Stretch, Breathe and Run: Banff Yoga Festival & Banff Marathon

Best of Banff Summer Events 2016:

As the weather clears up and the snow begins to cascade down the Rockies as waterfalls and streams, it’s time to turn your sights to different kinds of recreation. While you’ve enjoyed skiing and snowboarding the seemingly endless amounts of powder that the winter has had to offer, the longer days and warm weather invites other beautiful events & beauties. Two such events that will entice your sense of challenge and touch your inner zen are the Banff Marathon and the Banff Yoga Festival.


Just Keep Running..

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Banff Marathon

We’ve all heard of a friend running a marathon here or there. But have any of them run those 26.2 miles in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains? The Banff Marathon, hosted on June 19th, 2016, is an opportunity to test your limits in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, Banff National Park.. If you’ve been thinking of running a marathon, or are a seasoned marathon runner, Banff is one to tick off your list.

Beginning in the town of Banff, the route passes through the stunning Vermillion Lakes and along Bow Valley Parkway, winding through natural, wild, and historical areas in Banff National Park, all the while soaking in the views of jagged mountain peaks. The only marathon within North America that is fully contained within a National Park, the Banff Marathon follows a rolling route – not one that gruelingly climbs and drops, as one might be led to believe – that is closed to traffic. The run finally finishes by crossing Banff’s famous bridges and entering the town to the cheers of supporters.

If a marathon seems too long, or you’d rather do a shorter distance, don’t worry! Banff Marathon has you covered: the option of a half marathon and a 10k are also available and just as beautiful of runs. With the 10k starting at 8am and the half marathon at 9:30am, the staggering of times will make for a smooth running experience.

Regular registration is open until June 8th, and late registration is from June 9-12. However, it is always a better idea to sign up early in order to get one of the few spots available for this run. Because it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, not to mention a protected National Park, the run is limited to 1500 individuals.


Marathon aside, make sure to keep your kids entertained with the Kids Run on June 18th at 1:30pm in Banff Central Park. Have them run 500m, 750m, or 1 km to get a taste of the big race the following day.


…And Breathe

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Photo courtesy of Kaeleigh Doherty

For a totally different zen, stretch out your body and strengthen your soul with Banff’s first annual Yoga Festival. From May 27-29, join the professional yoga, meditation, and mindfulness teachers of Bow Valley for three days of “ohmmmm”. Learn over the three days on how to incorporate the mindfulness of yoga into many different aspects of your life, and, best yet, learn it in the beautiful wilderness setting that Banff has to offer.

Not every moment will be filled with the strong and steady Warrior 1 pose, or the regal King of Fishes. In addition to these yoga movements, you will find hiking, cultural and social interactions, and transformational teachings available for you to explore. With a schedule that incorporates a morning tea to the rise of the sun, a mountain hike, yoga classes, a raw chocolate class, and a calm canoe ride on the Bow River, it’s hard to not be at peace. In addition, you will have the choice of an array of aspects of yoga: from intention-setting to inversions, acro yoga to Ayurvedic practice, back-bending to boom Shiva yoga, there is something for everyone. Even the kids can enjoy a kids yoga class. Check out the full festival schedule here.

The festival is complete with a musical duo called Beach Season, who weave ambient dreamy beats with stunning vocals to create a unique and inspiring sound to get you in the zone for yoga. No matter what, after a few days of paying attention to your body, applying mindfulness in all aspects of your life, and learning from those around you, you will leave refreshed and rejuvenated.

Don’t forget that you’ll also need a good night’s sleep for both these popular Banff summer events 2016, which usually fill up pretty quick.  Check out our spring specials for great rates on accommodation in and around Banff, or simply call up our Rocky Mountain Specialists and let them find the best accommodation for you.