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2017 Media Releases (pre-race)


2016 BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool's Run start

International Elites and Local Favourites Build Excitement for 40th April Fool’s Run

March 28, 2017, Gibsons BC — The 40th edition of the BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool’s Run presented by Coast Cable is shaping up to be an exciting contest in the front of the pack.

The men’s field features two Kenyan athletes, both with identical personal bests of 1:06:01 for the half marathon. Benard Ngeno and Leornard Kipkoech are currently staying in Surrey for the West Coast spring road race circuit, and have decided to include the BMO Fool’s Run in their competition schedule.

Ngeno recorded his best half marathon time in Victoria 18 months ago, and has been recovering from injury since then. The 28-year-old is making a strong comeback, as evidenced by his 15:47 clocking at the recent BMO St. Patrick’s Day 5k in Vancouver.

Twenty-three year old Kipkoech has finished in the top ten in the last two Vancouver Sun Runs, placing 3rd in 2015 in 29:05.

Roberts Creek favourite Shaun Stephens-Whale has the home-course advantage and could possibly challenge the Kenyans if they get too relaxed. Stephens-Whale won the 2015 Fool’s Run in a thrilling photo-finish 1:10:15. The Fool’s Run hills should be a breeze for him, after his recent successes in international tower (stair climb) races.

The women’s favourite on paper is Kate Gustafson, a 32 year old from Vancouver who won the Seawheeze Half Marathon last August, and has a personal best of 1:19:08 set at the BMO Vancouver Half in 2015.

Chasing Gustafson will be last year’s Fool’s winner Adrienne Gomes of Squamish. Since her victory here last April, the 20-year-old has set new personal bests of 1:23:56 for the half and 18:57 for 5k. “I am excited to be returning to such a great event this year,” says Gomes.

Gibsons’ Kimberley Doerksen, Fool’s Run women’s course record holder (1:14:53) and 2015 BMO Vancouver Marathon winner, decided at the last minute to join the fray, though she’s the first to admit she’s not in any shape for a fast half marathon. “I'd be pleased with sub 1:25 right now,” says Doerksen, who struggled with injury in 2016. “I haven't done any intervals further than a mile.”

Doerksen, who now lives and works off-Coast, is no longer eligible for the “Top Local Finisher” award. She sees this as a good thing. “Winning first local at the Fool’s Run was what got me hooked on running, so hopefully that happens with someone else,” she explains.

Rounding out the list of female podium contenders is 32-year-old Kristin Smart of Cobble Hill. Smart placed second in the 2012 and 2015 Fools Run, and has a marathon best of 2:49, but was sidelined with injury in 2016. She’s back and ready to test her fitness in preparation for a June marathon.

In the Masters (40+) division the woman to watch is Margreet Dietz from Squamish, who will be defending her title. At age 46 Dietz has an impressive recent half marathon time of 1:29:41, and set her personal best (1:26:54) at the 2012 Fool’s Run at age 41.

Another previous Fool’s Run Masters winner, Mark Bennett of Vancouver, is now 56 years old but continues to amaze. He has a long list of records and achievements over the past few years, with a half marathon personal best of 1:13:32 set at age 53! Bennett is also a Canadian Age Group Record Holder for the half marathon distance.

Ngeno and Kipkoech’s compatriot Jane Murage, winner of the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon in 2016 and many other prestigious events, will also be attending the Fool’s Run, but not to race. She will enjoy being a spectator, then lead the children around the park in the Home Healthcare Network Jester Dash presented by Pastimes. Murage placed 2nd last weekend at the highly competitive Around The Bay 30k in Hamilton, ON.

With less than one week to go, other elite athletes may join the challenge on this spectacular route. The race is anticipated to be of a high calibre with these athletes toeing the line, and definitely not one to miss as a spectator, racer or volunteer this year. If you haven’t already done so, you may register as an individual, relay team or volunteer at www.foolsrun.com. Walk-up registration is available on race weekend — see website for details.

The BMO April Fool's Run is Race #3 of the Lifestages Lower Mainland Road Race Series: www.lmrrs.com.

About the BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool’s Run

The Fool’s Run was started in 1978 as the result of a challenge between two local newspaper columnists. Now in its 40th year, this popular half-marathon and relay attracts more than 600 participants from near and far to run and walk from Gibsons Community Centre to Mission Point Park in Davis Bay (Sechelt). In addition, 50 children participate in the Home Healthcare Network Kids’ Jester Dash presented by Pastimes. Local TV coverage is provided by presenting sponsor Coast Cable. The half marathon is race #3 of the Lifestages Lower Mainland Road Race Series, which includes 9 races in the Vancouver area. Visit www.foolsrun.com for more details and registration, and photos and stories from the early years.

About BMO Bank of Montreal in the Community

BMO Financial Group — founded in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, Canada's first bank — has been part of the British Columbia scene since 1887. BMO believes in community reinvestment and corporate and social responsibility in the communities it serves; providing donations and sponsorships to groups and programs that help build and sustain resilient and healthy communities. BMO is the bank for runners in B.C. — sponsoring the BMO Vancouver Marathon, the BMO Okanagan Marathon, the BMO St. Patrick’s Day 5K, the Goddess Runs in both Victoria and Coquitlam, and the BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool’s Run. Visit www.bmo.com.

