In a new multi-year partnership, RUNVAN welcomes BlueShore Financial as presenting partner of the newly named ‘First Half presented by BlueShore Financial’ Half Marathon and ‘Great Trek presented by BlueShore Financial’. This new partnership helps support RUNVAN’s vision of making a positive and healthy impact within the community.
The First Half presented by BlueShore Financial is the first event in a running race series put on by the Vancouver International Marathon Society RUNVAN, a non-profit and volunteer-led organization, reliant on over 3,000 volunteers annually. Known to sell-out quickly, this event continues to support Variety – the Children’s Charity.
“RUNVAN is excited to partner with a truly local institution with deep roots right here on the West Coast,” adds RUNVAN race director, Eric Chéné. “Like RUNVAN, BlueShore Financial is committed to building community, so we see this as a fantastic fit.”
“As a boutique financial institution serving British Columbians for over 80 years, BlueShore Financial is committed to supporting wellness in all its forms. This includes the financial wellness of our clients, as well as contributing to the long-term overall well-being of the communities we serve,” said Armita Alikhani, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, BlueShore Financial.
“We’re proud to partner with RUNVAN, whose values of supporting physical wellness and fostering healthy, vibrant communities echo our own,” adds Alikhani. “As presenting sponsor of the 2023 First Half and Great Trek, we look forward to sharing in these scenic and beloved local races.”
Combined, the two events will bring together over 5,000 runners and hundreds of volunteers.
“BlueShore Financial will allow our non-profit to focus on the race experience, and to continue fostering community while inspiring overall healthy, active lifestyles,” adds Chéné. “Our events simply would not be the same without the support of such strong partners and volunteers.”
Labelled as Canada’s Fastest Half, the First Half saw five runners break old course records at its most recent event in February.
Natasha Wodak led the pack this year in 1:11:32. The Olympian and three-time First Half champion continued her win streak by setting the Canadian Marathon record in 2:23:12 this September, breaking a mark formerly held by fellow Olympian and BC local Malindi Elmore.
Elmore finished second at the First Half in 2022 and also enjoyed success later in the year by winning the Canadian Marathon Championships with Athletics Canada alongside Trevor Hofbauer, another 2022 First Half Podium Finisher.
1:03:25 is the overall event record set by two-time Olympian Lucas Bruchet in 2022.
The 2023 First Half presented by BlueShore Financial opens registration this week.
The Great Trek, which just wrapped up its 2022 event this past Saturday, will open registration for the 2023 event next May. Promoted as a ‘jaunt through Musqueam territory’, the fall event offers races for everyone, from 5KM to 10KM, to 21.1KM and 36.1KM combo races.
The Great Trek raised over $25,000 this year for its charity partners, BC Children’s Hospital and Rare Disease Foundation. Combined, the RUN4HOPE Charity Program by RUNVAN has helped runners to raise over $16 Million for charity over the years.
To learn more about Vancouver’s best running races, please visit: runvan.org.