The Big Canada Run is back for its fourth consecutive year, and it’s time for runners across the country to grab their friends and family and sign up for Canada’s biggest running challenge. Beginning on July 1, Canadians have one year to complete either 8,000 or 10,000-kilometre routes “across” Canada.
“The Big Canada Run has been one of the most inspiring moments of my life and I am so happy that I signed up for it,” says one former participant. “I am happy that I stuck to my goal, met and exceeded my target. It made me believe in myself and reinforced the confidence I have in myself and my capabilities. It taught me to inspire others and help others as they share similar stories and build community.”
How it works
Participants sign up in teams to complete one of four virtual challenges. There are three running options, and this year, organizers have added a cycling option:
Leg #1: Run, walk or hike the classic east-to-west route that follows the Trans-Canada Highway from St. John’s to Victoria, covering 8,000 km.
leg #2: Run, walk or hike the west-to-east route that starts in Victoria, goes up to Whitehorse, Yukon, and finishes on the coast of Newfoundland, covering 10,000 km.
For those teams who want a bigger challenge, the Maple Challenge includes Leg #1 and Leg #2, exploring 26 Canadian cities.
The new Cycling Maple Challenge (Leg #1 + Leg #2) will take you east to west, then north and back east on an 18,000 km biking journey with your team.
“This has been a wonderful long term race that I have certainly committed many kilometers to completing,” says a previous participant. “I have used it as a platform to post, as well as a personal motivator to run. I have had some great mileage months, and a few that weren’t so great. But I love that we have a ton of time to reach our goal as a collective, and everyone gets to feel success, even if some months were harder than others.”
how to sign up
Runners can sign up by heading to the event website. Registration costs $75 per individual, and your team can be as large or as small as you want. (canadian running readers get $10 off with the code FRIENDS10.) All participants will receive a number of perks, including:
- Limited-edition finisher’s medal
- multi-functional neck gaiter
- commemorative vinyl sticker
- official virtual race bib
- Access to a participant-only Facebook community
- Virtual badges to celebrate and share your accomplishments
- Pre-mapped courses across the country
- Finisher picture to celebrate and share your accomplishment
- Innovative and user-friendly tracking platform to register your km and follow the journey
- Virtual travel experience through fun facts and photos of what you would see along the route
- World-class customer support
Run for a good cause
Participants also have the option to put their kilometers to good use. The Big Canada Run is the proud sponsor of two Canadian charities–the Discovery House, which seeks to end the traumatic cycle of domestic violence for women and children, and the CHEO Foundation (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario). Since 2020, participants in the Big Canada Run have raised more than $106,000, and this year organizers hope to have an even greater impact.
It’s time to start running
The challenge starts on July 1, so now’s the time to start gathering your friends and family and putting your team together. The Big Canada Run is the most Canadian way to keep you and your friends motivated all year long.
“The fun we had! I was able to gather 10 of my running buddies and run our best to get across Canada!” says a previous participant. “We helped keep each other motivated and accountable. We watched where other teams were at and strived to beat them. This was one of the most positive and healthy events we could do together. I had so many people watching our progress on social media. People were really excited for us! Such a great experience. Thanks to you all!”
For more information or to sign up, click here.