Banff Virtual Half Marathon - 52° 12' 50" N 117° 09' 35" W

After a long winter of running on snow and ice, it was with great enthusiasm I signed up for the Banff Half Marathon.  It is always a gorgeous run - along Vermillion Lakes Road, out Highway 1A to a turnaround then back, a circuit of Banff to the finish line with cheering crowds.

Last year's finish - I obviously didn't pay for the official photo!

It is just glorious.  And it is a "destination run" so thousands come from all over the world to enjoy running in our beautiful Rockies.  Being fit and strong from a winter of running, I was looking forward to a great run complete with all the fanfare.  Then COVID struck our world...

So the Banff Half went virtual.  This means you have paid to run 21.1km by yourself on any course and, unless you finish the race and upload a time, no t-shirt for you! So dammit, after coughing up all that cash, I was determined to get the t-shirt.

But what course to run?  I considered Two-Jack Lake to Canmore along the Legacy Trail - a net downhill, some minor up and lots of flat.  I thought about running the actual course.  But when you can chose your own course, why run uphill at all or, if it comes to that, on the flat.  Let's find a course that is ALL downhill.  Being the Banff Half Marathon, I felt it was important to run it in Banff - or at least in the Banff National Park.

Now, just to step back for a moment for a lesson in geography .... the border between Alberta and British Columbia runs along the Continental Divide.  This is where the watershed on one side (BC) drains to the Pacific and the other (Alberta) drains to the Atlantic. Naturally, a high point.

Therefore, by starting my run on the Alberta/BC border at Sunwapta Pass, I could indeed run downhill for 21.1km.

So that is exactly what I did!

Now if only that t-shirt would arrive in the mail!


Check out our most popular posts!

Moving Aboard - 49° 38' 27" N 01° 37' 00" E

Leaving Chinook and heading back to Canada - 49° 38' 27" N 01° 37' 00" E

Garcia Boatyard - 49° 38' 48" N 01 35' 47" E