BMO Vancouver Marathon Stories

For 44 years, more than 200,000 runners have participated in Vancouver Marathon events!

The Vancouver Marathon has a very long and celebrated history. Over the past 44 years, more than 200,000 runners have participated in Vancouver Marathon events! On Sunday May 3, 2015, approximately 15,000 more runners from over 50 countries will join that special group including new RunVan Ambassadors, Celebrities, Legacy Runners Club members, Survivors and Run4Hope contributors who are running for more than just themselves.

Below are some of the everyday, exceptional runner stories from those already registered to run at the 44th annual BMO Vancouver Marathon.

Told she would not be able to run again, RunVan Ambassador Nikki Scott beat the odds
In 2005, Nikki was seriously injured in a car accident and told she would not be able to run again. After years of therapy, she was ready to start getting her life back and joined a local clinic to give running a try. She has since completed more than 20 half marathons, 3 full marathons and 2 ultra marathons.

RunVan Ambassador lost over 100lbs running and is now a marathon clinic leader
Justin Bonzo began running five years ago after losing 100lbs and changing his life around. In October 2011, Justin ran his first race, which also happened to be his first marathon. Now a marathon clinic leader at The Running Room, inspiring other and always smiling, this is Justin’s 12th marathon.

Eleven-time Canadian Ironman winner battling cystic fibrosis to run Marathon
Canadian triathlete, coach, motivational speaker, and TV commentator, Lisa Bentley will be running the BMO Vancouver Marathon this year. Currently living with cystic fibrosis, Lisa has 11 career triathlon wins and is known as one of the most successful Ironman athletes ever.

Local runner to run Marathon in full Firefighter suit
Local firefighter, Stephen Sanderson will run the Marathon – a full 42.2KM – in full firefighter gear to support Muscular Dystrophy.

Cancer survivor given a 50% chance to live will run the Half Marathon
San Diego runner, Bernard LLave was diagnosed with AML – an aggressive form of leukemia in 2012 and was given a 50% chance to live. After several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, and a bone marrow transplant from his sister – Bernard is now cancer free. His journey has inspired him to give back by running and fundraising for Team in Training: Leukemia and Lymphoma Society on race day.

From Being Erica, star actress Erin Karpluk is running through the Run4Hope charity program
Known as 'Erica' in the CBC series "Being Erica", start actress Erin Karpluk is delighted to run for World Vision on May 3. The award-winning actress is one of hundreds of Run4Hope members with goals to raise funds and awareness for social impact. Over the past 12, over $13 million has been raised for charitable causes through Run4Hope.

Husband & Wife Legacy Runners Club members have run over 25 Vancouver Marathons!
Leith and Joan Campbell have been running marathons together since 1983 and each has run over 25 Vancouver Marathons! For the past several years, the couple from St. Albert, have used the BMO Vancouver Marathon or Half Marathon as motivation to train during Alberta’s cold winters.

RunVan Ambassador and Legacy Runners Club member will run his 150th Marathon
Former Running Room Area Manager, Neil Wakelin ran his first Vancouver Marathon back in 1975, and he is running the BMO Vancouver Marathon again this year – for his 150th marathon! Wakelin is also a member of the Legacy Runners Club, recognizing members who have completed Vancouver Marathon events 15, 20 or 25 times.

Former BMO Vancouver Marathon Champion, Ellie Greenwood will run despite surgery
Slated to be a top contender this year, former BMO Vancouver Marathon champion Ellie Greenwood had to have surgery on her hand in March after being cut off by a car while riding her bike and being sent over her handlebars, forcing her to take four weeks off all activity. The North Vancouver elite athlete will still run the BMO Vancouver Marathon on May 3, part of a 50KM training day to decide if she will try and reclaim her 2014 Comrades Ultra Marathon champion status on May 31.

Elite Athletes will compete for increased prize money
An increase in the prize purse has drawn top elite athletes from nearly 10 countries. They will hit the Start Lines and potentially chase event records which stand for the Marathon at 2:13:14 for Males, and 2:35:50 for Females. In the Half Marathon, the event records are 1:12:33 for Females, and 1:02:36 for the Males – a time that was set just last year by Paul Kimugul who returns again in 2015!

Have your own journey to tell? Email or share your story on social media @BMOVanMarathon #bmovm #RunVan

The BMO Vancouver Marathon features a Kids Fun Run, a separate 8KM race, Half Marathon, new Marathon Relay and Marathon.

To learn more and get yourself to the Start Line of one of many BMO Vancouver Marathon events, visit


Get Out There Videos

Event reviews and reports from running and trail races to bike and cross-country ski marathons as well as travel, adventure and more!


Tweet, Tweet

Are you tweeting with us?

Join us on Twitter