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Written By Rob Smith - March 06 2017
We'd been hanging out a lot with our neighbours down the street at lululemon for a while and figured it was fine time we put together something special. Born from the world of bike messenger racing, YVRun was modelled after alley-cat style races where the rider must reach one checkpoint before knowing where the next was located.
Of course, our concept was around running, and bringing the run community together in one crazy, frenzied Saturday of urban exploration was the goal.
Teams of up to 5 runners (some already firm friends, some meeting for the first time at the event) gathered at Vanier Park in the early afternoon to await instruction on where to go, what to do, and everything in between. The atmosphere was electric, and with everyone decked out in matching custom designed tights for the occasion, the crowd drew a few looks of intrigue from passers by.
The format of YVRun was that everyone received the first checkpoint map at the start point. Each map contained just enough clues to get you to where you needed to be next, and nothing more. Teams had 3 hours to complete the roughly 15km route and cross the finish line as a complete team. However, depending on what route each team choose to take between each checkpoint, the total distance covered could be anything from 15 to 20 (or more) km.
Once each team had their first map, the race to the first checkpoint was on!!
Each checkpoint had a unique challenge designed to test the runners’ physical and mental capabilities, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure - all at some of Vancouver’s most iconic spots, in the middle of a busy Saturday. Teams had to work together to complete each challenge so they could receive the next checkpoint map and clues - figuring out the best way to get there was the biggest challenge.
Once teams got to the 7th and final checkpoint and the finish line - located a distance away from the start line so there could be no cheating - teams were greeted with food, drinks and a live DJ for an after party to rival any post race celebration There were prizes for the overall winners, plus those who excelled at the challenges along the way.
YVRun brought together crews and individuals from around Vancouver in a race like no other, challenging each team to work together on physical and mental challenges spanning the entire city.
Special thanks to all of the volunteers that helped make YVRun possible, and lululemon for being the perfect partner to showcase Vancouver with.