Dave Doroghy Shares Memories from 28 Years of Running the Vancouver Marathon


Dave was instrumental in Vancouver’s successful bid to host the 2010 Olympic Games

More than just long-term runners of the BMO Vancouver Marathon, RUNVAN Community Ambassadors are leaders in Vancouver who embody the Vancouver International Marathon Society’s mission, vision, and values. 


Dave Doroghy, a native Vancouverite, has run over a dozen marathons including the Vancouver, New York, Boston, Prague, Portland, and Vienna Marathons. He has completed the New York City Marathon six times.

When he is not running he is a sports marketing executive. He has held various senior sports marketing positions in Vancouver, including: Director of Sponsorship Sales for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Director of Business Development for the NHL Vancouver Canucks, and Vice President of the NBA Vancouver Grizzlies.

Dave shares his compelling stories (both real and imagined) on his personal website. You can learn more about his contributions to Canada’s athletics/sport industry on his professional website. [hr]


RunVan: Take us back to the first time you ran in the Vancouver Marathon or Half Marathon. What was it like? How long ago was it?

Dave Doroghy: I ran the Vancouver International Marathon for the first time in 1986.  It was my first marathon ever and it took place on the same first weekend in May that Expo 86 opened in Vancouver, which made the whole experience that much more special.  I seem to recall that the marathon ran along or near the then new site of the “World’s Fair” down in False Creek.  For those of you who weren’t around then, the opening of Expo 86 was just like the opening day of the recent Winter Olympics—the whole city was electric! And to run my first marathon on that day made it all a real mountaintop, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

RV: What do you think has changed since then?

DD: The new Vancouver Marathon route is of course so much more scenic.

RV: Name a few of your favourite points along our new course. Why do they stand out for you?

DD: Running along Cambie Street is a great way to start the Half Marathon.  The excitement of heading down that major street into the centre of the world’s greatest city really had me off to a quick start. I was so pumped I ran way too fast for the first three kilometres.

Then, of course, there’s Stanley Park.  All of us Vancouver runners have logged so many kilometres on the Seawall. To have it as part of the course is amazing. By far the Stanley Park Seawall is the world’s greatest running destination.  I have run all over the world and nothing else comes close!

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RV: Of all the places you’ve traveled to, whether it be for competition or for pleasure, which was your favourite spot to run in and why? OR tell us about your favourite local running route or trail.

DD: Like I say, the Stanley Park Seawall tops the list.  I have also run the New York City Marathon six times, and running over the Verrazano Narrow Bridge at the beginning is a real trip.  The Marathon that I ran in Prague starts off over the old historic Charles Bridge, below a gigantic Disney-like Castle. It was very cool.

RV: What is your pre-race routine? Runners would love to hear about your favorite meal to have the night before a race, your superstitious habits, or even your warm-up routine.

DD: Eating 16 pitted prunes the day before the race is a must. I get the large sized pitted prunes at Costco, and they are delicious.  I eat several over the course of an entire day.  I have run over a dozen Marathons and over 125 half marathons; I swear by my pitted prunes regime. Although all races have lots of toilets, my prune habit has me cheerfully running right by all of them—if you get what I mean.

Two more things: I drink 8 glasses of water the day before and on race day I bring a pocket full of mints along to snack on during the course.

RV: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received from a parent, coach, or mentor about running? OR got your own advice? Share it here!

There are two big lies that enthusiastic race fans in the crowd will shout out to you as you run by them. They mean well; you will hear them over and over again as you have only 3 or 4 kilometres to go:

“You are almost there”

“You are looking good”