Skip to content

The lower Sunshine Coast is hosting a new marathon next month

A ‘trail celebration and festival feel’: The inaugural Coaster Marathon comes to Sechelt June 8
Janelle Hazlett and Marzelle van der Merwe-Ham saw a gap in running events for the Sunshine Coast, so created the Coaster Marathon.

An avid runner who moved to the Sunshine Coast with her husband in search of community, is doing her part to give back to the Sechelt residents who welcomed the couple with open arms.

Jeanelle Hazlett has joined forces with fellow runner Marzelle van der Merwe-Ham to organize the first annual Coaster Marathon fundraiser, which will see fans of trail running — and the people who love and support them — gather for a day of community and fun. 

“Myself and Marzelle are avid trail runners and seeing that there were no events that were occurring on the Coast in any respect for running, we just saw that as a big hole and a really cool opportunity to try to create something that can give back to our community,” says Hazlett. “Hopefully it will be a really positive experience and event for years to come.”

Hazlett notes the course is not just for elite runners. To make the event as inclusive as possible, it’s been broken down to include a full marathon, half-marathon and a “Cubs Run,” for kids 10 and younger. Hazlett hopes that not only will friends and family of the participants come out to enjoy the day and support their loved ones, but the community in general will stop by and check out the food trucks and take part in the celebratory nature of the event. Supporters are encouraged to line parts of the race route and gather at the finish line to cheer on the participants.

“We’re really trying to make our event as Sunshine Coast community-focused as possible. So, people can expect a real grassroots feel, where we’ll be celebrating some really key individuals and key groups on the Coast,” says Hazlett. “We’ve got food trucks that are going to be out making food during the day and we are just really excited to make it as much of a trail celebration and festival feel as we possibly can.”

Hazlett notes the marathon is almost sold out with 180 participants taking part in the three runs, and $1,700 raised for the Coast Mountain Biking Trail Association (CMBTA). Meanwhile, volunteers have already started work on trail improvements ahead of the event with two maintenance days organized for trails of West Sechelt. As well, both the CMBTA and Sunshine Coast Community Forest have partnered to replace an old bridge situated on a primary trail. 

The Coaster Marathon takes place June 8, with proceeds going towards the CMBTA. The event runs between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. at 6177 Ripple Way in Sechelt. For more information, visit