Race Policies


Entry fees are non-refundable.

Medical deferrals are available. View: medical


Age Restrictions

Our race registration Age Policy requires that as of race day, all Half Marathon participants must be 16 years or older, all 10KM participants must be 12 or older, and all 5KM participants must be 10 years or older. This policy follows international standards, has been informed by external medical advisers, and is in place for the safety of participants. Parents/guardians must sign the Online Waiver for participants aged 19 or under and parents/guardians are urged to ensure that young runners have the training and pace judgement needed to complete the event comfortably and safely. Race organizers reserve the right to require proof of age.

Prohibited Items

For in-person events. The use of bicycles, inline skates and pets are prohibited during in-person races. Strollers are not permitted on the course. Hydration vests are allowed however backpacks are not for safety reasons. The right to disqualify runners who fail to comply with this policy is at the sole and exclusive decision of the race organizer, Vancouver International Marathon Society (“Society”).

iPods/MP3 players/Headphones

For in-person events. For the runner’s safety, music devices are discouraged. There is no risk of disqualification for simple use. If a runner puts themselves or other runners at risk through an unsafe act that race organizers determine was caused directly or indirectly through the use of an iPod/MP3 player item however, the runner may be disqualified.

Pacing Requirement

For in-person events. There will be designated check points along the course with authorized course marshals that monitor and encourage runners to stay on pace and to ensure completion within the cut off time. A sweep vehicle will be available for pick up if necessary.

Course Hours

For in-person events. The courses will be open for a set duration, dependent on city permits. Final start times and course limits will be announced closer to race day.

For virtual races. Runners may take as long as they wish to complete their distance.

Course Availability

For in-person events. The race is restricted and limited to registered participants only.


For in-person and virtual events. Registration is online only, not in-person or at Package Pickup, space permitting. Mail-in registrations are not available.

All runners must complete registration forms and sign the race waiver. View the Entry Fees and Deadlines at firsthalfca/register

Race Transfer Policy

The First Half allows entries to be transferred to accommodate runners unable to participate, until December 15. For liability and safety reasons, it is important for transfers to be registered. A person running in your place can create errors in the results and can deny legitimate winners their placing and prizes. Moreover, in the event of an accident or medical emergency, the wrong registration information may have serious consequences and liability implications.

After December 16, and later, if you’d no longer like to race the in-person event, you may switch into the Virtual Race or you may apply for a Medical Deferral and receive a partial deferral discount to next year’s race. Transfers and refunds are not allowed after December 16 as the race assets including race bibs and tech shirts are ordered well in advance. Refunds are not available per race policies.

Note: The event will follow Provincial health orders at the time.

Transfer Information and Fees:

  • Until December 15 only, race transfers are available
  • If you’d like to transfer your purchased race entry, less admin fees, please email: info@runvan.org 
  • If you’d like to try and obtain a bib transfer and be added to waitlist, please email: info@runvan.org
  • The new runner will pay a race entry fee if accepted into the sold-out event. The runner transferring out of the event will be reimbursed their race registration less online processing and admin fees.

Switch into the Virtual Race from In-Person

In-person registered runners may also transfer into the Virtual Race for a nominal fee of $1.95. Runners registered for the in-person event who switch into the Virtual Race by January 24 are still eligible to receive their unique tech shirt and medal, Virtual Race entry this year, and early bird registration opportunities for the following year.

The last day to switch from an in-person race to the Virtual Race is January 24. To switch, please use the email you’d registered with to confirm you’d like to switch to the Virtual Race. After this date, you may apply for Medical Deferral providing 25% off next year’s race, or 50% off next year’s race if you volunteer at the Start Line. 


Entry fees are non-refundable under any circumstances.

For Legal and Liability reasons runners cannot offer their unused bib to any other runner. Runners cannot defer their unused entry to the following year. You may switch into the Virtual Race.


Please note the following Deferral Policies apply for the In-Person event.

