Rock ’n’ Roll Vancouver Half cancelled
But the historic event, which also includes a 10K around the Seawall, will still go on in 2017
Vancouver’s half-marathon will no longer ref lect Competitor Group’s Rock ’ n’ Roll brand. The race series has pulled out of the West Coast city.
The Rock ’n’ Roll Half and the Seawall 10k will not disappear but instead be hosted entirely by local run group the Lions Gate Road Runners without Competitor Group’s presence. The Vancouver Rock ’n’ Roll event was one of two in Canada. The Montreal race will continue, taking place the weekend of Sept. 23 this year. Meanwhile, the Vancouver half-marathon and 10k will run, minus the musical theme, on Oct. 21. It will be its 47th annual event.
“We were forced to make difficult decisions,” said Competitor Group’s director of public relations Dan Cruz, who explained that 11 consecutive weekends of Rock ’n’ Roll races was becoming a logistical problem for the company. He said that talks about cutting Vancouver out of the tour started happening last fall. The fact that the race was always partially hosted by Lions Gate was consolation though. Cruz says that knowing that the event would continue under the local group, even if Competitor Group pulled out, made the decision less difficult.
“The thing about Vancouver is it’s not a cancellation, it’s a continuation. There will still be an event. The local runners won’t be losing an event,” says Cruz.
He also adds that the company felt that they had not been able to dedicate resources in the British Columbia city the way that they would have liked. Vancouver didn’t exude the same Rock ’n’ Roll vibe as, say, Las Vegas or Arizona.
“It never really took on the 13.1-mile block party,” said Cruz.
President of Lions Gate Road Runners, Frank Stebner, thinks that this decision was an economic one.
“The reason that the Rock ’n’ Roll Series left Vancouver was the low Canadian dollar,” said Stebner.
“We parted on good terms,” he said. “The people at the Competitor Group have been fantastic to work with and will remain good friends. They also want to see the race do well in the future.”
Given that Lions Gate Road Runners founded the event in 1971, continuing to organize the Canadian staple event was a no-brainer. The 47th annual race will continue with support of original founders Dr. Jack Taunton and original 20-year race director Don Basham.— TH