New study ranks the largest 158 marathons in the World based on air quality


Vancouver, BC – December 11, 2015 – In a new study comparing the air quality of the largest 158 marathons in the world, the BMO Vancouver Marathon ranked a “Top 10 international clean-air race” at 8th overall. The BMO Vancouver Marathon was awarded a near-perfect 0.4 air pollution index score, on a scale between 0 (for perfectly clean air) to 10; the province of British Columbia boasted the best air race quality in all of Canada.

Analyzing satellite data collected globally and interpreted by a research group at Dalhousie University, the new study looked at important pollutant statistics including particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) reports Canadian Running Magazine. The magazine suggests the recent report may actually be the first-ever ranking of marathons based on air quality.

“Vancouver is a runner’s paradise with its natural beauty and fresh Westcoast air,” adds Charlene Krepiakevich, Executive Director of the Vancouver International Marathon Society, organizers of three local races in the BMO Vancouver Marathon, Granville Island Turkey Trot, and Fall Classic. “We benefit from clean air and great running conditions year-round.”

Ranked in the top 5% of the world’s largest marathons for air quality, Vancouver’s only marathon offers participants a scenic point-to-point journey with 70% shoreline views. Runners pass by great beaches next to the Pacific Ocean, and large parks including Queen Elizabeth Park, Pacific Spirit Park and world-renowned Stanley Park.

The event now also features races for everyone with a Kids Run, new 2.5KM walk, 8KM race, Half Marathon and fun Marathon Relay with race distances between 5KM – 13KM.

To keep runners motivated, the BMO Vancouver Marathon lines its courses with 28 water stations, 32 live entertainment groups, nearly 4,000 volunteers, and raving fans. Event organizers further make an investment in green and sustainable initiatives which resulted in a 97% diversion rate at the event’s Finish Area in 2015.

In related environmental news, the City of Vancouver was honoured this week for its Greenest City 2020 Action Plan – to make Vancouver the greenest city in the World by 2020 – at the COP21 UN Climate Change Summit. Vancouver was also named ‘North America’s Greenest City’ in the Global Green Economy Index of 2014.

“We encourage everyone to take our Runner’s Green Pledge and be environmentally conscious and protect our beautiful BC air and natural environment,” concludes Krepiakevich, noting the Vancouver International Marathon Society hopes the entire community will embrace the 45th anniversary of Vancouver’s only marathon event on May 1, 2016, whether you run, cheer or volunteer.