The Banff Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K offers an unforgettable running experience for all participants.
This year marks a very special edition of the Banff Marathon as Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary in the first national park. Starting in the picturesque mountain town of Banff, participants will flow through a series of incredible natural, wildlife, and historical stages as they pass by the serene Vermilion Lakes and journey along the stunning Bow Valley Parkway.
Here are 9 reasons to consider lacing up for the marathon this year:
1. Admission to Banff National Park is free for 2017!
You, your friends and family can visit Banff National Park for free this year. Order your Discovery Pass prior to visiting and you’ll have an express pass through the park gates. To learn more about the free Discovery Pass or to order your pass, please visit Parks Canada.
2. Be part of history
Celebrate Canada150 by running in Canada’s first national park. Participate in this year’s special commemorative edition of the event with the celebration of Canada’s 150th Birthday! Participant finisher medals, custom technical shirt and race number will all include a special commemorative Canada150 logo to recognize this special year.
3. A run for everyone
The Banff Marathon offers a full marathon, half marathon and 10K. The event also offers a free Kids Run. Although the run takes place in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, the course is forgiving and runners will enjoy slightly rolling, relatively flat terrain.
4. Become one with nature
The marathon and half marathon courses offer a fully closed run course on the breathtaking Bow Valley Parkway. Runners will make their way through a series of incredible natural, wildlife and historic stages as they travel along the parkway surrounded by stunning mountain vistas.
5. Try the “Tour de Banff” 10K
The 10K route consists of two 5km loops that provide a beautiful tour of the Banff townsite. The course travels along the Bow River, Banff Central Park and other beautiful running lanes while passing famous Banff Ave, Bow Falls and the Banff Recreation Grounds. Bonus: the route is very flat, so it’s perfect for a personal best!
6. The Banff Health and Fitness Expo
The Banff Health and Fitness Expo takes place Friday June 16th and Saturday June 17th at Fenlands Recreation Centre. The event is FREE to participants, family, friends and all members of community. The Expo will engage the imagination of thousands of attendees in a celebration of well-being and community. Not only will the Expo host participant race package pick up and the athlete information session, but will feature “National Park Place”, “BMO Kids Zone” and “Sustainability Village.” Also, kids can take part in the FREE BMO Kids Run at Central Park on Saturday, June 17th. Open to children ages 3-12!
7. We are the World’s greenest marathon
In 2016, the Banff Marathon achieved an incredible landfill diversion rate of 98.6%, proving its Gold Standard title! The sustainability team sorted almost 1000 lbs of materials and resulted in only 10 lbs of waste! Other programs included fully offsetting greenhouse gas emissions, utilized power from renewable sources, free participant transportation on ROAM busses and many more environmental programs.
8. Experience Banff National Park
Participants will experience the unique nature of Banff National Park from the moment they arrive in the Park - from registration right through to the event day. With the race theme based on Banff National Park and the Bow Valley experience, participants will pass Aid Stations themed after geographic, wildlife and historical features of Banff National Park. The event also includes free admission to Banff Park Museum for participants, family and the community.
9. Don’t miss everything else Banff has to offer
Banff and Lake Louise has a rich heritage as one of the world’s most awe-inspiring mountain destinations with easy access to pristine wilderness, endless outdoor adventures and all the amenities you need. Consider leaving yourself extra time to try hiking, hot springs, gondola rides, boat cruises, horseback riding, incredible dining and more!