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BMO Vancouver Marathon marks record year

Last Updated May 6, 2018 at 1:55 pm PST

File Photo. (Courtesy BMO Vancouver Marathon via Twitter)

A record 17,000 people from 65 countries have taken part in this year's BMO Vancouver Marathon

The first person to complete the full BMO Vancouver Marathon was Robin Watson, who clocked in with a time of 02:27:38.0

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Thousands of people stomped the pavement Sunday morning as part of Vancouver’s biggest road race.

This year marks a record year for the BMO Vancouver Marathon, with 17,000 people taking part from around the world.

Race Director Eric Chéné says the event has become a truly international affair. “Since 2015 we’ve increased our international numbers. We used to have about 50 countries before getting some of this additional support from some of our stakeholders to now we’ve got the 65 countries. But also, we’ve increased by 50 per cent total, so quite a significant number.”

Robin Watson has been named this year’s marathon champion, completing the 42.2 kilometre trek with a chip time of 02:27:38.0.

According to the provincial government, the economic benefits of the BMO Vancouver Marathon are significant.

“The BMO Vancouver Marathon gives people from across the province, and around the world, a unique experience of Vancouver’s downtown,” Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism, says in a release.

The province is contributing $168,000 to the Tourism Events Program to aid with promotional purposes. “This is just one way our government is attracting people to British Columbia, creating good jobs and a sustainable economy, so that people can experience the best of BC.”

The Ministry of Tourism says the marathon results in more than 16,000 hotel stays, and contributes more than an estimated $55 million in overall economic impact.

Runners in the BMO Vancouver Marathon run across the Cambie Street bridge. (Hana Mae Nassar, NEWS 1130 Photo)