Runners return: Royal Victoria Marathon holds first in-person race in two years

Runners return: Royal Victoria Marathon holds first in-person race in two years
WatchOver 4,000 people took part in the Royal Victoria Marathon Thanksgiving weekend tradition on Sunday. Dean Stoltz has more.

It’s a Victoria Thanksgiving weekend tradition and over 4,000 runners were happy to be back taking part.

After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Royal Victoria Marathon was the first organized in-person race many of the runners were taking part in since 2019.

“It’s a nice beginning to return to normal,” said one runner, adding. “We’re vaccinated, we’re able to do this and so we appreciate that they are letting us.”

“It’ll be neat, a little intimidating with what’s going on in the world but I think it’s a good sign to get us back together again and people gathering again in large groups like this and being able to enjoy being outdoors and being active and fit while being in a collective whole back together in the city,” said one runner.

It was an organizational accomplishment considering that just a few months ago organizers didn’t know if a 2021 race could even be held due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and ever-changing restrictions.

“Oh, it’s just amazing, goosebumps seeing everybody at the start line and the same when they crossed,” said Cathy Noel, the Royal Victoria Marathon’s race director.

Although the full-length marathon wasn’t held this year, the half-marathon and 8-K races were and they attracted thousands of people.

“We have over 4,000 participants that are live in-person here today and then another two to three thousand that are virtual all over the world that are running,” said Noel.

People lined the route under sunny skies to cheer them on.

“It was awesome, it was fantastic,” another runner told CHEK News after completing the 8K. “It was really fun, good energy lots of smiles, it was really fun just to be part of it again.”

Runners from Calgary won both the men’s and women’s half-marathon.

Matthew Travaglini won the men’s race in an unofficial 1:06:45 and Leanne Klassen took the women’s title in an unofficial 1:17:18.

View full race results here.

Thousands of people participated in the Royal Victoria Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 10. (CHEK News)

It’s the first time since 2019 that the Royal Victoria Marathon has held in-person races. (CHEK News)

Runners from all over participated in the event, which saw countless others line the streets and cheer them on as they raced through the city. (CHEK News)

Participants say they were thrilled to be back racing in person again. (CHEK News)

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Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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