We are now on the home stretch of the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon. Having reversed our route from the turnaround at Exeter Road we are back at Beacon Hill Park and Mile ‘0’. The Terry Fox statue here is near the 39-kilometre mark. The statue – erected in 2005 – honours the 22-year-old Terry Fox, whose attempt to run across Canada, in his Marathon of Hope, in 1980 was tragically cut short when the cancer he was battling, spread. He died in June 1981. After a moment of reflection for this courageous young man we move on.
With the Dallas Road Walkway on Holland Point on our left, we run past Amica at Somerset House and see the Coho leaving the breakwater for Port Angeles, WA. Up ahead is Ogden Point, where the cruise ships dock. On the breakwater walkway many are enjoying the exhilarating air and impressive views. The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority operates Ogden Point and the nearby Heliport which services Vancouver and Seattle.
Now back into James Bay at Erie Street we see Fisherman’s Wharf, home to Victoria’s floating homes and a good place to buy seafood right off the many boats there. The community park here houses the largest rain garden in Victoria, a herb garden, children’s play area and the expanded David Foster Walkway. This also marks the start of the many turns on the marathon route before we reach the finish. On our left at St Lawrence Street there is a waterfront path that meanders into downtown. But we stay on the route until the final turn onto Belleville and the views of the Inner Harbour. The Victoria Clipper terminal is on our left and beyond that the renovated CPR Steamship Terminal. Built in 1924, the building is characterized by neo-classic architecture and ionic columns. It is home to the Robert Bateman Centre.
At 42.195 kilometres we cross the finish line under the watchful eye of Queen Victoria. Her Majesty has graced the lawns of the Legislative Assembly since 1919 when her son Edward VII laid the first stone. A war memorial further down on the grounds commemorates World War I, World War II and the Korean War. And if you look up to the top of the Legislature dome you can see the gold statue of Captain George Vancouver, who explored North America’s northwest Pacific Coast from 1791-1795.
We have come to the end of our marathon journey. Who would have thought that the marathon route would have so much history? But it does and we hope you have enjoyed the trip and have a great race on Marathon Sunday.