British Columbia·Photos

BMO Vancouver Marathon draws one of highest participation rates ever

More than 16,500 runners participated the 45th edition of the race, which Kenyan Daniel Kipkoech won in 2:21:04, while the women's winner was Hirut Guangul in 2:39:52.

Kenyan Daniel Kipkoech wins men's race in 2:21:04, while women's winner was Hirut Guangul in 2:39:52

More than 16,500 runners took off from the start line of the BMO Vancouver Marathon which went from Queen Elizabeth Park, around UBC, Stanley Park and finished in downtown Vancouver. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

It's been 45 years since the first Vancouver Marathon took off in the city, now in 2016, the race has grown larger than ever.

"We've got over 16,500 runners ... one of our highest in history," said the race's executive director Charlene Krepiakevich.

Runners lined up early Sunday morning to begin the 42.2 km race at Queen Elizabeth Park before heading through Pacific Spirit Park, around UBC, then through the West side before looping Stanley Park and finishing in Coal Harbour.

This year's male winner was Kenya's Daniel Kipkoech who completed the race in 2:21:04. Ethiopian-American Hirut Guangul was the top female, finishing in 2:39:52.

The event used a rolling closure protocol, meaning that roads closed and later re-opened as runners passed through the course — no roads were closed for the entire duration of the race, which has a completion time limit of seven hours.

The first wave of runners takes off from the starting line at Queen Elizabeth Park. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)
A runner laces up before joining the massive line-up to start the race. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)
Vancouver Marathon's executive director Charlene Krepiakevich said the 2016 race had one of their highest participation rates ever. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)
A crew member high-fives a runner in the first wave for the half-marathon. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)
The event followed a rolling road closure protocol, meaning streets closed and later re-opened as runners passed through the course. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)