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Written By Rob Smith - March 22 2020
Running is a sport that invokes a feeling of freedom among its participants. The ability to lace up and choose your own path is a privilege that could easily be taken for granted and one we are lucky to have. Owning a small business is much the same; you have the luxury to choose your own path, create your own goals, and in doing so put your heart and soul into building a community and collective that grows as you do and truly reflects you and your values.
I’d be lying if I told you our decision to close Vancouver Running Co.’s retail location was easily made. I spent this past Monday morning awaiting direction of some sort to help make the decision as if there was someone that had the answer. What if we turn off the lights, lock the doors and that’s it? What if VRC Flight Crew ends and our collective fades to black? Those questions went through my head over and over before it became glaringly clear that if we do not close, then we may actually contribute to accelerating all of these outcomes - not to mention the health of our staff and customers and the long-term effect keeping the doors open would have. They say the gut is your best tool in making decisions, trust it, it’s telling you what you need to do. So, like many decisions we’ve made throughout our nearly five years of operations, we went with our gut and closed.
Our physical location may have closed but the support and dedication to Vancouver Running Co. so many of you have shown us has been amazing, and it has become abundantly clear to me that we have created a collective so strong that it powers itself, and regardless of where we are and whether our physical store is open, we are here to support each other and see anything through.
As we round out our first week of closure, we’ve shifted our focus entirely to delivering you new and fresh content like our Top 5 Favourite Routes to Run Solo and a Get to Know VRC Elite Ambassador Rachel Cliff. Our run leaders, ambassadors, friends and staff are working hard to bring you stories, tips, videos (with creatively distanced filming) and articles that you can look forward to and maybe for a while take your mind off social isolation. We are working with our brand partners to ensure we are receiving products as normal and that our website is as strong as always, and in fact, we have not missed a beat there, so keep checking www.vanrunco.com for the latest in running shoes and apparel. Finally, our communication channels are always open to assist you with anything via online chat, social (tag @vanrunco and use the hashtag #flightcrewsupportsyou), email and more.
This is a time full of uncertainty and questions. For many running can be just the remedy needed to help deal with anxiety and the toll social distancing can have on some. I urge you to get out for a run but do so by yourself, in an area that has very few people. As much as I’d love to argue otherwise, Vancouver Running Co. and VRC Flight Crew are not essential services and so we will remain closed until otherwise guided by government officials.
I wish you all the best of health now and in the coming weeks and months. Thank you for the support you’ve shown us, please do the same with as many independant and small businesses you can. This will be a defining moment for many and if there was ever a time to support the community it is now.
Count on us to do our best as we work to continue building and expanding our extraordinary collective in this new world - I speak for our entire crew that we truly cannot wait until we run together again.
Rob SmithGeneral Manager / OwnerVancouver Running Co.