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June 22, 2014

Wykes and Marchant notch emphatic victories at Scotiabank Vancouver Half-marathon. $830,000 raised for charity.

Dylan's back... leading the pack

VANCOUVER. June 22nd. Dylan Wykes and Lanni Marchant showed why they are Canada's #1 ranked Men's and Women's marathoners with emphatic victories at today's Scotiabank Vancouver Half-marathon. Wykes ran 63:52 for his win; Marchant 73:41 for the Women's crown. Conditions were perfect for the 4,000 half-marathoners who lined up at UBC at 7:30am. Skies were clear and bright, the temperature was 12c, and there was hardly a breath of wind throughout the majestic course along Pacific shores, down to world-famous Stanley Park. Another 2,100 participants ran and walked in the accompanying 5K in the park. Combined, the 6,100 entrants came from 29 countries, 8 Canadian provinces, and 30 American states. Together, they raised an impressive $830,000 for 79 mostly-local charities in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge.

The story of the day was “Dylan's back”! It's been 2 years of injuries and fatigue as Wykes has battled back from his London Olympic marathon journey that saw him race 4 hard marathons in a year. Under the guidance of Coach Richard Lee at the BC Endurance Project he has worked his way back to 140km to 160km training weeks, and 2 solid 10K performances this Spring — a 29:11 in the Sun Run in April and a 29:40 in Ottawa on May 24th. Today was his first longer-distance race, and he meant business from the Start. Dylan Wykes racing along scenic Spanish Banks He pulled a pack of 5 through the first kilometre in 2:50. By 3km [8:44] they were down to four: Wykes, defending champion Kip Kangogo who has owned this race, winning 4 of the last 5 editions, Rob Watson and Athletics Toronto's Sami Jibril. After the group cruised through 5km in 14:49, Dylan began to turn the screws. First his training partner Watson slipped back, then Kangogo and Jibril together. He passed 10k in a brisk 29:31, and 15k in 44:53. Although he tired a little in the numerous turns around Kits Point [16k to 18k] and over the challenging Burrard Bridge [18k to 19k], he crossed the line almost a minute and a half clear of a beaten Kangogo [65:14]. Watson came back on Jibril on the hill to West 4th at 12k then held on for 3rd [67:16], with Jibril 4th in 67:38. Victoria, BC, Masters' star, Jim Finlayson, who set a new provincial 10,000m on the track 2 weeks ago [31:04] came on to take 5th in 68:21. A visibly delighted Wykes said, “It felt great today. At least for about 15k! The second half was tough, with no one to push me, but I'm pleased with the win.” Kangogo, who won the Calgary Marathon just 3 weeks ago said he was “running on marathon legs. When Dylan made the move at 5km I couldn't go with him. I tried to stay close, and closed the gap a bit in Jericho [11km to 12km]. I thought I could close it more on Burrard Bridge but the gap was just too big.” It was the only time in 6 years that Kip has failed to run 63 minutes on the course.

Lanni Marchant with an authoritative performance

Lanni Marchant also had something to prove, as she toed the line in her final tune-up before running for Canada in the Commonwealth Games Marathon on July 27th in Glasgow, Scotland. Following her outstanding 2:28:00 performance at last October's Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon that took out a 28-year-old national record, Marchant had a good winter training in Kenya with American Desi Linden. She then showed she could race competitively on the international scene with a strong 14th place finish at the Boston Marathon in April. “I'm very happy with today,” she said. “It was a real confidence booster. My training's been a bit up and down since Boston, with the recovery, plus a bunch of 10k races I've done. I wasn't sure exactly where I was fitness, and long-distance racing-wise. I planned to go through 10k in around 35 minutes today, and run around the time I did. I feel I'm in a good place for Glasgow.” Like Wykes, Marchant took charge early. She moved away from a women's pack around 4km, passed 10km in 34:29, and never looked back. The race for the places was a good deal more absorbing, as Corner Brook, NLs Kate Bazeley proved her 2:40:49 marathon debut in Houston in January was no fluke. Through the first 15km, Bazeley battled Vancouver Marathon winner [2:37:00], Kim Doerksen of Gibson's, BC, plus outstanding Masters' athletes, Catherine Watkins [BC Endurance] and Marilyn Arsenault [Victoria, BC]. The 23-year-old Doerksen went out aggressively, but eventually faded to 4th in 77:01. Bazeley proved the best of the bunch, coming home 2nd in 76:40, with the indefatigable, 46-year-old Arsenault catching Doerksen coming down off Burrard Bridge [19km] to take 3rd [76:52]. Watkins, who has raced a lot recently in a banner season, was 5th in 77:44.

The battle of Spanish Banks for the Women's places: Bazeley (F9), Arsenault (51), Watkins (F5), with Doerksen giving them 'the look' (F4).

