Rock ’n’ Roll Van­cou­ver Half can­celled

But the his­toric event, which also in­cludes a 10K around the Sea­wall, will still go on in 2017

Canadian Running - - NEWS -

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

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