This past Sunday, April 6, over 600 participants gathered in Gibsons, BC, on the Sunshine Coast, for what has become a tradition for almost 40 years; the April Fool’s Run. Unlike recent years, which have almost seen the snow line at the race course level, this year, Mother Nature provided perfect race conditions, with fresh, moist air, cool temperatures and a mix of sun and cloud. It was the perfect day for a perfect race.
The half marathon race is a favourite for many Vancouver area residents and locals. The race has a strong sense of community and is deeply supported throughout the community, from the volunteers from Vancouver who got up at 3am to set-up the course, to the local vendors who supply goods and services to help put on the race.
The course starts in Gibsons and makes its way through residential neighbourhoods, quiet country roads and along the highway, ending up at a beautiful park beside the beach in Sechelt.
Held on or near April Fools day, the race is anything but a joke. The course is a constant battle of long, steep, up hills, and incredibly fast down hills. Overall, the course is a net down hill, which results in some extremely good personal bests and some of Canada’s top race times on a half marathon course!
Many of the participants went all out in race gear. Some dressed up in amusing costumes hoping for a chance to win the costume contest, while others donned this or past years technical race shirts in their show of support for the beloved race. The coveted blue BMO race gloves were also all the rage, included with every race package entry, courtesy of title sponsor BMO.
As participants crossed the finish line at the end of the 21.1 km (13.3 mi) race, they were presented with the BMO April Fool’s Run finishers medal.
Finishing in first place was David Jackson of Abbotsford, BC, with a time of 1:09:09, and in close second at 1:09:12, Kevin O’Connor, of Vancouver, BC. The first place female finisher was Gibson’s very own Kimberley Doerksen, crossing the line at 1:14:53, followed by second place female finisher, Ellie Greenwood at 1:17:42.
The April Fool’s Run is a race to put on the annual race calendar. With being just four weeks before the BMO Vancouver Marathon, it’s a great dress rehearsal to test your race day skills.
Overall: 72 / 505
Gun Time: 1:37:57
Chip Time: 1:37:57
Pace: 4:39 / km
Men’s Overall: 56 / 234
Men’s 30-39: 18 / 56