All in all, it was a “day for the ages”, as young, developing athletes Jibril and Doerksen gained valuable experience; veterans Finlayson, Arsenault and Watkins were superb — with Arsenault claiming she might be old but is still “gnarly” — and the class of the field stamped their authority all over it, showing why they are Canada's best and Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon 2014 champions.

Complete results available online.

June 22, 2014

Canadian Top Marathoners Dylan Wykes and Lanni Marchant Win Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon

Over $830,000 raised for charity through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge

Photos by Inge Johnson/Canada Running Series

Dylan Wykes

VANCOUVER, BC (06/22/2014) — Over 6,400 runners took to the scenic course in Stanley Park for the 16th Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5K, raising $830,000 and counting for 78 local charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge.

Canada's top marathoners, Dylan Wykes, from Vancouver, and Lanni Marchant took top honours by winning the men's and women's races with times of 1:03:51 and 1:13:41 respectively. This was Dylan's best effort since coming back from an injury in 2012. Lanni Marchant posted a great result, and is ready to represent Canada at the Commonwealth Games next month in Glasgow, Scotland. Dylan was able to beat 4-time champion Kip Kangogo from Lethbridge, who posted a time of 1:05:14. Kate Bazely from Corner Brook was second for the women.

Lanni Marchant

“Today was an incredible day for the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k, with Dylan Wykes and Lanni Marchant once again showing they are top of their field, posting fantastic times,” said Clifton Cunningham, Race Director, Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5K. “Our event continues to grow bigger and better each year. I want to thank all of our runners, volunteers and the community for embracing the race and making it such a success.”

Honourary Chair of the Scotiabank Charity Challenge Kirk McLean was on site to congratulate participants in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, who raised more than $830,000 for 78 charities as of press time. Scotiabank will award $5,000 each to the charity with the most runners, the charity with the highest amount of dollars raised per runner and to the charity with the highest overall amount fundraised.

“Congratulations to all the runners, walkers, and supporters on an unforgettable race day. We want to particularly thank everyone who took part in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge for making their run even more meaningful by giving back to such important causes,” said Winnie Leong, Scotiabank Senior Vice President of the BC and Yukon Region. “You raised an incredible amount that is going straight to the charities who work so tirelessly to make our communities even better places to live.”

Race Day Results:

Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon Male:

  1. Dylan Wykes (Vancouver) 1:03:52
  2. Kip Kangogo (Lethbridge) 1:05:14
  3. Rob Watson (Vancouver) 1:07:16

Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon Female:

  1. Lanni Marchant (Chattanooga) 1:13:41
  2. Kate Bazeley (Corner Brook) 1:16:40
  3. Marilyn Arsenault (Victoria) 1:16:52

Scotiabank Vancouver 5K Male:

  1. Josh Kozelj (Coquitlam) 17:22

Scotiabank Vancouver 5K Female:

  1. Ally Ginther (Surrey) 18:20

For more highlights and complete race results, please visit: www.vancouverhalf.com.

June 11, 2014

Lanni Marchant to Run Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon, by Paul Gains

Lanni Marchant

It could be said that Lanni Marchant epitomizes the 'loneliness of the long distance runner' training alone on the roads near her home in Chattanooga, Tennessee using programs emailed from her coach in London, Ontario.

The 30 year old national marathon record holder is also the sole Canadian entry in the Commonwealth Games marathon set for next month. But it's a lifestyle that she relishes — for now.

Since claiming that record with her 2:28:00 in Toronto last October Marchant was able to relieve a little financial stress using the $28,000 record bonus to pay down the loan she had taken out to finish law school. And she also experienced racing in the Boston Marathon, a World Marathon Major event, where she finished a credible 14th.

Marchant says she is grateful that the law firm for whom she does work is flexible allowing her to travel to races and to what has become an annual high altitude training camp in Iten, Kenya each winter. Preparing case work from home or, when she feels particularly isolated, from a local coffee shop, she is committed to practicing law in addition to her athletics career.

As she pounds out the miles her next important test will come in the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon June 22nd the fifth of eight races that make up the 2014 Canada Running Series.

“That course is really tricky,” she says. “Last year I think I ran just over 1:11 (1:11:38) so I am hoping for) something similar to that, maybe a bit quicker. I want to feel stronger the second half of the course because the first half is all downhill, so I wouldn't even mind to be a bit slow if I really hammer it the last half of the race.

“(SVHM) will work well because most of the rest of the Commonwealth team have to go to Moncton, New Brunswick for the track nationals to prove fitness. It actually times pretty well being the week before track nationals so I can put in a solid effort and show that I am still fit and ready to go, and I can test the legs a little bit and see what I have in the tank without going too, too deep and using a race effort. It's about a month before I will do the marathon.”

