Royal Victoria Marathon not ruling out live race in October

Cathy Noel’s new favourite old song should be Time Is on My Side by the Rolling Stones. Because it might well be.

“We are not pulling the pin on October,” said the GM and race director of the Royal Victoria Marathon.

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The new virtual Royal Flush race series announced Wednesday by organizers – offering one mile, 5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon races to be conducted anytime May to September — does not mean there will be no live race on Oct. 10. That scheduled date is well after the September timeline set by the federal government to have all willing Canadians vaccinated.

“In the coming months we are going to be able to do all of those things we have been missing the last year. By the time we get to the summer, we’re going to be in a different place,” said B.C. health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry this week.

That is too late for the annual Times Colonist 10K, which will be contested virtually April 16-25, and the Oak Bay Half Marathon, to be run virtually May 15-31. But it offers hope for a live 41st Royal Victoria Marathon in the fall. The event is an annual qualifier for the Boston Marathon,

“Once we find out what we can do, then we will create something for race weekend. We have our fingers crossed,” said Noel.

It is impossible to be more concrete at this point. There is much to consider, said Noel: “Are we going to have 8,000 to 9,000 people as usual on the start line Oct. 10? How many people will come out? Then it becomes a financial decision. Can we afford it? The goal is always to offer a great experience for our participants. Can we put on the great show we want?”

Noel said the vaccine situation is so fluid it would be premature to either rule in or rule out a live fall race at this moment.

“We’re looking into a crystal ball and nobody knows yet,” she said.

But in the meantime, there are events the organizing committee can conduct virtually.

“We just want to be pro-active and get people moving,” said Noel.

Early registration is open until March 31. Fees are $20 for the mile, which includes a children’s portion, and the 5K. It is $40 for the 10K, $55 for the half-marathon, $70 for the marathon and $180 for the entire Royal Flush series. Participants receive a collection of prizes, including medals, race bags, buffs, endur- socks or toques and New Balance shirts. Those completing the series will also receive a Royal Flush Medal. Results can be posted on the Runkeeper app. Registration and info is at

The Oak Bay Half Marathon this week announced its virtual-race fees of $40 each for the half-marathon, 10K, and the 5K, and $70 for the Triple Crown from May 15-31. Registrants receive a New Balance technical shirt, medal, New Balance/Frontrunners coupon and local nutrition and hydration products. There is a special prize for those that complete the Triple Crown. Registration and info is at

Meanwhile, the Times Colonist 10K announced its virtual-race details in January. Registration is $40 at There is also a 5K race and 1.5K kids’ race. Participants will post their times online during the race period in April 16-25. Race bibs, medals, energy bars/gels and event T-shirts will be part of the race package along with some witty extras such as finish-line tape. Race packages will be picked up April 16-17 in scheduled shifts and in socially-distanced fashion at a venue to be announced or they can also be mailed out at cost.

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