More than 11

More than 11

Runners on the starting line

More than 11,000 runners are expected to take part in Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon events this weekend.

You run hard and then you eat some turkey. It’s the simple way to look at this weekend’s marathon, as thanksgiving dinner is the reward for months of dedicated training.

It isn’t just the 2,030 registered participants of the 42.2-kilometre GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon who’ll be working up an appetite, as another 5,292 are registered for the 21.1-km half-marathon and 2,589 for the 8K road race. Those numbers were from Wednesday, and totalled 10,961, with the 1,050 mini marathoners set to partake in the 1.25 km Thrifty Foods Kids Run. That’s a lot of calories burned.

And don’t forget the hundreds of volunteers, who deserve an extra spoonful of stuffing for making the race happen.

Marathon weekend has grown into a serious business in Victoria, a reliable economic generator as the city’s biggest sporting event and a major influence on the city’s cultural landscape.

It has its lighter moments, as marathoners have crossed the finish line in tutus, and colourful costumes and who can forget, Adam Campbell’s world record marathon time for a someone in a  business suit from 2012.

But for the most part it’s a well-run business that benefits charities – last year’s total money raised was $325,000 – and the general health of our community.

The Victoria Marathon has influenced dozens of smaller races throughout the season which are filled with marathoners ramping up for the big day. As the elites look to break records Sunday, behind them is 10,000 runners, mostly local, accomplishing a long awaited goal.

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Speaker series kicks off weekend

The GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon’s race expo is hosting another strong guest list for its Speaker Series, tomorrow (Oct. 12) from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the auditorium on level 1 of the Victoria Conference Centre.

Speaking are Dick Beardsley, the former underdog who nearly out-duelled Albeto Salazar in the 1982 Boston Marathon, Rich Benyo, the author and editor of magazine Marathon and Beyond, and Olympian Hilary Stellingwerff.

Also speaking are Canadian running champion Lucy Smith, Mena Westhaver, founder of Sole Sisters, and Sara Joy Erickson of Running Moms.

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Marathon road closures and traffic

The GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon route will clog up much of downtown Victoria on Sunday morning, particularly at the start and finish line of Menzies Street and area. Expect detours and delays in the downtown core near the water, in James Bay and Beacon Hill Park before, and along Dallas Road, Gonzales Bay,  Fairfield, Oak Bay and Uplands, where it turns around.

Anyone living south of McNeill Avenue, east of Foul Bay Avenue and west of Oliver Street, can cross the marathon route in their vehicle on Foul Bay Road at McNeill Avenue.