If the In-Person event is cancelled due to events beyond the reasonable control, such as acts of God, acts of government, acts of wars, epidemics, quarantines, riots, fire, strikes or labour problems (including legal work stoppages or slowdowns), unavailability of communications or electrical power or other necessary utility services, governmental regulations superimposed after the fact and earthquakes, floods and other disasters, and other events of a similar nature (collectively, “Force Majeure Events”), depending on the date of cancellation, the Society shall provide participants the following:

Event Cancellation announced on December 1 or earlier:

  • Entry switch into this year’s Virtual Race, race bonuses, AND
  • 75% Deferral Discount into one of the next three First Half events

Event Cancellation announced after December 2:

  • Entry switch into this year’s Virtual Race, race bonuses, AND
  • 25% Deferral Discount into one of the next three First Half events

Medical Deferral

Runner Medical Deferral – Applicable to In-Person participants only.

Only for medical reasons may a runner apply for a partial Deferral Discount, and all Medical Deferral Applications must be submitted before race start.

  • 75% Deferral Discount into the next year’s race if you’re able to volunteer on race day this year
  • 50% Deferral Discount into the next year’s race if you’re unable to volunteer on race day this year

How to apply for Medical Deferral

1. Login to your Participant Dashboard to apply for a Medical Deferral.

2. Find the associated First Half presented by BlueShore Financial event.

3. Click the ‘Edit registration‘ blue button, top-right, and then from this ‘Edit registration’ page, toggle to the tab ‘Registration questions‘.

4. Check ‘Yes’ in the first Medical Deferral box and respond to the subsequent questions. Please tell us why you’re unable to participate.

5. Save your responses and then, if you’d like and are able to, please Register to Volunteer.

Your Medical Deferral Code will be emailed to you before registration opens for next year’s event.

You may also choose to switch into the Virtual Race.



For virtual races. Results are not validated and will be posted based on an honour system.

For in-person events. It is the responsibility of each runner (“Runner”) to use the chip timing device (“Chip”) appropriately.  Bibs should be stored flat without folds and worn on the front of the shirt for accurate timing and results. The Bib contains the timing device and any misuse of the bib may interfere with the effectiveness of the chip.

To maintain the integrity of race results for the event, race results for any particular runner maybe invalid in the circumstances following:

  • Where (Chip) times at specific locations, have not been recorded (despite both start and finish (Chip) times having been recorded);
  • Where (i) (Chip) times at specific locations, have not been recorded, and (ii) there is a negative split time between the first half of the event and the second half of the event exceeding 15 minutes.
  • In such other circumstances, where a result is questionable as determined by the sole and exclusive decision of the race directors of the Vancouver International Marathon Society (“Society”).

In the event a Runner’s time has not been validated in the circumstances described above, the Runner may appeal the non-validation of the runner’s time by requesting, in writing, that the Society review the validation of the runner’s time. Such review will be based on the written explanation of the runner and a review of the cameras (film and photo) commissioned by the Society during the race. All decisions by the Society as to any such appeal are final.

The Society reserves the right to forward notice of all results that have not been validated to BC Athletics, Athletics Canada, or such other race governing organizations as appropriate.


RUNVAN® bases the results on Gun time AND Chip. Gun Time is the time from the start of the race (gun) to when you cross the finish line as per IAAF, Athletics Canada, USATF, AIMS and International Awards standards. Chip time is the time recorded by the BibTag/timing Chip once a runner crosses the Start Line, then the Finish Line.

Gun time will be the Official time for the top three OVERALL male and female winners in each the Half Marathon, 10KM and 5KM races. Chip time will be the Official time for all other runners, including Age Group winners. Top three overall winners are not eligible for age group awards.


For virtual races. All participants welcome.

For in-person events. Athletes with racing wheelchairs are welcome to participate in the event. Hand-cycles are prohibited. Please indicate in the registration form that you are participating in a wheelchair. Participants with a wheelchair may be pushed in a race-approved wheelchair. Both participants must be registered; Escorts will be required to have the wheelchair tethered to their body (arm, wrist or waist) to ensure the wheelchair does not leave their company for the duration of the event. The Vancouver International Marathon Society reserves the right at any time to revoke the privilege of these participants if a safety risk is determined. All wheelchair participants must submit a picture of their race wheelchair for approval prior to race day. Thank you for understanding. Please email: info@runvan.org.

