Canada’s Fastest Half
The First Half 21.1KM route traditionally starts and ends near the Yaletown Roundhouse Community Centre, goes out on the Seawall, to English Bay, through Stanley Park and back again. The course is traditionally marked at every kilometre and at halfway, and is accurately measured and certified. With the event a Virtual Race this year, our friends at RunGo have also shared a few other route options with you below. Aside from practicing safe, physical distancing, be alert of vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Remember, there are no road closures in effect during your Virtual Race. Race safely!
Please also note a section of the Stanley Park seawall between Lions Gate Bridge and Third Beach will be closed for remediation every week day starting at 6:30am until 2pm, Monday through Friday. The seawall will be fully open on the weekend.
Virtual Route Options with RunGo
A waterfront out-and-back course, the ‘First Half’ Half Marathon is a scenic, 21.1KM route that traditionally takes place in Downtown Vancouver. Kicking off near the Roundhouse Community Centre, the First Half traditionally continues out past Sunset Beach, along the Seawall, and back towards the historic Yaletown neighbourhood. In 2021, this event is being offered as a Virtual Race! You’re asked to please find your own pedestrian friendly route.
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Note: For the virtual race, there will be no water stations on course. Please arrange your own hydration accordingly. Thank you for understanding.
Traditional Course Description
The First Half traditionally starts at 8:30am and finishes at 11:30am with approximately 2,000 runners expected out on the course.
The race traditionally begins in front of the Roundhouse Community Centre on Pacific Boulevard between Davie and Drake Street at 8:30am. Runners start by moving east on Pacific Boulevard, run around BC Place Stadium and back onto Pacific Boulevard. Runners proceed west past the Roundhouse Community Center on Pacific Boulevard, under the Granville Street Bridge onto Beach Avenue – continuing along Beach to the Aquatic Centre, through the Aquatic Centre parking lot to the Seawall. The race follows the Seawall past English Beach and into Stanley Park. Runners follow the bicycle path to Second Beach, then around the south side of Lost Lagoon, under Georgia Street at the Chilco pedestrian underpass and back onto the Stanley Park Seawall at Coal Harbour. Runners follow the Seawall around Stanley Park back to Second Beach. At Second Beach, runners turn to proceed around Lost Lagoon and then head back to Second Beach. From Second Beach runners follow the seawall out of Stanley Park. They exit at the Aquatic Centre onto Beach Avenue. Runners then proceed back onto Granville Street and Pacific Boulevard to the finish on Drake Street between Pacific Boulevard and Marinaside Circle.
Most runners will be on the seawall from 9am to 10:30am.
Best places to watch the runners:
- Start Line, where the runners pass twice – once right at the start and again as they head toward Stanley Park. Then, just a few steps away from the start, they will make the final dash for the glory at the finish line.
- Second Beach and Ceperly Park, where the runners can be seen three times as they proceed through and around Stanley Park. Please note that if you wish to watch all three passes, it will be difficult to return to the finish before your runner.