Every summer, hundreds of runners and spectators converge on Banff for one of the most memorable running experiences in the world, the Banff Marathon. For most, running through Canada’s first national park and one of the most pristine and rugged landscapes in North America is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Despite the mountainous backdrop, the course is actually quite gentle. Starting in the town centre of Banff, runners follow the rolling hills of the Bow Valley Parkway, dwarfed by the iconic Rocky Mountains and alongside the picturesque Vermilion Lakes and Bow River. The race finishes before cheering crowds in downtown Banff. If you are unsure about taking on the full marathon distance, consider registering for the half marathon or 10 km races. Because of the uniqueness of the race being held within a UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Park, the number of participants is limited.