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Written By Rob Smith - December 13 2015
Before Vancouver Running Co. opened we teased the market with some Instagram countdowns and word-of-mouth amongst the running community. One of the very first people to show support and offer any assistance he could was Ryan Chilibeck, fearless leader of East Vancouver Run Crew (EVRC). Beck and I had never met Ryan before we opened but that didn't stop him from offering to have his crew run out of the shop on one of their Monday nighters so people could check out the space and meet us.
When we launched the Flight Crew and started to have regular Thursday night runs we had a few people who ran with EVRC on Monday's come out to our runs and vice versa. As a result we teamed up for a Summer Social that drew close to 100 runners for a run, some yoga and a few post-run refreshments. Beck and I were blown away at the turnout and realized that day that our two crews together had the ability to build something really special in the Vancouver running scene.
Fast forward to the Fall and Ryan and his crew were getting ready for the crew challenge portion of the Eastside 10K, where run crews from around the Lower Mainland would select a charity and raise money all the while being pitted against other crews for the chance to win even more money for their charity. Ryan emailed me and asked if we'd be into a 24hr treadmill relay in the shop to raise money for their charity. We'd keep the shop open all night long and each runner would have a 30min shift on the treadmill. "Let's do it!" was the short response, and before long we were wheeling treadmills back out of the shop, the race was over and EVRC had collected over $5,200.00, winning the fundraising challenge.
Finally, December was rolling in and Beck and I wanted to throw another Flight Crew Social. It was a no brainer to see if Ryan and his crew would want to partner up again and of course, without hesitation he did. Not only was EVRC on board but Ryan stepped up and through his pizzeria Famoso would be providing pizzas for all runners for the evening.
This Social felt a bit more special as we've now been open for almost 8 months and the relationships and community that has developed has been more than we could have imagined. From the get-go EVRC has supported everything we've done and we couldn't be happier to have them as community partners.
Last Thursday our combined efforts brought in over $200.00 and about 60lbs of food for the Food Bank. We also have roughly 50 pairs of old running shoes that will be repaired and given to someone in need.
In addition to EVRC being game for everything we also want to thank Adidas for the unwavering support that started before we even finished building Vancouver Running Co. No matter what the idea is, Scott and Devin say yes immediately.
From the moment we began Flight Crew, to the Summer Social, to helping make We Run the Night an event like no other, to this latest Holiday Social, Adidas has always been willing to offer whatever they can to make it happen and some of the ideas we're tossing around for 2016 will not disappoint!
We have also started to work closer with Postmark Brewing as the year has unfolded. What started as a new brewery for us to check out has moved into their full blown support of We Run the Night and then again for the Flight Crew Holiday Social. We're looking forward to exploring new ideas with Nate and his crew into 2016.
Finally, a huge thanks to INSTANCE Run for coming on board with prizes for those that made a food and/or shoe donation. I have personally become heavily addicted to their socks and couldn't be happier we are now working with them as their first pusher, erm, dealer in the area.
Moving into 2016, we will continue to build upon and make Flight Crew stronger through expanded benefits programs, regular trail days and unique events. Those that come out to Flight Crew Thursday's on a regular basis rain or shine, invite new runners to check it out and offer up their own support are what makes our crew what it is, so THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts. We never expected what has come about in 2015 and can't wait to see where we go together next.