The Top Charity Marathons and Half Marathons in Canada

| 6 min read Fundraiser Promotion

Charity marathons and half marathons in Canada are a popular way to fundraise for a cause that is close to your heart. The Scotiabank Marathon alone welcomes 25,000 runners from across the world and raises well over $3 million for a number of charities.

From 5ks to ultra marathons in Canada, there are a number of ways to turn kilometres into dollars.

Start a charity fundraiser

Why do a charity marathon or half marathon

Combine your love for running with your favourite charity. If you are already training for a marathon or half marathon, much of the hard work is being done. Simply and effectively tie a cause you care about to your efforts and make an impact in your community.

Support your favourite cause and charity

Choose a charity that matters to you. For example, if loved ones have battled cancer you can support a charity whose mission is to find a cure and support cancer patients. And since you will be approaching your family and friends for donations, if the cause is important to you, it is likely important to them.

Whether or not you have a personal tie to the organization, there are tens of thousands of charities fighting for issues like climate justice, racial equality and inclusion, mental health, and much, much more. Charity Navigator is a great tool to find charities that align with your values.

Generate more awareness around the issue

By incorporating a fundraiser into your big race, you are helping drive not just donations but awareness for your cause. First, craft a fundraiser hashtag that is creative, compelling, and relevant to your cause and be consistent when using your new hashtag in all of your posts and within your campaign story. This is an important component for any successful fundraiser, and it helps introduce more people to  your cause every time a friend shares your fundraiser. Be sure to reach out to local media, encourage your friends to share your fundraiser across social channels,, and keep your donors engaged with frequent updates about your fundraiser and run.

See how these runners made an impact:

  • Owen is a grade 10 student at Carson Graham Secondary School. As the pandemic hit and hospitals were losing funding, Owen wanted to help. Lions Gate hospital needed to upgrade its critical care unit and Owen launched a GoFundMe and started training for a marathon to make this goal a reality for the hospital. Step by step, Owen raised an incredible $11,000 for the hospital and embarked on a solo marathon.
  • Michael’s dad, Charles, needs a new kidney.  Charles is fighting for his life, and to help raise awareness for the larger cause, his son is running 100km from Richmond to Squamish. All funds raised will support The Kidney Foundation of Canada, an organization committed to achieving excellent kidney health, optimal quality of life, and a cure for kidney disease.

Make it a fundraising challenge

If you are training for charity marathons and half marathons in Canada, chances are you have a competitive spirit!  Bring that spirit into your fundraiser by adding some competition. Build your fundraising goals into your running goals. You can get creative in countless ways. A few examples are below:

  • Running one kilometre for every $100 raised
  • Donate $42 for 42 kilometres
  • Raising  $5,000 for a 5k

And with GoFundMe Team Fundraising you can raise money with a  group of people, and each team member has the same tools to share the fundraiser across social channels. With a leaderboard built into your fundraising dashboard, you can inspire friendly competition to drive donations.

Five top charity marathons and half marathons to consider

With hundreds of thousands of people participating in marathons across the country, here are some of the best marathons in Canada. And since many of these runs are going virtual for 2020,  see how you can raise money for a great cause and compete in these races in your very own backyard.  Here are some of the best marathons and half marathons in Canada.

1. Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the country. The race offers a 42k, 21k, 10k, and 5k challenge and welcomes 25,000 runners from across the globe. The money raised during the races helps support over 100 official Canadian charities. Given social distancing protocols in 2020, the race is going virtual.

2. Vancouver Marathon

The Vancouver Marathon lets participants choose between the marathon, half-marathon, 8K, and even an option for the kids. The Vancouver Marathon has beautiful running routes that span parks and beaches, including the picturesque Vancouver seawall. The Vancouver Marathon partnered with Run4Hope to help runners fundraise for a number of great causes.

3. Rock ‘N’ Roll Montreal

Rock ‘N’ Roll Montreal is celebrating its 30th anniversary. The marathon uses the power of music to inspire their participants to run—and dance—their way to the finish line. The event offers races for every level, and encourages people to get involved in running clubs.

4. Legs for Literacy

One of the largest running events in Atlantic Canada, Legs for Literacy features a  half marathon, 10K, and 5K race in Moncton, New Brunswick. The event raises funds for local school literacy programs. For their virtual event, each participant will receive a medal and a face mask.

5. Ottawa Race Weekend

The Ottawa Race Weekend is an annual weekend of road running events, including 1.2K kids marathon, and a 2K, 5K, 10K, half marathon, wheelchair marathon, and marathon. The marathon is the largest in Canada, attracting 40,000 runners from around the world. Each year, the runners raise around $1 million for 25 local and national charities affiliated with the event. For this year’s virtual event, all the participants will receive their race kits, including their medal, t-shirt and a few surprises to encourage everyone to race at their pace.

Start fundraising for your favourite cause today

Run and fundraise for a cause you are passionate about. Rally your friends and family to contribute to your fundraiser so you can reach your running and fundraising goals. Charity fundraising on GoFundMe makes it easy to effectively and simply raise money for your favourite charity.  Take your fundraiser to the finish line and start charity fundraising today.

Start a charity fundraiser