The Vancouver Marathon was first organized by the Lions Gate Road Runners from 1972 to 1987. The non-profit Vancouver International Marathon Society was then formed in October 1987, and organized the first Vancouver International Marathon in 1988.
1972 (32 Finishers, 30 Males / 2 Females) – May 27
In 1972, Tom Howard of Surrey, BC led a handful of marathoners around five loops of Stanley Park to complete the first “British Columbia Marathon.” Winning in a time of 2:24:08, Howard won again the following two years. Patricia Loveland from the USA won the women’s division in 3:39:23; the first of only two females to race in the inaugral marathon.
Male Winner : Tom Howard (Canada, BC) in 2:24:08
Female Winner : Patricia Loveland (USA) in 3:39:23
1973 (43 Finishers, 38 Males / 5 Females) – May 26
The 1973-1978 marathons were called the “Lions Gate Road Runners International Marathon.”
Male Winner : Tom Howard (Canada, BC) in 2:21:46
Female Winner : Deborah Collins (Canada, BC) in 3:24:39
1974 (59 Finishers, 56 Males / 3 Females) – May 25
Male Winner : Tom Howard (Canada, BC) in 2:14:34
Female Winner : Maria Brzezinska (Canada, BC) in 3:03:14
1975 (102 Finishers, 98 Males / 4 Females) – May 24
Male Winner : Joe Skaja (Canada, BC) in 2:19:58
Female Winner : Linda Winslow (USA, AK) in 3:06:59
1976 (138 Finishers, 128 Males / 10 Females) – May 29
In 1976, Ross Jackson, New Zealander living in Vancouver took the title, while Doris Heritage of Seattle, Washington became the first woman to finish in under three hours. Unfortunately, the 1976 race was marred by the death of Dr. Leslie Truelove who collapsed and died on the course as a result of an aneurysm. Since then, the Dr. Leslie Truelove Memorial Trophy has been awarded to the first male finisher in the 50+ age category.
Male Winner : Ross Jackson (Canada, BC / New Zealand) in 2:20:30
Female Winner : Doris Heritage (USA, AK) in 2:47:35
1977 (228 Finishers) – May 28
1977 became a year of growth – with participants tripling to 300. Two first-time marathoners, Chris Boltar of Vancouver and Mike Creery of Victoria, BC surprised the crowds by placing first and second with times of 2:22:36 and 2:24:15 respectively. On the women’s side Meg Gordon took the crown in 3:14:32.
Male Winner : Chris Bolter (Canada, BC) in 2:22:36
Female Winner : Meg Gordon (Canada) in 3:14:32
1978 (458 Finishers, 463 Males / 59 Females) – May 28
In 1978, John Hill of Vancouver won with a time of 2:20:49 while Gail McKean of Comox, BC finished at 2:55:33.
Male Winner : John Hill (Canada, BC) in 2:20:49
Female Winner : Gail McKean in 2:55:33
1979 (776 Finishers, 719 Males / 57 Females) – May 6
Male Winner : William Scott (Australia) in 2:15:36
Female Winner : Gail McKean in 2:44:53