Marathon-photos.com As many as 3,000 people are expected to participate in the various events during the BMO Okanagan Marathon.

23rd BMO Okanagan Marathon this weekend

Marathon, half marathon, 10 K and 5 K runs among events during annual festival in Kelowna

Close to 3,000 participants are expected in Kelowna this weekend for the 23rd edition of the BMO Okanagan Marathon.

Walk-up registrations are open at the Sports Expo on Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 to 6 p.m.

One of Canada’s flatter and faster courses, this Boston Marathon-qualifying course takes runners along the shores of Okanagan Lake.

New this year, the 5 km event is timed and a beverage garden has been added for adults to experience some of the flavours of the Okanagan.

The BMO Okanagan Marathon features a range of events—recreational, advanced and competitive runner to children and adults.

Things kick off Saturday with the 5 km, followed by the ABC Kids Activities taking place and on Sunday the marathon, half marathon and 10km events get underway.

For the 5 km timed event, registration closes Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and at 11:30 a.m. for the BMO ABC Kids Event.

Watch for Team “Special Addition” as they run in the half marathon in support of double lung transplant recipient Andrew Brownell to raise funds for the VGH &UBC Hospital Foundation.

Look for Olympic race walker, Mat Bilodeau who took part in the Rio Games for Canada and will be participating in the half marathon race walk via an honorary category.

The Kids Zone opens on Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m.

Kids can run in their very own event taking place at noon on Saturday, the BMO ABC Kids Fun 1 km Run. The Kids Zone features inflatables, a soccer zone and face painting on Saturday and inflatables for kids to enjoy on Sunday.

The BMO Okanagan Marathon supports the work of The Sunshine Foundation of Canada, the event’s official charity. Elise, a local Sunshine participant, her Mom Louise, as well as the Sunshine Bear, will be on hand during the BMO ABC Kids 1 km Fun Run on Saturday, at 12:45 p.m.

Runners looking for extra motivation or running tips can come out early Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and join Running Room founder John Stanton at the Running Room Free Friendship Run. The 3 km run offers an opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones.

The marathon is all staged from City Park with 300 plus active volunteers making the event possible every year.

Race package pickup at City Park:

• Friday, Oct.6— 3 to 7 p.m.

• Saturday, Oct. 7— 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• Sunday, Oct. 8— 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Saturday events:

• 9 a.m.—Running Room Free Friendship Run

• 10:30 a.m.—5 km Fun Walk/Run (Timed)

• Noon—BMO ABC Kids Event (Outdoor Kids Activities, followed by a Fun 1km Run/ Walk)

Sunday events:

• 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.—Gear check

• 7:40 a.m.—Marathon Walk/Run

• 8:10 a.m—21.1 km Half Marathon Walk/Run

• 8:40 a.m.—10km Walk/Run

For race, road closure and traffic information, visit: www.okanaganmarathon.ca