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Posted: April 27, 2016:  

Athletics: Top 12 Highlights to watch at the BMO Vancouver Marathon

Vancouverís only marathon is more than just a race.

Vancouver, BC - April 27, 2016 - Vancouverís only marathon, which started in 1972 with just 32 finishers, has grown into an internationally recognized marathon weekend offering races for everyone. Nearly 16,000 runners, from over 60 countries, will run across the eventís six different races this year at the BMO Vancouver Marathon. A free three-day Health, Sports & Lifestyle Expo kicks off the festivities, April 28-30.

Here are the Top 12 highlights for the BMO Vancouver Marathon race weekend.

1. As Western Canadaís largest Health, Sports & Lifestyle Expo, over 100 exhibitors will showcase the latest trends in lifestyle, fitness, wellness, health and nutrition at the downtown Vancouver Convention Centre West, spanning over 70,000 square feet. Open and free to all. Location: Vancouver Convention Centre West. Times: Thursday April 28 (5pm-8pm), Friday (11am-8pm), Saturday April 30 (10am-6pm).

2. A new Musical Showcase on stage at the outdoor terrace of the downtown waterfront Vancouver Convention Centre West will also take place Thursday and Friday at the Health, Sports & Lifestyle Expo. Watch and listen to Top Line Vocal Choir, Fiddlin Frenzy, JennaMae and the Groove Section, Alex Balanko and many more bands! Check the website for show times.

3. Offering six different races, the BMO Vancouver Marathon has a race experience for all abilities. The Kids Run and new 2.5KM Walk take place on Saturday, April 30, one day before the marquee point-to-point Marathon, Half Marathon, Relay and 8KM.

4. The BC Half Marathon Championships this year takes place on the fast 21.1KM course of the BMO Vancouver Marathon in conjunction with BC Athletics. Donít blink! Elite Athletes will look to better the course record of 1:02:36 over 21.1KM.

5. Runners from over 60 countries will ascend on this world-class marathon event. Ranked a top destination by the likes of Forbes, CNN, USA Today, and others, runners from across the globe will fill our hotels and generate approximately $45 million in economic impact.

6. Elite Athletes will be leading the pack. The first Elite Athletes should run up West Pender and cross Bute Street to break the Finish Line tape around 8am. Event records for the Half Marathon are 1:02:36 and 1:12:33 for the men and women, respectively, and 2:13:14 and 2:35:50 for the 42.2KM Marathon.

7. Not a runner? The Neighbourhood Challenge presented by Chevron gives everyone a chance to join in and win. $7,000 in total cash prizes will be up for grabs. Make creative signs, cheer, and share your spirit! Hashtag #RunVanFan @BMOVanMarathon for your chance to win cash prizes.

8. Stunning course scenery is reason enough to get outside and enjoy these great point-to-point courses that race through 12 Vancouver Neighbouhoods. Courses offer views of snow-capped mountains, cherry blossom trees and 70% shoreline vistas. Vancouverites and visitors alike will appreciate the spectacular views.

9. Over 4,000 volunteers representing 16,000 person hours will help stage the internationally acclaimed event, organized by the non-profit Vancouver International Marathon Society. Fun fact: volunteers will help distribute approximately 31,000 litres of water and over 1 million grams of nutritional gels on race day.

10. 34 entertainment stations along the course will keep runners motivated and spectators entertained. Bands of all genres, including upbeat folk, Brazilian percussion, energetic Jazz bands, and more, will add to the great atmosphere on race day for runners, spectators, visitors and volunteers.

11. Celebrating 45 years in 2016, Vancouverís only marathon is a special celebration of sport and community. There are very few marathons in the world that have the history and legacy of the Vancouver Marathon. Join in and help continue to show why Vancouver, BC, is one of the best running cities in the world.

12. The Street Festival located just a block north of the Finish Line on West Hastings Street between Bute and Burrard will be a hub of activity and energy wrapping up race day on May 1, from 8:30am Ė 2:30pm with even more celebrations, music, and fun. Find entertainment, a Kidsí Zone, food sampling, souvenir product, and more here. Hang out. Celebrate.

Learn more and join in at

About the BMO Vancouver Marathon

Celebrating its 45th year in 2016, the BMO Vancouver Marathon features Vancouverís only marathon, plus the event boasts a Marathon Relay, Half Marathon, 8KM Race, Kids Run and new 2.5KM Walk. Recognized by Forbes, CNN, USA Today and others as one of the top destination marathons in the world, the event is renowned for its unique scenic views including snow-capped mountain ranges, cherry blossom trees, and 70% shoreline views. Join in at the free Expo: April 28 - 30, and on Race Day: May 1, 2016.

About the Vancouver International Marathon Society

The Vancouver International Marathon Society is the non-profit organization responsible for the BMO Vancouver Marathon, Granville Island Turkey Trot, and the Fall Classic Run at UBC. The Society is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and delivers running events with a mandate to promote healthy living, increase participation in the sport, and celebrate the value the sport delivers to our communities.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of $699 billion as of January 31, 2016, and close to 47,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

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