Last month she tested herself at the Ottawa 10km. She was the top Canadian finisher in the women's race finishing 7th overall (33:15). Most encouraging for her was that she ran the second half much faster than the first passing 5km in 16:26.

“Ottawa was just a rust buster,” she says laughing. “I knew I wasn't ready to go with the lead Kenyan runners so I wanted to run and finish strong. I am really trying to focus on the second half of my race I tend to be a runner that pushes hard the first half and sometimes gets into trouble the second half.

“I am doing a lot of work in the gym and I am trying to use these races to get some finishing speed and keep my speed and hip strength and everything going over the second half of every race.”

The Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon will be of much higher importance since the distance is more attuned to the high mileage training she has been doing to prepare for the Commonwealth Games. Twice she has run here with mixed results. In 2012 she broke her foot during the race. A year ago her friend and Canadian rival Krista DuChene got the better of her and she wound up second.

Marchant says she plans to arrive in Vancouver a couple of days earlier and stay a few days after the race in order to visit her elder sister as well as other family members. Though the occasion will be relaxing there is no doubt she will be all business when she lines up for the race.

Yes, it's a lonely existence but a victory in Vancouver followed by a strong performance wearing the Canadian vest in Glasgow will make it all worthwhile. Indeed, Marchant has lofty goals.

“The Commonwealth Games is something I always wanted,” she explains. “I remember the last time around I was looking to do the 10,000m but the standard was way too fast for me. I didn't think I would ever actually make a team and I always thought it would be a fun team to make and it's a good chance for Canadians to do well at an international event.

“And if Rio (Olympic Games) is the end goal I want as much experience putting on that Team Canada singlet and lining up against some big names before I hope to do it in Rio.”

June 9, 2014

Pushing the Limits with Symbiathletic

Rand and Jason

Rand Surbey met Jason Cole three years ago when Jason was volunteering at the BC Mobility Opportunity Society of the Sam Sullivan Foundation. Rand, living with cerebral palsy, uses a power chair and communicates through a Vanguard alternative communication device. However, Rand does not let his disability confine him and through the BC Mobility Opportunity Society, he and Jason partook in outdoor hikes and other recreational activities.

Rand and Jason spent Christmas 2011 together going on runs and hikes. They then decided to participate in local marathons and outdoor challenges as a team. Jason explains that “there are no categories in marathons for people with disabilities, we either had to position ourselves in the special start zone or in the back with strollers”. Rand and Jason did neither, and instead decided to integrate with everyone else. “Don’t pity us, include us” says Rand.

Symbiathletic (a combination of symbiotic and athletic) was created in 2012 as a result of Rand and Jason’s partnership acting as “a catalyst in facilitating the participation of people in a wide range of physical and social activities that previously may not have been available to them”. Symbiathletic is the desire to do more than exist. Their emphasis on team work has led them to foster a community of people who partake in local races to push boundaries. Symbiathletic is also a platform for Rand and Jason to fund their competitions through donations and apparel sales.

Rand uses a custom-made athletic wheelchair that is lightweight and agile for the races. Jason explains that it is not easy to find these specialty chairs, with the cheapest on the market being $3500. As a result, Jason started to build custom chairs with scrap parts that were interchangeable. “I wanted to build specialty wheelchairs that would allow Rand and others with disabilities to compete in marathons but were also affordable with parts that were easily accessible”. The custom-wheelchairs designed and built by Jason cost around $500-$1000 each and he donates these chairs to people who can’t afford them so that they can have the opportunity to compete in runs.

Last year, the duo ran the Scotiabank half marathon using the custom-made wheelchair. They clocked in at a little over an hour and a half, placing them in positions 263 and 264 of 4077 runners. This year, they are planning to fundraise and compete in the Tough Mudder obstacle race with the custom-made wheelchair which will allow Rand to go off road and into the mud. Because Rand cannot propel himself in the races, the chair is designed to for a driver and engine team, with one leading and one pushing.

Rand and Jason at Scotia Half 2013

Rand’s cerebral palsy is what drives him to inspire others in their pursuits. Rand is the “driver” of the team meaning that he leads the duo in the races. Jason is the “engine” of the team as he pushes Rand’s chair in the races. However, Rand is not just there for the ride. As a “driver”, Rand is the heart and soul of the operation. His desire to compete and push the limits is what motivates the team.

Jason was inspired by Rand’s courage and desire to push the boundaries of his life. He expressed that he “didn’t want to be satisfied with just extending the quantity of someone’s life, he wanted to extend the quality.” The strength and drive of Rand and Jason’s partnership led the duo to compete against seasoned runners in which they have regularly clocked in good times through constant training.

