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Kick-off Vancouver running season with the virtual Longest Day of the Year Race

If you’re a runner, the unofficial start of summer in Vancouver begins on a Friday night in June with the annual running of the Longest Day of the Year Race at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium. The pandemic is putting a wrinkle in things, but this beloved annual tradition will live on this year as a virtual event benefiting the Vancouver Food Bank. So, runners can still kick off the season in style, and raise money for the most worthy of causes while getting out there and having fun. 

“The Blueshore Financial Longest Day has always been about the running community getting to enjoy each other's company and to celebrate the beginning of summer while raising funds for a worthy cause, the Food Bank,” says race director Graeme Fell, of Vancouver Thunderbirds Track and Field. “While we know that the whole community is unable to get together we want the run to give families and running friends the focus for still enjoy a run together and help the Food Bank, especially given the circumstances in which many families find themselves.”

The event is scheduled for June 1 to 20. Registration for the 5K and 10K is just $20, while the kid’s run is free. Every runner will receive a personalized bib and certificate, a goodie bag worth over $20 (first 400 entrants in the 5k and 10K), a summer race package is available for $8, as well as race awards, donation awards, and medals to the first 200 Kid's Mile participants.

Taking part in virtual events, setting goals and experiencing that special running community are all part of getting through the pandemic. 

“It is hard to maintain enthusiasm and effort without a goal in mind,” Fell says. “The run provides a focus for setting a goal and trying to improve during that 20-day window. Running is one of the least problematic events COVID-wise, so running with a friend is still a way to celebrate your friendships and to look forward to those long summer days.”

The Blueshore Financial Longest Day event is unique in that it is always on a Friday night, and it is a family-focused event. It can still be that way with the virtual run. 

“The virtual event provides a free run for kids in the form of the Subway Kid's Mile, which pretty much with the 5k and 10k gives the whole family, old and young, a distance to run,” Fell says. 

Although the pandemic has impacted mass start events in the running world, participating in track and field and running, in general, has increased. 

“Being an outside non-contact sport has meant that we have pretty much been able, apart from the initial lockdown been able to continue with obvious modifications, which as runners we should be grateful for,” Fell says. 

To kick off your summer running season in style and register for the Blueshore Financial Longest Day of the Year and Subway Kid’s Mile event visit the Running Room registration page.

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