Sad but true, the air has that slight crispness that can only mean one thing: Summer is almost over. As you squeeze all you can out of what’s left of the warmer weather, there’s much to look forward to when it comes to fall race season! Now’s the time to put your training to real test by adding a fall race (or three) to your calendar. This year, there are even more incredible races, coast-to-coast: Canadian races are some of the best worldwide! Here we’ve put together a selection of 19 races that includes something for runners of all distances. It’s the end-of-summer running season, the best time to challenge yourself (and your training) and claim your personal best!
Celebrating 28 years of racing in the Rockies, the Canmore Half Marathon and Marathon offers spectacular views that will have you feeling that mountain high. The half marathon course weaves through woodlands, past streams and through a historic mine, all with stunning views along the way. A mix of gravel and paved paths, the 10K is billed as a fast and flat course and the 5K will suit runners at all levels.
Claim your persona best on Thanksgiving weekend at the Royal Victoria Marathon! Featuring a range of distances including a 42.2K, half marathon, 8K, 5K and Kid’s run, the marathon and half marathon courses weave through quite streets with breathtaking ocean views with a finish line in downtown Victoria. Added bonus: marathon runners can also qualify for Boston in B.C.
Breathtaking views, woodland trails, and all the spirit of an ultra, the Whistler 50K Relay & Ultra is for every runner. The race itself offers distances from 10K to 50K and the Relay component makes it even more engaging whether you’re a first time runner or seasoned ultra athlete. Grab your run crew and join in this epic race weekend that’s all about challenging yourself then celebrating in the heart of Whistler’s Olympic Village.
15. Canada Army Run
From the cannon that starts the race to the dog-tag medals, the Canada Army Run is an all-around inspiring race. Featuring a range of distances from 5K to 21.1 K, race weekend is filled with community spirit, celebrating members of the Canadian military. Runners have the option of doubling up on races with the Commander’s and Sergeant Major’s Challenges. Race weekend also features historical military memorabilia from public and private collections.
Now in its 23rd year, the Edge to Edge Half Marathon includes a 21.1K and 10K distance. Weaving onto the Wild Pacific Trail, the event offers runners spectacular scenic views, preserved beaches, and rainforests along with the warmth of the small harbour town of Ucluelet B.C. Post-race runners will also enjoy the Town’s artisan market and local food purveyors.
New trail runners looking for a first-time race experience should add the Stoked Oats Trail Race to their fall race calendars. A 7K event featuring a 250-meter elevation, on trails that weave through West Bragg Creek Recreation Area at the end of October, the event is high on comradery, community spirit and picturesque view points!
With races in Edmonton, Calgary and Saskatoon, the First Responders Half Marathon raises awareness and honours first responders in all communities. Featuring a range of distances from 21.1K to a 1K Kid’s Run, this is a family-friendly event that’s all about honouring community heroes. This year the event also features a First Responders Trail Run in Vancouver in November.
The Queen City Marathon is Regina’s signature running event with plenty of running options from a Night Owl Race to Family Fun Run, and distances ranging from 42.2K to 1K, all wrapped in a weekend celebratory atmosphere fun for everyone! Fast and flat, runners looking for a PB or BQ should look to add this event to their fall racing schedules.
New Brunswick’s Marathon by the Sea is back and packed with running fun all weekend long. Join the family-friendly Colour Your World 5K September 16 or glow up for the Into the Night Run, a glow-in-the-dark 5K culminating with fireworks at the finish line! Half marathon and marathon runners hit the start line in St John on September 17. Views of the Bay of Fundy at this time of the year are not to be missed!
A marathon and half marathon in Wellington, Ontario, celebrating its nineteenth birthday, this is a race for runners, by runners, and its small town vibe and good natured cheering section makes it a beloved event for those in the know. The event kicks off October 2nd, and the memories last a lifetime.
Alongside the water and reached by ferry via Nova Scotia, this race—celebrating its eighteenth birthday—has events in all distances and is a Boston-qualifier, but I’ll race not to achieve a personal best, but to have a personal best experience: a perfect opportunity to celebrate one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Touted as “the most beautiful nature trail in the world,” this point-to-point course in Saint-Jerome, Quebec, is run in the shadow of the Laurentians, with all the gorgeous scenery and wildlife of southern Quebec. Through the park and amidst the brilliant fall colours, this event—which features solely a marathon and half marathon—sells out quickly. The marathon is October 2 and kicks off at 8 a.m.
Sticking with Quebec and headlined by a second-generation race director, this event makes its triumphant return at the end of September, with every detail ironed out for maximum racing pleasure. There’s a kid’s run and events in every distance, plus a marathon finish line in Olympic Park. Also, what could be more romantic than Montreal in the fall?
Along the shores of Lake Simcoe, an hour outside of Toronto, the Georgina Marathon—September 11—has come out of nowhere to be a race of choice of many competitive runners in the GTA. This race, pictured up top, is expertly organized, deftly managed and early in the season. The Georgina Marathon is a classic example of the thirst of runners in Canada: there’s always room for one more great race.
The November 5 start date makes this event, run along the waterfront and touted as Canada’s number one Boston-qualifier, a beloved tradition in Ontario. There’s stuff for the kids and all sorts of combination races of multiple events for keen participants, but this race—which has generated millions of charity dollars—always attracts lots of familiar faces. One of the most-loved fall races in the world.
This event is like nothing else in the world: it crosses the border in Buffalo and races along the Peace Bridge into Canada. For the scenic views and once in a lifetime experience, the Niagara Falls International Marathon, which first ran in 1974, is a must for any serious Canadian runner. This is a one-of-one singular experience.
The Quebec City Marathon is scenic and iconic and totally reinvigorated for its big post-pandemic return. There’s a 2K for the kids and distances between 5K and the marathon, and the run is like a trip to Europe without leaving the country. For a truly epic running destination, Quebec City, beginning on September 30-October 2, can’t be beat.
What can we say about Canada’s Boston, except this is the best run, most popular race in the country, and home to most of the Canadian running records? It’s flat and fast and always has great crowd support and this year, with a new title sponsor, the event gets all sorts of buzzy digital updates and new green initiatives. You have to run Toronto. It’s a right of Canadian passage. See you there.