Persons with visual impairment or low-vision are welcome to participate with a guide. Please indicate in the registration form that you are participating with a guide and if you’d like help finding a guide, please contact: info@runvan.org


For virtual races. A virtual race allows you to complete your race on your own, from anywhere. You may run, walk or stroll your race distance at your own pace and at a time and location of your choice. You may choose your own race day and your own starting line, whether it’s a treadmill, a park, your neighbourhood streets or Seawall.

For in-person events

Participants must stay within course boundaries, as designated by officials, marshals, traffic cones, barriers, and other markings, at all times. Failure to do so may result in disqualification and ineligibility for future Society events.

Participant bib numbers must be fully visible at all times on the front of the body and on the runner shirt or race belt. Bibs worn on the leg or back of the shirt, or if covered by clothing, such as a jacket, may not record the timing device properly.

Participants are advised not to invite anyone not officially registered for the event to join in any part of the race. Any runners not officially registered for the event will be given one warning before the Police will be advised, and the runner will be removed from the course.

The Society reserves the right to disqualify any individual from the event. This disqualification may be based on, but is not limited to, all race policies; unsportsmanlike conduct; competing with an unofficial bib number; competing with an official bib number assigned to another person; transferring or attempting to transfer an official bib number, or to obtain such bib number, from another person; being paced during the race by a person not entered in the race; accepting assistance from non-race participants; crossing the finish line without having completed the entire course; and providing false information on the race entry form. Individuals disqualified from a race will be removed from the race results and may be barred from future events.


Code of Conduct

In registering as a participant in an event held by the Vancouver International Marathon Society, the registrant agrees to take part in a spirit of fair play, honesty and integrity within the rules and regulations as stated under all Event Policies.

To make the most out of your race day experience, please also take a moment to familiarize yourself with the below race etiquette points.

Before Race Day:

  • Read the website and all race related emails.
  • Complete the registration form thoroughly and provide correct information.
  • Know your Package Pick Up location, dates and times.
  • Double-check all information on your Bib before your race so you have time to
    correct any potential errors such as age, gender, etc.
  • Remember to thank the volunteers!

Race Day:

  • Be Prepared. Have all your race clothing and gear the day before.
  • Arrive early, approximately one hour before your race start time.
  • Wear your Bib number on the front and do not cover.
  • Pay attention to all race announcements.
  • Follow all instructions and signs from race officials and volunteers.
  • Use washrooms and portables provided at the race venue.
  • Use garbage/recycling receptacles provided at the start/finish and on course. Do not litter!
  • Line up in the corral that matches your pace. Allow faster participants to line up at the front.
  • Stay to the right on the race course unless you are passing.
  • Run or walk no more than two abreast.
  • Pass on the left and indicate with verbal cues to others around you.
  • Do not come to a dead stop. Move to the side if you need to stop.
  • Discard clothing responsibly at the start on the fencing within the chute or leave with a friend. Do not drop garments on the ground or throw them at aid stations.
  • Move to the side of the road if you need to spit or blow your nose.
  • Yield to emergency vehicles if necessary.
  • Move to the side when approaching an aid station. Do not block the table.
  • Run through the finish. Keep moving through the finish area so as not to impede others.
  • Thank volunteers!

It is the RUNVAN® Mission to deliver premiere running events that inspire active lifestyles and invite the world to experience Vancouver! Please share any comments or feedback with the RUNVAN race staff to: info@runvan.org

Event Maps

Note: Maps are for reference only. If you are running the Virtual Race, please choose your own route that is pedestrian friendly. Use caution if running outside, and be alert of pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Please also be respectful of safety concerns and follow the lead of your local health authorities.


Start Line

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