Vancouver Sun Run returns after 2-year pandemic hiatus

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Sun Run returns after two year pandemic hiatus'
Vancouver Sun Run returns after two year pandemic hiatus
More than 20,000 people turned out in person to do the 2022 Vancouver Sun Run. The race features a new route this year, due to the installation of bike lanes in Stanley Park. – Apr 24, 2022

Tens of thousands of runners packed into downtown Vancouver on Sunday for the first Vancouver Sun Run since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

More than 20,000 people signed up for the full 10 kilometre circuit and the shorter mini Sun Run, with another 3,000 people signing on for a virtual run.

Vancouver native and Olympian Lucas Bruchet took first overall for men with a time of 28:29, while Leslie Sexton of Markham, Ont., took the top time for women at 32:37. Paralympian Nathan Dewitt of Surrey had the top 10 km time in a wheelchair.

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Race director Tim Hopkins said the event was on track to be the largest running event in Canada this year.

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“(The numbers are) down a little bit, obviously post pandemic, we were expecting that. Normally we’d be at over 40,000 people, but this is a huge success,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Sun Run goes virtual this year'
Vancouver Sun Run goes virtual this year

Last year’s event was virtual only, and while the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over, Hopkins said organizers had taken steps to ensure safety.

“We’re going to do our wave starts here, have people separated out, lots of room at the start line, lots of room at the finish, lots of room at BC Place stadium,” he said.

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“Virtual is a great option for people that aren’t ready to come into the big crowds yet.”

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Along with the pandemic precautions, the most obvious change to the run this year is a new route.

Vancouver Sun Run

The installation of separated bike lanes in Stanley Park and along Beach Avenue created a safety issue for runners, Hopkins said.

Instead of running through Stanley Park, participants cross the Burrard Street Bridge and then head east through False Creek.

“We’re going to detour a little bit through Mount Pleasant, run around Science World, and then finish in the opposite direction towards BC Place stadium,” Hopkins said.

“It’s a fast course, our lead athletes may have some solid times this year.”

Sunday’s event comes with multiple significant road closures, with some downtown routes reopening by 11:30 a.m., but others further into the course lasting until 1:30 p.m.

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You can see a full list of closures here.

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