Like any other first-world country, Canada places a huge emphasis on physical activity, having produced some of the finest athletes the world has ever seen. There are many who do it simply for pleasure, but plenty of competitive souls also take to the best Canadian marathons each year to strut their stuff, explore new parts of the country, and win big, too.
You may have heard of all the classic routes like the Vancouver and Ottawa Marathons, but we’ve gathered some lesser known tracks to get you excited about putting on your running shoes again! Check them out below.
#1: The Half-Corked Marathon, Oliver, BC
Stretching through the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan wine country, this 18km track has been engineered specifically to be enjoyed. This one is less competitive and more about gazing at the gorgeous surrounds, not to mention enjoying local vino and artisan fare at the dozen or so stalls along the route. Be warned though; tickets for this sell out quick!
#2: Melissa’s Road Race, Banff, Alberta
Anticipate lots of uphills and downhills alike on this stunning Rockies route that can be run for either 10km or 22km. At the end of it all, you will be rewarded with some excellent views of the surrounding nature, along with a coupon for a free pint of Big Rock Traditional Ale when you finish. The pasta dinner at the end of the event is held at the titular Melissa’s Restaurant, which is also renowned for its juicy Alberta beef and cosmopolitan vibe.
#3: Yukon River Trail Marathon, Whitehorse, YT
This full or half marathon can also be run as a relay, and comes in the form of a trail race that begins and ends along the Yukon River in Whitehorse. Your race fee includes gorgeous views, a free shirt, and race rules that will tell you exactly what to do should you bump into a bear along the way. Yes, you guessed it – give it a wide berth and let everyone else know too!
#4: Staircase Challenge, Quebec City, Quebec
If you are looking for something unique to do when you’re not playing at Lucky Nugget Casino Canada, why not conquer some staircases? This 19km/13km route takes you up and down all the stairs that connect Lower and Upper Quebec City, totalling around 30 staircases and well over 3,000 stairs. Runners can also complete three epic challenges; overall time, best climber, and best sprinter. Your legs will never be the same again…
#5: Louisbourg Race Through Time, Louisbourg, NS
History buffs will love this action-packed 8 mile track that takes you on an evening tour of the town of Louisbourg. Meander through the historical old town and the picturesque National Historic Park, which was founded all the way back in 1713, and visit the Fortress of Louisbourg for a guided journey back into the 18th century. If you’re feeling peckish after that, be sure to stop in at the historic town bakery to get your carbo-loading for the day in!