Original 1972-1978 Course
With only a few runners, the original Vancouver Marathon course did five laps of Stanley Park. As the event grew, a demand for a more interesting course arose.
Starting in 1979, the course was updated to go around downtown Vancouver. With Nike signing on as title sponsor, runners would start from downtown, do two laps of the park, then run the perimeter of downtown, back for a third and final loop of the park and then back to central downtown.
In 1984, the Start and Finish lines were moved to B.C. Place. Runners would run the perimeter of downtown twice, and one loop through Mount Pleasant and back up Granville Street Bridge.
Introducing the first point to point race, the 1986 course lasted only a year. Runners would start in central downtown, travel across the Granville Street Bridge, then around past Science World, do a loop of Stanley Park, then cross the Burrard Street Bridge for an out and back to the Spanish Banks to end up at Kitsilano Beach for the Finish Line.
The following year, a new course was established that did a lap of downtown, and three laps of Stanley Park similar to the 1979 course. For variety, the Stanley Park loops alternated between the seawall and the interior course.
One of the most memorable courses, known as the double bridge course, runners would start at B.C. Place, travel up Pacific and through Stanley Park to cross into North Vancouver. After a quick tour of North Van, they’d cross back south on the Second Narrows Bridge the follow Powell to China Town and then back to B.C. Place for the Finish.
The longest standing course design in the history of the event, follows a similar track to the 1986 course, but converts it to a loop course that starts and ends at B.C. Place. With two out and backs, one through Mount Pleasant and other through Kits and Point Grey, it was the staple course for over a decade.
Currently, the Vancouver Marathon travels its most scenic course. As a point to point starting in Queen Elizabeth Park, it travels through the UBC and the Pacific Spirit Regional Park, around False Creek and the entirety of the Stanley Park Seawall and finally finishes up in Coal Harbour.