The Vancouver USA Marathon and Half Marathon (aka “VUM”) has been dubbed “the hidden gem of the Northwest”, and for good reason. The VUM racing weekend is organized by Energy Events, it offers four different distances (the marathon, half marathon, 5k, and kids marathon) and now also includes a brewfest! Check your schedule and sign up to join the fun before the next price increase on April 15th.
All races start in Vancouver’s Ester Short Park, where the brewfest will also be happening all weekend. The marathon course has runners heading west, leaving the city towards Vancouver Lake and the turnaround point at mile 7.5, then back east towards Vancouver. These first 14 miles are mostly flat and steady along the Columbia River. The course is now merged with the half-marathon course, weaves through downtown (with some moderate hills), across I-5, into Ft Vancouver, and around Pearson Airfield. There appears to be a gnarly hill – or a tunnel that throws off elevation data – at mile 20 (half’s mile 7) before dropping back down to the eastern turnaround point at miles 21 and 8, respectively, and the race then concludes on bike paths along the Columbia River before returning back to the finish line and post-race festivities at Ester Short Park.
Both the half and full marathon are well supported races that are appropriate for everybody: those hoping for a Boston Qualifier, those hoping to walk their very first marathon, and everyone in between. The marathon has 13 water and aid stations, while the half has seven. The marathon course will be closed to traffic and supported by volunteers for seven hours (five hours for the half), at which point it will reopen to traffic. Participants who have not finished at that point are allowed to continue and finish the race but are asked to follow regular rules of the road.
VUM Racing Weekend:
When: June 13-15, 2014
Start times: 7am Marathon, 9am Half Marathon
Where: Ester Short Park, Vancouver, USA
Register: Online here
Registration includes: Well-supported race, tech shirt, finisher’s medal (for half and full marathon), food, snacks, beer, and music.
Packet Pickup: At race expo June 13-14 (NO packet pickup on Sunday morning for half and full marathon)