marathon startThe GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon is happening tomorrow, Sunday, October 13 and with 11,000 participants registered Victoria will be a bustling city this Thanksgiving Weekend. If you want to cheer on a family member or friend, here are just a few places you can do so safely and on foot. Start / Finish Area (all races) Watch the start of the 8K Road Race on Belleville in front of the Hotel Grand Pacific at 7:15 a.m., and then catch the Half Marathon start at 7:30 a.m. Then see the Half Marathon and Marathon runners as they pass the Fairmont Empress Hotel at the 1 km mark where you have a better chance of catching a glimpse of your runner. Dash back to the finish line for the end of the 8K – the first runners will come in at about 7:40 a.m. The first Half Marathon runners will be in just after 8:30 a.m., with the Marathon kicking off at 8:45 a.m. as well. The Marathon champion will come in at approximately 11:00 a.m., giving you a couple of hours to soak in the atmosphere and explore the Inner Harbour - or to look after your runner if they’ve run the 8K or the Half Marathon. Terry Fox Statue (8K, Half, Marathon) Alternatively, head to Douglas and Dallas and the Terry Fox statue. The first runners will reach Mile ‘0’ at around 7:30 a.m. and you’ll get to cheer your runner on at the top of the hill at 3 km, and again on their way back at the 5 km mark. If you stay at Mile ‘0’ you can watch the Half Marathon runners go through twice at 7 km and 18 km (7:50 a.m. and 8:25 a.m. for the leaders) and the Marathon runners at 7 km and 39 km (9:05 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. for the leaders). Refresh yourself at the Beacon Hill drive-in on Douglas, or take a walk along the beautiful Dallas Road waterfront with views of the Olympic Mountains. Also take in the Charity Cheering Zone just down the hill on Dallas Road. Cook Street Village (Half and Marathon) Position yourself in Cook Street Village and you have a wealth of coffee shops and eateries to sustain you as you watch the runners go by. The first Half Marathon runners reach the Village at about 8:00 a.m. Stand at the bottom of Park Blvd on Cook St and you can watch them go past twice at the 4.5 km and 8 km markers. When the last runner has gone through, walk up Cook to Dallas Road and watch the Half Marathon runners go through the 17 km mark. The leaders will go past at about 8:20 a.m., and a runner on a 5 min/km pace will hit this mark at about 8:55 a.m. By now the Marathon will have started, with the leaders reaching Park and Cook at 9 a.m., doing a loop of Beacon Hill Park before reappearing 10 minutes later. Relax and enjoy the Village and Beacon Hill Park for the next hour, before the Marathon runners return from 10:40 a.m. onwards at the 38 km marker on Dallas Road. Also take in the Charity Cheering Zone on Dallas Road, east of Cook Street. This spot is accessible by car – but park to the east of Cook Street and beware of resident parking zones. Clover Point/Ross Bay Cemetery (Half/Marathon) Cheer on the Half Marathon and Marathon runners at the 16 km/37 km mark as they tackle their last hill. There’s an aid station and entertainment zone at the start of the hill by the cemetery and the Charity Cheering Zone at the top of the hill. Walk through the cemetery to Fairfield Plaza for shops and refreshments. Oak Bay Village (Half/Marathon) Oak Bay Village and Marina allows you to see the Marathon runners four times (15 km, 19.5 km, 27 km, and 32 km) with relative ease. If you’re travelling by car, park in the side streets to the NE of Oak Bay and walk to Oak Bay Ave. The first Marathon runners will appear at about 9:30 a.m. After watching your runner pass along Oak Bay Ave and down Monterey, head west on Oak Bay Ave. Don’t head down the hill on Newport, but continue straight down Oak Bay Ave and the pedestrian pathway to Beach Drive. Here you can catch the runners again – and walk 200m north to take in the entertainment zone. After the runners have passed you going out to the Marathon turnaround and back again (leaders at about 9:45 a.m. – 10:05 a.m.), retrace your steps to Oak Bay Ave as the leaders pass the 32 km mark just after 10:15 a.m. Oak Bay Village has a multitude of shops and cafes to feed and entertain you as well. Willows Beach (Marathon) Another easily accessible spot – the Marathon passes through twice at 20.5 km and 26 km. Shops and coffee is available just around the corner in Estevan Village on Estevan Ave. Ogden Point (8K/Half/Marathon) Just down the hill from the Terry Fox statue, watch the 8K go past twice and the Half and Marathon runners as they start their last mile. There are refreshments at the Ogden Point Café, and runners' aid station and Charity Cheering Zone just up the hill. Walk or bike to this spectator spot. Happy viewing!