BMO Vancouver 8k 2018


BMO Vancouver 8K

When the 2017 BMO Vancouver Marathon finished, I swore I would never run another marathon. Then I thought that I needed to hit the goal time I had set – but didn’t achieve – that year. When BMO opened early (and discounted) registration for 2018, I naturally signed up. However, as  the year progressed, I made the unexpected decision to run Eugene Marathon instead. Given that the BMO was just a week later, and since two marathons in two weekends was not going to happen, I eventually changed to the BMO Vancouver 8K.

And I’m glad I did!

The very first race I ever signed up for was the BMO Vancouver 8k in 2009. This, after a glass (or two) of wine…read my Run, Fatboy, Run post to learn more about how I got started! As such, it was great to revisit this distance at BMO, and run the ‘new’ course!


I was still in recovery mode when the BMO Vancouver Marathon Expo opened. I had agreed to volunteer at the Laughlin Half Marathon booth on Saturday, but dropped by after work on Thursday to pick up my race package. It was a quick visit – grabbed my bib, shmoozed with some friends, skirted around the outside of the expo (knowing I’d be spending a whole day there), picked up my t-shirt and headed home.

BMO Vancouver 8K BMO Vancouver 8K

Saturday was a full day – standing, chatting with hundreds of runners, and extolling the virtues of Laughlin, Nevada. (Incidentally, I recommend checking this race out – I hope to have a discount code to share soon!) It was great to see some familiar faces among the many athletes on their way to tackle the 8k, half marathon or marathon distance the next day. Fantastic experience!

BMO Vancouver 8K BMO Vancouver 8K

Race Day

Despite heavy legs, I decided that a light jog to the start line at Stanley Park was in order. An easy 2k, I arrived to throngs of eager runners milling about in the warm morning sun on Lagoon Drive. The race was scheduled to start at 9:30am and the temperature was rising. I thought of the marathon runners – that could have been me! – who were just an hour and a half in. It was going to be toasty!

I don’t know why I didn’t take a picture, but I was joined in the start corral by my buddy Mike. Well on his way to achieving his goal of 100 races before turning 25, Mike had already finished the half marathon, sprinting from the finish line to complete the 8k. This guy never ceases to amaze me!

BMO Vancouver 8K

The gun went off, and we headed onto Stanley Park Drive, where the course merged with the tail end of the half marathon. It was a bit odd – while the 8k runners were starting off strong, many of the half marathoners were slowing down and/or walking. As a result, there was a bit of dodging around folks to make progress.

We looped the north side of Lost Lagoon on the Lagoon Drive, and up Pipeline Road towards the Seawall. Late in a half marathon, this is a gruelling uphill climb. In kilometre 2 of the 8k, it was easy-peasy! I felt strong and although I had no specific goal time in mind, I simply went by feel.

Biggest challenge? Walkers. I have great respect for those who complete a half marathon – at any pace – but appreciate when participants follow race etiquette. I encountered at least two groups walking 4 or 5 across, blocking the road and forcing the 8k runners to weave around them. Ah well, that’s the way it goes.

A few more kilometres on the Seawall and the final stretch onto Georgia. My honey was there with camera in hand!

BMO Vancouver 8K BMO Vancouver 8K

Final sprint into the finishing chute and I crossed the line just under 40 minutes – even quicker than I expected! Despite being just a week off a marathon, I finished top 10 in my age category – not bad!

BMO Vancouver 8K


My BMO Vancouver 8k medal – with a nifty map of the race route on the front – is one of my favourite BMO medal designs to date. I was handed water (thank goodness – it was hot!), got lots of goodies (salt ‘n’ vinegar chips…yes, please!), and met up with my honey who took me for coffee and brunch. Perfect finish to a beautiful race.

BMO Vancouver 8K

Huge kudos to everyone who completed the half, and to those who soldiered through and finished the full marathon in the full heat of the day. It was a challenge and my peeps rose to the challenge! Well done!

Final Results

Chip time: 39:57
Average pace: 4:50 min/km
Overall place: 95/2648
Place in age category: 10/116

Click here for complete race results

Quick Recap – BMO Vancouver 8K 2018

Social Media: The BMO Vancouver International Marathon Society does great work in the social media space. In addition to an informative website, they’re active on these social channels:  Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Packet Pickup: By the time I came by on Thursday afternoon, there was no one in line so I had my packet within minutes. I heard from a few folks that lines got long, so it’s really just about timing. The expo was chock full of great vendors and totally worth a visit. One of the challenges if you’re in a hurry is that you need to weave through the whole expo to get to the end, where you pick up your t-shirt. Plan ahead!

T-Shirt/Swag: This year’s designs are great! Both the t-shirt and the medal have maps of the course (whatever distance you ran). The t-shirt is a simple grey with the map on the back, one I’ll definitely wear again and again!

Course: Mirroring the last 8k of the half marathon course, it’s a great preview of what Vancouver has to offer – Stanley Park, Seawall, Coal Harbour – and a finish line worthy of a marathon!

Post-Race: I didn’t stick around too long. The race went by quick, and the folks doing the longer distances deserved more space and nourishment! The event is always well stocked with all your post-race needs.

Would I Run It Again? Hey, it’s my local race! I’ve done the 8k three times, the half marathon five times, and the full marathon twice. Ten times in 10 years…every year since I started running. So, yes, I’ll be running this great race again. The distance? TBA!

BMO Vancouver 8K

Back to Top