Marathoners seek support on Oak Bay streets

Road closures in effect as thousands of runners descend on Greater Victoria

Oak Bay spectators are critical in the success of runners in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, says one resident and 2015 participant.

“It’s a good opportunity for people to get out and cheer people on who have been training for the last four months,” said Jamie Morgan, a marathon clinic co-ordinator with Frontrunners. “Some people think it’s a bother having the roads closed but it’s a good opportunity to be part of the community.”

Sunday morning, Oct. 11, more than 11,000 people will participate in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon. The races (8K – 7:15 a.m., Half Marathon – 7:30 a.m., Marathon – 8:45 a.m., and Kids Run – 10:15 a.m.) start near and finish in front of the B.C. Legislative Buildings. Most runners will finish the events by 2:15 p.m.

Many participants will trot, jog, run or walk through Oak Bay.

“Marathoners have to do it rain or shine so the crowds that we see on the route are that much better. It just gives you energy,” Morgan said. “They drive you they keep you going and keep you motivated and remind you why you’re out there.”

For months now he’s been working a clinic with about 200 people training, with a focus on the GoodLife half and full marathon.

“Last year I was able to be at the finish line and see (clinic participants) cross the finish line,” Morgan said. “You get to see them come across with the smiles, the grimaces the tears, the emotions.”

This year it’s been a two-way street, as participants encouraged him to be ready for the run he’ll do himself on Sunday.

“We need to feed off of extra energy,” Morgan said. “We’re looking for any energy we can have … that little smile and cheer and little kid with a high-five.”

Oak Bay road closures are in effect starting around 8 a.m. on Sunday. Closures include McNeill-Hampshire-Granite-Mitchell from Foul Bay to Oak Bay Avenue; Monterey-Windsor-Oliver from Oak Bay Avenue to Beach Drive; Oak Bay Avenue from Mitchell to Monterey; Beach Drive from Oliver to Exeter; and Oak Bay Avenue from Mitchell to Monterey. Roads are expected re-open in Oak Bay beginning some time after noon as the last runners pass through.

Visit runvictoriamarathon.com for more information.