Every Step Counts: Embracing Inclusivity at the Servus Calgary Marathon

Discover how the marathon is working to become more financially accessible and welcoming to new runners.

The Servus Calgary Marathon isn’t just a race — it’s a celebration of diversity, community and movement. Over the years, the event has undergone a remarkable transformation, breaking down barriers and welcoming participants of all ages and backgrounds to join in the journey.

This Race is For Everyone

One of the most significant steps towards inclusivity has been the race’s commitment to catering to runners of all ages. Recognizing that age is no barrier to participation, Run Calgary (organizers of the Servus Calgary Marathon) has implemented multiple initiatives to ensure that the event is accessible and enjoyable for everyone, specifically families.

For younger participants, the Servus Calgary Marathon offers a range of youth-focused activities designed to introduce them to the joy of running. From the kid-friendly 1.2 km Kids Marathon to a SOGO Adventure Running race-day camp or the option to ride in a stroller for distances up to 21.1 km, children have the opportunity to engage with the sport in a fun and supportive environment, which instills a lifelong love of running and healthy living

New this year, an inaugural Diaper Dash will be held during the 2024 Runner’s Expo inside GMC Stadium. This event is expected to be an exciting kick-off to race weekend that will feature multiple heats of fast-crawling babies!

Improving Financial Accessibility

The Servus Calgary Marathon has also made strides towards improving the affordability and accessibility of the Servus Calgary Marathon for families. New this year, organizers introduced a reduced flat rate of $20 for all youth 18 years of age or younger (as of race day). This rate will be automatically applied during registration for all six race distances.

As a way to include even more youth, all proceeds from VIP packages purchased by participating corporate teams will directly fund fully comped entries for youth from low-income families and vulnerable communities.

Expanding the Run Community

To further enhance the Servus Calgary Marathon’s reach, a new position was created within the Run Calgary organization. The newly minted community engagement manager focuses on connecting with new community members by expanding the Corporate Team Challenge and developing initiatives for newcomers to Calgary. The Youth Team Challenge has also been opened up to include not just schools but also sports teams, youth clubs and more.

Increasing Recognition

In 2024, the Servus Calgary Marathon will include a non-binary award category for all distances. This means that the top three non-binary runners, along with their men and women counterparts, will be eligible for equal prizing in the 5 km, 10 km, 21.1 km, 42.2 km and 60 km race distances. A non-binary elite category has also been introduced, giving non-binary runners the opportunity to receive an elite race bib.

We’re Here to Listen

Run Calgary is committed to listening, learning and creating positive change. Conversations with diverse stakeholder groups have led to exciting developments including: a Womxn’s Galentine’s Day event featuring a diverse panel of runners, an upcoming event in Northeast Calgary to bring a race-day experience to new communities, a Run Crew Summit to hear from run crews and coaches, and the sponsorship of a local publishing company as they work on a book compiling stories from runners across Alberta.

The Servus Calgary Marathon is not only breaking down barriers but also fostering a sense of unity and solidarity within the community. Regardless of age, background or financial status, all are welcome to join in this celebration of human achievement and perseverance. As running events continue to evolve and grow, Run Calgary’s commitment to inclusivity serves as a powerful reminder that the true spirit of running knows no bounds.

You too can be a part of this community by getting involved at the 2024 Servus Calgary Marathon on Sunday May 26th.

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