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Fresh off hosting Canada's biggest 10K run, Vancouver is gearing up for one of the world's most exotic marathons.  This Sunday, thousands of runners  will converge on the city for the BMO Vancouver Marathon along Pacific coastal forest, beaches, leafy residential neighourhoods and mountain vistas.

Last year, this scenic course was named a top 10 marathon worth travelling  to for by Forbes. CNN travel listed it as one of the worlds's most exotic marathons, up there with the Dead Sea Marathon in Jordan and the Australian Outback Marathon.

The course starts at Vancouver's highest point, Queen Elizabeth Park, before winding through the residential West Side. After passing through UBC, racers will curl down to Spanish Banks and run by the sandy beaches of Kitsilano.  Finally, they cross the Burrard Street Bridge and circle 1000 acre Stanley Park on the way to the finish line at Coal Harbour.

Even if your not running, on race day the downtown finish line is transformed into a family-friendly street festival, with food sampling, live entertainment and more.

Registration for the marathon is $149 today rising to $159 on Thursday.  18+ only for the main race.

Photo credit: Christopher Porter | Flickr

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