RUNVAN® Virtual Races encourage continued activity and fundraising

Vancouver, BC – September 28, 2020
Race Recap

Inspiring continued activity and fundraising

Vancouver, BC – September 28, 2020 –

RUNVAN® returns with its popular Granville Island Turkey Trot and Great Trek events as Virtual Races this October. The local races raise money for local Food Banks and BC Children’s Hospital, and are loaded with race extras for all runners.

“Local races help to create a sense of community and normalcy, even if we’re physically distanced,” says Eric Chéné, RUNVAN® Race Director. He also notes the non-profit’s RUN4HOPE charity program has proudly helped runners raise over $16M over the years.

Charity and community additionally came together earlier this year when RUNVAN® partnered with race organizers from across the country for a ‘Canada Moves’ initiative that helped to raise nearly $30,000 for the Canadian Mental Health Association.

“Staying active is important for our physical and mental health,” adds Chéné, noting these Fall races provide extra motivation to keep moving.

Runners will be rewarded with medals and race kits, and may also enjoy a new Staycation special to help support the return of local businesses. The relaxing ‘runcation’ bundle includes a hotel stay at The Westin Bayshore, wine, credit to top tourist attractions, and so much more.

“Everyone, surely, has had a challenging year in 2020,” adds Chéné, referencing the struggles the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused. “This is an opportunity to be generous to others, and also to yourself.”

The Granville Island Turkey Trot 10KM and Kids Run takes place October 1-15 and runners may donate to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, Share Family and Community Services, Surrey Food Bank and Richmond Food Bank Society.

“Food banks are an amazing resource for communities, and I’m proud to be involved with this one,” writes participant Rachel Galvin on her fundraising page. She has already raised nearly $600 dollars for the Surrey Food Bank.

Every year RUNVAN® also supports nearly 100 youth with free race entry. The entries are part of the non-profit’s outreach program into the community and support the organization’s ongoing work with at-risk-youth.

With each race, runners receive a ton of bonus gifts, including a RUNVAN® toque or RUNVAN® race wrap. Organizers are also adding fun challenges within the race to keep runners motivated and engaged throughout, including creating a new Summit Challenge and Trick 2 Treat Challenge.

The Great Trek, celebrating a shared history with UBC and the Musqueam community, runs October 16-31, and supports BC’s Children’s Hospital. You may race this event’s Half Marathon, 10KM, 5KM, or score the Hat-trick and run all three distances to earn bonus rewards.

The two October events complete a busy 2020 for the non-profit organizers who opened the year with the First Half in February and BMO Vancouver Marathon Virtual Race in May.

Caleb De Jong ran 1:04:18 to break the First Half course record formerly held by Olympian Dylan Wykes, while Andrea Lee took the women’s First Half title on February 10, 2020.

The BMO Vancouver Marathon was one of the first major events to announce event cancellation due to the global COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March. Runners from around the globe still took part in the Virtual Race, including Yuki & Yuko Kawauchi from Japan.

Course record holder Paul Kimugul and multiple-time champion Natasha Wodak claimed overall Half Marathon titles while a large percentage of runners still decided to complete their Marathons virtually.

Runner kits were mailed to all Marathon participants who may now enjoy 75% off any of the next three Marathon events.

“While we’re unsure of when mass sporting events may return, the spirit behind these events has remained unchanged and we encourage you to still get involved,” adds Chéné.

“What will stay the same is our commitment to our community,” adds Rackets & Runners, long-time retail sponsor of the Granville Island Turkey Trot. The popular 10KM inspires a ‘Run & Give’ theme in the spirit of Thanksgiving and giving back to others.

“We hope to see our community continue to engage in physical activity at this time, while following health authority guidelines,” adds retailer Forerunners, partner of the Great Trek and First Half, noting they appreciate those who are still supporting local business.

Other event partners for the Fall races include Stanley Park Brewing, Kettle Valley Winery, Nuun Hydration, Oasis, CLIF Bar, Old Dutch, McDonald’s, Coast Performance Rehabilitation, Stance, Brooks Running and Sport Hosting Vancouver.

Results may be submitted online via user submitted times of GPX verified results, and you’re encouraged to stay active on social @runvancanada #runvan

Learn more, get involved, and register for the upcoming events online: runvan.org/register

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