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Written By Rob Smith - June 05 2016
On May 28 2015 we launched VRC Flight Crew, a running crew we hoped would round out the running week in Vancouver, that was otherwise pretty full. It was to be Thursday's and our first run was going to be shortly after we launched.
Our first Thursday arrived and we had no idea if anyone was going to show. 6:00pm and nobody had arrived..."I wonder if I can fake injury" "Where's the nearest rock to crawl under?". All things running through my head at 6:05pm. Then, right before we gave serious thought to implementing one of the available strategies people started arriving!
That first Thursday had 12 of us running. We did the False Creek loop which seemed fitting for a crew based in Kits, and since then we will often run some portion of the seawall for our road runs.
Shortly after that launch date we met Nate from Postmark Brewing. Immediately we wanted to work with him and his crew on a collaboration. They were like-minded, into everything local, and aligned well with our core values as a business. Not to mentions, they were brewing great beer!
Flight Crew kept moving along through the dark Fall and Winter months and we kept visiting Postmark to fill the shop fridge. As Winter began winding down we started to fire up the idea for our first collaboration together. We initially tossed around doing a Saison but in the end the Helles Lager seemed like the perfect choice for a cold post run beverage.
The Helles Lager would be released only on tap and in 650ml bottles, and Steve (Postmark) gave us full creative control over the label. All of Postmark's 650ml bottle labels are photos, which is typically not a common practice for a brewery. But whether or not that's the norm, Postmark has launched some of the most memorable labels the industry and beer lovers have ever seen.
The alignment Postmark and VRC have in brand identity allowed us to shoot the label in a very natural way. It had to have the Lions Gate Bridge and the North Shore and it had to feature Jay Grandin and Linda Wong as the runners. Jay and Linda have been instrumental in the launch and building of VRC Flight Crew during our first year and are true ambassadors for the Vancouver running community. With local photographer and friend Chris Thorn, we set out in the early morning hours and captured exactly what we had hoped for.
Before long it was Spring and the Postmark | Vancouver Running Co. Helles Lager launch schedule was in full swing. Flight Crew had expanded to trail and we were now seeing about 40-45 people and growing weekly for our Thursday road runs.
It's truly been an amazing year packed with collaborations with East Van Run Crew and Adidas, a few unconventional events at sometimes very odd hours of the day, and forming many great new relationships as it all happened.
It was time to celebrate!
So in proper Flight Crew fashion we ran to Postmark and celebrated the past year over Postmark | Vancouver Running Co Helles Lager pints, great food and the company of many of the friends we've made throughout the past year.
Here's to another year of breaking the running mold, keeping it fun, and growing and contributing as much as we can to the Vancouver running community.
May we always do it among friends.