About Coast Cable

Coast Cable provides world-class television, video entertainment and communications services to residential, business and public sector customers. Powered by state-of-the-art fibre optic and wireless networks, Coast Cable’s advanced services include High Speed Internet, Wireless, Data, Winston Security and Automation, local and long distance Telephone and exclusive, locally-produced programming on Coast TV. Visit www.coastcable.com.

Eastlink, Coast Cable’s Parent Company has been named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for the past 10 years, Eastlink has operations across Canada, and helps raise over $3.5M annually for charitable and community organizations across the country.


2016 BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool's Run start

BMO Fool’s Run Celebrates its 40th year on April 2, 2017 — Register for Retro Race Fun by midnight March 29, 2017 and Save on Fees!

Elite Runner Jane Murage of Kenya to lead Kids’ Run

GIBSONS, BC, March 20, 2017 — The 40th annual BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool's Run, presented by Coast Cable, will see more than 600 participants running, walking and relaying from Gibsons to Sechelt on Sunday, April 2. Runners can save $5 if they register online by March 29th.

Title sponsor BMO Bank of Montreal is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, with 130 years in BC, and race organizers are pleased to have them on board for a 6th year. They provide generous support in the form of cash, volunteers, shirts, souvenir items, cheering aids and team spirit. BMO staff will be hosting the final aid station, at approximately the 18k mark; and managing the gear check service.

“BMO is thrilled to once again be a part of this long-running community event, especially this year as the run celebrates its 40th year and BMO celebrates its bicentennial anniversary” said Stephen Gardner, Regional Vice President, BMO Bank of Montreal. “The BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool’s Run is one of the oldest footraces in BC and we are proud to support the race as volunteers, runners, and cheerleaders.”

Presenting Sponsor Coast Cable is also returning with a cash donation plus promotional spots, and their popular 30 minute show put together from race day footage, interviews and background stories, to be aired following the event for Coast Cable and Eastlink customers.

The epic nature of a challenging point-to-point course, plus custom designed medals, free shuttle buses, friendly volunteers, and community spirit are some of the features that have kept locals and visitors coming back since 1978. After the run, participants enjoy a festive finish zone at Mission Point Park, with a professional race announcer, DJ, and a healthy selection of post-run refreshments provided by IGA, Wheatberries, and other local suppliers. Free digital race photos will again be provided for all participants on Facebook. This year’s finisher medals will be larger than before, with a shiny gold finish to commemorate the 40th edition.

“Our early registration numbers are way up this year,” said co-director Teresa Nightingale. “There is more fun and energy being created by emphasizing a retro themed celebration for this year, including some classic 70’s snacks and music. We‘re looking forward to seeing people’s creativity in 70’s style outfits for the costume contest!” Check out the event’s Twitter feed (@aprilfoolsrun) and Facebook pages (April Fools Run) for daily fun facts from the 1970’s.

Thanks to generous participants, online donations to the Sunshine Coast Food Bank during registration are at $1250 so far and are projected to reach this year’s goal of $2000.

At the finish area on April 2nd, 50 children age seven and under will enjoy the activity tent followed by a fun run around the paths of Mission Point Park and through the big finish line, in the Home Healthcare Network Kids’ Jester Dash presented by Pastimes.

The children will be led around the course this year by special guest Jane Murage of Kenya, winner of the 2016 BMO Vancouver Half Marathon and the 2016 Victoria Half Marathon, among others. Murage is accompanying her White Rock-based hosts to the Fool’s Run. She won’t be running the half marathon, as she will be recovering from the Around The Bay Road Race 30k the weekend before, but is eager to visit the Sunshine Coast for the first time. Murage will be available at the finish line afterwards for photo ops and autographs.

The Jester Dash is a free event, but registration is required. Parents take note: it always fills up before race weekend.

Visit www.foolsrun.com for full event details and to register. Next fee increase: midnight March 29th. Walk-up registration will be available March 30 and April 1-2.

Volunteer sign-up is also on the website. Each volunteer gets a t-shirt, BMO gloves, access to refreshments, and more — join our Crew!

About the BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool’s Run

The Fool’s Run was started in 1978 as the result of a challenge between two local newspaper columnists. Now in its 40th year, this popular half-marathon and relay attracts more than 600 participants from near and far to run and walk from Gibsons Community Centre to Mission Point Park in Davis Bay (Sechelt). In addition, 50 children participate in the Home Healthcare Network Kids’ Jester Dash presented by Pastimes. Local TV coverage is provided by presenting sponsor Coast Cable. The half marathon is race #3 of the Lifestages Lower Mainland Road Race Series, which includes 9 races in the Vancouver area. Visit www.foolsrun.com for more details and registration, and photos and stories from the early years.

About BMO Bank of Montreal in the Community

BMO Financial Group — founded in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, Canada's first bank — has been part of the British Columbia scene since 1887. BMO believes in community reinvestment and corporate and social responsibility in the communities it serves; providing donations and sponsorships to groups and programs that help build and sustain resilient and healthy communities. BMO is the bank for runners in B.C. — sponsoring the BMO Vancouver Marathon, the BMO Okanagan Marathon, the BMO St. Patrick’s Day 5K, the Goddess Runs in both Victoria and Coquitlam, and the BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool’s Run. Visit www.bmo.com.

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