth purchasing (I didn’t bother).
- Book your accommodations early if you want a less expensive hotel.
- If you’re getting a ride to the start, allow plenty of time for traffic and finding parking.
- See the Goodlife Fitness Marathon page for more information. http://www.runvictoriamarathon.com/
For more great running events in BC, see the main Activities page.
*Conditions, routes, awards, and prices may have changed since the time of this writing.