About Us

GoodLife Fitness
Victoria Marathon

About Us

The Victoria Marathon Society is a non-profit organization that was incorporated in 1982. We have a Board of Directors (7 members), and a Race Committee (over 50 members) who oversee event weekend operations. We have one employee and 1600+ volunteers who help make our event happen.

“organized by runners for runners”

Our Mission

The mission of the Victoria Marathon Society is threefold:

  • To present a well-organized, community-based running event including five races specifically a Marathon (42.2 km), a Half Marathon (21.1 km), Marathon Relay and an 8K Road Race for adults, and a 1.2 km Kids Run for the residents of Greater Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, North America, and other parts of the world.
  • To attract numerous off-island, in-province, out-of-province and world-wide visitors to participate in these events while vacationing in Victoria enhancing the economy of our city.
  • To ensure that all individuals achieve their goals in a quality fitness event while being provided with a healthy and safe atmosphere.

Many runners look for a beautiful venue, and a fast course when deciding on a trip revolving around a marathon event. Victoria can offer you all of that and more.

Home to serious amateur, Olympic, and professional athletes, our roadways, pathways, and waterfronts enable us to train year-round and offer you a stunning venue for your activity based visit.

Victoria, BC, is a destination, one many of us relocated to because of the natural beauty, and gentle climate.

It is a pleasure to host you, and hope you will experience the run as well as our local pubs, coffee shops, retail stores, while taking in the wonderful surroundings of Beacon Hill Park, Butchart Gardens, our Inner Harbour and Chinatown district. So many of us you will meet call Victoria home now, and you will discover why.

The GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon is a popular destination marathon; it is a race “organized by runners for runners” with many small, but very special touches. Best of luck to everyone participating in this 38th Annual event!

Rob Reid, Race Director                     

Patti Hunter, President, Victoria Marathon Society

Our History

The GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon will celebrate its 38th annual event on Sunday, October 8th. Over 8,000 participants are expected in the Marathon, Half Marathon, 8K Road Race, Marathon Relay and the Thrifty Foods Kids Run.

The event has become one of the largest annual sporting events on Vancouver Island. The Marathon is held annually on Thanksgiving weekend and with runners, family and friends staying for consecutive nights the economic impact on the City is considerable.

… the Marathon sets itself apart from other races by the quality of the course, its scenic ocean views, and the way it cherishes its runners.

In 1980, in its first year, 700 runners participated. With a steady growth, and after staging the race for the first few years as a Prairie Inn Harriers (PIH) organized event, it was evident that the event required its own organization.

In 1984, members of PIH and other interested runners registered the Victoria Marathon Society, and the non-profit body has been responsible for the event to date. During its history, the event has undergone some changes including modifying the course from a two-lap route to a single out and back course showcasing more of Victoria’s beautiful city and shoreline.

In 1995, Race Director Rob Reid introduced the Running Festival concept. This helped to greatly increase participation levels by runners, sponsors and community groups, as well as many visitors to Victoria.

Runners from over 20 countries believe this is a running event for them. The event has been lauded in the running media for many years for its unique small-town appeal, beautiful scenic course, generous hospitality and enthusiastic volunteers. In the August 2015 issue of Runner’s World, the Marathon was featured in its Races and Place section as a ‘must-do’ race in ‘this active person’s paradise.’

Comments from participants range from:

The quality of the swag is the same as, or as better than what bigger races offer,” to “the race has an incredible cadre of volunteers and all of them are so enthusiastic.

Initiatives such as the CHEK Charity Pledge Program, brings out the philanthropic side of the event and with over $1.5 million raised over 12 years by fundraising and donations, the campaign is well on its way to its second million.

For anyone looking for a destination marathon with charm and amazing scenery, Victoria is sure to be at the top of the list. Runner’s World describes the Marathon as a –

Small Race with Big Perks

Testimonials

A huge THANK YOU for all the organizing, planning and time and energy that went into the race. It was my first marathon and my daughter ran the 8K and finished 18th. We are hooked and will be back next year for sure. The crowds on the side lines with funny, inspiring messages on their boards were such an incentive! The other runners were so encouraging. The volunteers were kind and supportive. Thank you again for all you do. It was an amazing race and I really look forward to beating my time next year.

Jenny White and family

The Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon sets the standard by which all marathons should be judged: a multiday festival packed with fascinating and enlightening talks, capped by an immensely popular race, organized by an army of dedicated volunteers and highly-experienced race managers, in one of the world’s most beautiful cities. I’ve been to marathons that tick one or two of those boxes – Victoria ticks them all!

Niobe ThompsonUltra-Marathon Runner & Producer/Director of “The Perfect Runner”

A superb job by you and your wonderful team in hosting another amazing marathon weekend. Hope you are receiving the kudos that you all richly deserve.

Steve KingRace Announcer

The GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon was one of the best races I’ve ever attended! There was a sense of community that you just don’t see or feel in other big races. In Victoria, the whole city seemed to embrace the event, and the race totally embraced the environment. The overwhelming spirit of human accomplishment is front and centre in Victoria.

Kathrine SwitzerMarathon Woman

Victoria is one my favourite cities in the world and the Victoria Marathon is one of my favourite weekends of the year. The course is the perfect combination of, downtown, picturesque waterfront, quaint neighbourhoods and Victoria charm.

Bart YassoChief Running Officer, Runner’s World

We feel so privileged and proud to be affiliated with one of the premiere athletic events in Canada and one of the most prestigious running events in the world.

David Patchell-EvansPresident/CEO GoodLife Fitness

I had a fantastic day and the organization of the event played a huge part in this. It was great to be involved in a fantastic ‘race’ with so many women battling it out together. I hope to be back to run the race again.

Mary Wilkinson5th place Women’s Half Marathon

Congratulations on hosting yet another fabulous event on Sunday in Victoria! It’s always the highlight of my family’s Thanksgiving weekend, and this year was no exception as we had three family members participating in the Half Marathon.

Karla Limion

The Marathon course was one of the most beautiful runs I’ve ever had the pleasure to take part in, and the cheering from the local residents kept me going through those last few kilometres.

Dave SeaverSeattle, WA

I just wanted to thank you for a great weekend, it was an awesome Victoria Marathon. I will always have a special place in my heart for Victoria, and always leave glad that I raced it.

Suzanne Evans2011 Half Marathon Women’s Winner

I have never seen such a well run race, it was so well organized which is a very refreshing sight to see as a runner. I also have never been treated so well – Victoria is an amazing city and that was a great event. My hat is off to you guys.

John Ricardi2011 Half Marathon Men’s Winner