56th annual Scotiabank Calgary Marathon takes a VIRTUAL approach


Run Calgary launches 2020 VIRTUAL Running Festival

Calgary, Alberta. The 56th Scotiabank Calgary Marathon race weekend, originally scheduled for Sunday May 31, is now a virtual event that will kick off an entire virtual running season for Run Calgary.

Last month, organizers announced the postponement from May to the fall because of COVID – 19. However, subsequent developments in the global health crisis and announcements from Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) led to the difficult decision to shift its 2020 traditional races to virtual events.

“Run Calgary is an organization built on community, supporting a lifestyle of health and wellness,” says Kirsten Fleming, Executive Director of Run Calgary. “It is with these values in mind and the reality of what is happening across the globe and here in Alberta, that we have made the decision to go virtual.”

The 6,000 participants currently registered in the 2020 Scotiabank Calgary Marathon weekend of events, which includes the Scotiabank Marathon, Centaur Subaru half-marathon, Jugo Juice 10K, GoodLife Fitness 5K Walk and Run and 50K ultra race and relay, will be given the chance to run their race virtual or choose from other options, including to defer to 2021, 2022 or 2023 at no additional cost. The virtual event will open registration to new participants on Monday, May 4 and Run Calgary will open-up registration to its other events in the virtual series, including a free option, monthly.

“Despite the circumstances being far from perfect, we bring the same passion and creativity to our virtual events,” says Fleming, “The 2020 Run Calgary Virtual Running Festival means we still get to champion our awesome community in their pursuit of excellence, and together we are supporting the charities that rely on Run Calgary events, as well local small business.”

Virtual races have gained popularity in recent years because it provided people who couldn’t participate in real life races to run wherever they might live and still receive a medal and shirt for their efforts. Run Calgary promises its 2020 Virtual Running Festival will be so much more. Building on the concept and adding to the typical offering of swag, a bib and finisher’s certificate, participants won’t lose the element of competition or the finish line celebration.

Participants compete by uploading their times to the app RunKeeper and can be recognized on the leaderboard with random prizes and spirit awards. Each race period will culminate in an online party where participants will be surprised and delighted with some special guests, draw prizes and awards, and are invited to share their stories and wear their medals or swag. Run Calgary put on its first virtual event in December of 2019, before COVID-19, which sold out in three hours.

The Scotiabank Calgary Marathon is produced by Run Calgary, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting the health of the Calgary community. The organization carries out its mission by providing year-round opportunities to move for people of all ages and abilities, including working with Calgary and area schools to help get kids moving and partnering with 76 charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, which remains open and has raised $75,000 to date.

For questions regarding the 2020 Scotiabank Calgary Marathon, please visit www.calgarymarathon.com and to learn more about the 2020 Run Calgary Virtual Running Festival check out the FAQs.

Scotiabank Calgary Marathon Virtual 5K 10K 21.1K Marathon 50K solo and social distancing relay, May 31 - September 27 (this was our postponement date!)

The Flapjack 15K July 3 - July 12

Beat Beethoven in partnership with Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

4K walk and 8K run, August 22-31

The Wild Run in partnership with The Calgary Zoo

10 mile solo or virtual team tag relay, September 20 - September 30

Dash of Doom in partnership with AARCS 1K 5K and 10K, October 26 - October 31 

12Ks of Christmas December 1 - December 12