September 13, 2013 | by Christina Van
Whether you’re ready for the Boston Marathon or you’re just looking for a fun and meaningful way for your family to be active, the BMO Okanagan Marathon Family Festival Weekend is a great way to spend the Thanksgiving weekend in Kelowna. Hotels throughout the city are gearing up to welcome racers of all sizes for this growing and highly anticipated event.
Last year, 500 runners did the marathon, 1,500 people ran the half marathon, and 800 took part in the 10 kilometre event, all of which raise much-needed funds for Sunshine Foundation's Dreams for Kids, a charity that makes dreams come true for ill and disabled children across Canada. The main races, slated for Sunday, Oct. 13 and taking runners around the beautiful Okanagan valley, are followed by a handful of fun events the day before, on Saturday Oct. 12.
Running Room founder and author John Stanton along with the Pacer Bunnies take part in the free Friendship Run/Walk on Oct. 12, the day before the marathon to speak and help ease runners' anxieties.
(Photo by Okanagan Marathon)
While serious runners, many hoping to qualify for the 2015 Boston Marathon, have their eye on Sunday’s finish line, more and more families and young runners are taking part in Saturday’s fun walks and talks. Participants from across the Interior and beyond leave Kelowna hotels early Sunday morning for the 7:15 a.m. marathon gunshot they’ve been preparing for, for so long.
If you and your family would like to take part in the BMO Okanagan Marathon 2013, here are some of the highlights of the weekend outside the Sunday races.
Highlights of the BMO Okanagan Marathon 2013
The ABC Kids Run
This event is about more than running. Little legs will have to go through mini-hurdles and do jumping jacks before beginning the 1.6-kilometre run around City Park. In addition to developing their running feet, kids have a chance to practice jumping and throwing at several activity stations, which they can remain at next to mom or dad for as long as they like. The kids run, a mass start for all ages and abilities, gets underway at 12 noon on Saturday, Oct. 12.
The Friendship Run/Walk
The Running Room’s Free Friendship Run kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday. Serious runners look forward to the chance to ease their anxieties as well as get some motivational advice from Running Room founder John Stanton.
The Sports Expo at City Park
You’ve trained for months, and now you’ve brought your two most valuable tools—your feet and your determination. But there is definitely some equipment that can make a runner’s life easier, from GPS watches to hydration belts. Check out the latest running gear from all your favourite vendors at the Sports Expo, held in Kelowna’s beautiful City Park, just blocks away from many great Kelowna hotels.
Other highlights of the BMO Okanagan Marathon 2013 include a Kids Zone featuring activities for kids from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and a 5 K fun run/walk that starts at 10 a.m. Saturday. For maps, more information or to register for the main Sunday events, visit the BMO Okanagan Marathon 2013 site.
Looking for a place to rest up the night before the marathon? Kelowna pet-friendly hotels such as the BEST WESTERN PLUS Kelowna Hotels & Suites offer a peaceful place for the whole family to sleep. With an environmental wing, a mineral pool, hot tub, grass courtyard and more, you’ll want to book your room today!