The BMO Vancouver Marathon drew a record number of runners this year, including one who wasn't sure he'd live to see the race.

A year ago, Jeff Chan was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

He needed emergency surgery, then radiation and chemotherapy, but on Sunday, he laced up to run the annual marathon.

"I needed this to tell myself I'm still alive," he told CTV News after the race.

"There's more things to life than just being alive. You need to make it count."

As Chan continues his recovery, another runner is just starting his quest to support research fighting the disease.

The 42-kilometre race through Vancouver was just the second in a year's worth of physical challenges for Imre Mihalik. The Simon Fraser University student has committed to what he's calling an Epic Impact Year, to run, bike and paddle in seven different races.

As he forces himself through more than 450 kilometres of races, every dollar he raises will go to the BC Cancer Foundation.

"Nothing really can compare to the challenge of cancer, but it’s just a way for me to show my support," he told CTV.

In addition to the BMO Marathon, Mihalik took part in the 10-kilometre Vancouver Sun Run two weeks ago. Next, he'll paddle through Board the Fjord, then run the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon.

His plans also include the Ride to Conquer Cancer, the Indian Arm Challenge, RBC GranFondo Whistler and Lululemon SeaWheeze Half-Marathon.

Mihalik has set his fundraising goal at $3,500, and had raised about 10 per cent by Sunday afternoon.

With a report from CTV Vancouver's Scott Roberts