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2013 Media Releases

Palermo & Brooking returning to defend titles at the 36th BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool's Run

Photos by Leo Lam

David Palermo and Lisa Brooking off to a fast start in 2012

March 26, 2013, Gibsons — Both the men's and women's 2012 champions are returning to attempt repeat wins at the BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool's Run Presented by Coast Cable, coming up Sunday April 7th.

Vancouver's David Palermo, who surged to victory last year in a personal best of 1:10:57, is keen to take on the Fool's challenge again as he prepares for the BMO Vancouver Marathon in May, where he will be striving for Top Canadian honours. So far the only competitor who may stand in the way of a Palermo double is fellow VFAC club member Nic Browne, who has a similar personal best of 1:10:56.

Lisa Brooking of Langley will also be back to defend her title, following a successful year which included a 1:21:08 third place clocking at the Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon. She may be pushed by Kristin Smart of Vancouver who was closing fast on Brooking in the final kilometre of the 2012 Fool's Run. Though Smart struggled with low iron levels earlier this year, she is recovering quickly and optimistic that the Fool's Run will mark her return to racing form.

While the elites will be racing for cash prizes or to prepare for a marathon, most of the entrants come to the Fool's Run on the recommendation of friends or because they've done it before and loved it — like blogger Zahida Jaffer of Vancouver. “I'm SUPER excited to race the Fool's Run. Last year I had a ton of fun and I know this year will be even better. And I'm thrilled I have recruited 2 friends to join me this year that have never run the race before.”

With the support of generous sponsors and volunteers, a number of new event features are being introduced in 2013 to make it better than ever.

For example, at the finish, runners can take advantage of free massage service by Ian Cliff, RMT; receive a free bottle of Muscle MLK; and enjoy more locally produced finish line refreshments including soup AND scones from Ty's Bistro, bite-size ginger gems from Wheatberries, and the return of the very popular burritos from Today's Entree — along with an assortment of healthy snacks supplied by MarketPlace IGA.

To keep the event eco-friendly, most refreshments are from local sources, and nearly all event waste will be composted or recycled — all in keeping with the Athletes for a Fit Planet Pledge of Sustainability taken by the Fool's Run again in 2013.

Beautiful custom designed age group awards, hand-crafted by Mustard Seed Clay Creations in Roberts Creek, will be treasured by visitors and locals alike. Team and relay winners will receive gift cards from the Running Room, and the first local male and female finishers will each win a pair of Brooks shoes.

All finishers will have a chance to win the fantastic Grand Draw Prize Getaway Weekend for 2 at the Painted Boat Resort Spa & Marina, which includes Dinner, round trip flights with Westcoast Air/Harbour Air, and 3-day car rental from Prime Rentals.

The cap has been increased to 40 in the Sunshine Care Network Kids' Jester Dash presented by Pastimes. This free 400m run and activities tent is likely to fill up before race day, so interested parents should sign up their kids now to guarantee a spot.

New half marathon & relay start time this year is 9:30am Sunday April 7th from the Gibsons & Area Community Centre, with an 8:30am early start for walkers and 3hr+ runners. A few volunteer positions are still available for those wishing to be involved in a different way.

Online registration is open until midnight Monday April 1st. Walk-up registration (if not sold out) will be available during package pickup on April 4th from 12–6pm at the Denman Street Running Room in Vancouver, and April 6th from 12–5pm and April 7th from 8:00–9:00am at the Gibsons Community Centre.

Donations to the Sunshine Coast Food Bank are gratefully accepted online and at Packet Pickup. As well, new or gently worn ladies' shoes can be brought to Packet Pickup for the Ruby Slipper Fund auction to support palliative care on the Coast.

The BMO April Fool's Run is race #4 in the 2013 Lower Mainland Road Race Series. See for all details, registration and volunteer sign-up.


BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool's Run Set for Sunday, April 7th

Photo by Leo Lam

2012 BMO April Fool's Run

GIBSONS, BC, February 14, 2013 — BMO Bank of Montreal is excited to return as title sponsor of the BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool's Run on Sunday, April 7.

Following a very successful inaugural partnership in 2012, BMO has committed to a further three years' support of the very popular annual half marathon for walkers and runners on or near April Fool's Day.

The scenic Run & Walk covers 13.1 miles or 21.1 km from Gibsons to Sechelt, offering a forested rural course. Many volunteers and local residents en route will offer support and encouragement. Low entry fees, relay options and a free Kids' Run make this a family-friendly event. Free shuttle buses ensure stress-free travel for those making the short ferry trip from Vancouver.

Memorable features that draw hundreds of return-runners every year include finishing in a scenic beach-front park, unique finisher medals, hot homemade soup and burritos, a professional race announcer and DJ, colourful custom-designed technical race shirts, a 30-minute video show produced by Coast TV, and a Grand Draw Prize weekend for two at Painted Boat Resort Spa & Marina.

“We're excited to be back again as the title sponsor,” said Debra Carson, Gibsons Branch Manager for BMO Bank of Montreal. “Enthusiastic BMO employees will account for nearly a third of the race crew, and those who aren't volunteering will be running or walking.”

BMO is also supplying both the volunteer t-shirts and the runners' gloves for the race, plus special BMO the Bear coin banks for the Kids' Run, and spectator cheering aids (noisemakers).

“We're super happy to have BMO and its employees back on board,” says Teresa Nightingale, event co-director with husband Larry. “Everything went so smoothly last year — it was a perfect fit. With BMO's support for the next three years we're able to plan for even more enhancements to the participant experience.”

This year's enhancements include custom printed neck ribbons for the finisher medals (which can again be personalized with an insert); no charge for shuttle service from the ferry on race morning; free relay team transportation; increased prize money; newly designed artisan pottery age group awards; and expanded selection of souvenir garments and training apparel.

With an eye to environmental responsibility, the BMO Sunshine Coast Fool's Run is again taking the Pledge of Sustainability with Athletes For A Fit Planet. The goal is to be as close to a zero waste event as possible, encouraging participants to “trash the competition, not the planet”.

To give back to the communities through which it runs, the BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool's Run supports the Sunshine Coast Food Bank. Participants can make a donation when registering online, or bring non-perishable food or cash to packet pickup or the finish line.

The next fee increase happens at midnight on Friday February 15th. Deadline to register online is midnight Monday, April 1st. In-person sign up will be available during package pickup on April 4th, 6th and 7th, if the cap of 700 participants has not been reached.

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 for over 125 years — 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 and the BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool's Run. Visit


Title Sponsor BMO