Together, they are supporting the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC (CPABC) because they want to inspire others with cerebral palsy to take initiative and live their life without limits. Rand and Jason will be running the Scotiabank Half Marathon and fundraising in partnership with CPABC under that name Symbiathletic. For Rand, the best part of doing the marathons is to simply “show people you can do it”. 

Join Rand and Jason and support the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC!

June 4, 2014

Dylan Wykes Returns to Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon, by Paul Gains

Dylan Wykes

After racing to a 20th place finish at the 2012 London Olympics Dylan Wykes had reached a peak in his running career and wondered if he would ever find the motivation and determination to continue.

Thankfully for Canadian running fans that mindset was only temporary.

On April 27th Wykes took second in the Vancouver Sun Run with a time of 29:11. The performance has served notice he is fit and mentally preparing to run a fall marathon. As the second fastest Canadian in history — he recorded 2:10:47 in Rotterdam 2012 to earn his spot on the Olympic team — he has hopes of improving upon that time.

Next up for the Vancouver resident, who celebrates his 31st birthday on June 6th, is the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon on June 22nd, a true test of his current training program.

“Training is going pretty well,” he said on a recent visit to his hometown of Kingston, Ontario. “I ran the 10k last week in Ottawa. It wasn't as good a performance as I wanted but I bounced back. I have been getting in some good training for sure.”

Wykes finished 9th in the Lowertown Brewery 10km in Ottawa on a warm and muggy night with a time of 29:40. Asked about the difficulty in bouncing back mentally following the Olympics he chooses his words deliberately.

“I think it was tough to reach a big goal like that,” he says quietly. “It's kind of like 'oh, what now?' That feeling combined with some injuries shortly after the Olympics, for about a year and half, it's definitely been up and down emotionally.

“There have been times when I definitely thought about packing it in. But I always gravitated back to wanting to get back to where I had been and to be better. The goal is to just keep improving; that has kept me getting out there training.”

Since the fall of 2010 Wykes has trained under the guidance of Richard Lee, who also heads up the BC Endurance Project. He has eked out an existence thanks to the help of his sponsors Mizuno as well as a part time job at Forerunners a Vancouver store owned and operated by Peter Butler (4th fastest Canadian marathoner of all time at 2:10:56). On occasion, he also does some contract work related to epidemiology, a field in which he has a Master's degree.

“I am cautiously optimistic that I will stay healthy,” he admits. “It's probably been three months now that I have been training and healthy. I can definitely get back to the level I was at leading up to the Olympics and during the Olympics. Hopefully I can get more out of myself. There are definitely some big goals and stuff I want to accomplish still.”

Dylan Wykes

Optimism is abundant these days especially since he was a last minute entrant in the Vancouver Sun Run and preparations couldn't have been more challenging. A week before the race he and his longtime girlfriend, Francine Darroch, were married. The couple is also expecting a child.

“I only decided to race Sun Run two weeks before,” he explains. “I had my wedding the week before that. I had a lot of other things going on and I didn't feel any pressure to perform.

“The race wasn't hyping me up as one of the main contenders because I decided to run so late. So I was able to get in there and I didn't really know where I was at fitness wise. I didn't put on any pressure on myself and just tried to compete. That was my first race in five months. I was happy with how that went for sure.”

Wykes is looking forward to the Scotiabank Half Marathon, a race he is more than familiar with. He raced it in 2011 finishing 4th in 1:04:35. In his buildup to the Olympics he recorded his personal best of 1:02:38 in Tempe, Arizona.

“I know the (Vancouver) course,” he reveals. “Part of it goes through the neighbourhood where I am living and I know the streets it is run on.

“When you look at it on paper it looks like it should be a really fast course there's some significant downhill but there's also some tough uphill. I just want to try and compete well. Obviously I think it will take 63-64 minutes to be competitive. I think I am ready to do that again. If I can just get in there and be in the mix that will be great.”

The event record is 63:10 set by Kenya's Patrick Nthiwa in 2007. Although Reid Coolsaet has withdrawn due to an injury the field remains very, very strong. Among those Wykes will face on June 22nd are training partner Rob Watson (1:03:22 best) and four time Vancouver champion, Kip Kangogo, the Kenyan born resident of Lethbridge, Alberta.

Kangogo received his Canadian citizenship on April 4th of this year but has been a force on the Canadian scene for years.

“Kip knows how to get it done, eh?” Wykes says laughing when reminded Kangogo has won the race four times. “Kip is obviously a super competitor and knows how to win on that course. I hope that I am strong enough to keep up with the lead pack. Kip is a tough guy to beat. I think he has had my number more times than I have had his, in the times we have raced, so it will be tough.”

With renewed optimism and his life moving along nicely Wykes admits he is in a good place emotionally.

“I got to a point where I am pretty content with things and things seem to be going in a good direction. Basically there will be lots of new things on the horizon, the baby coming on the horizon,” he says breaking into a laugh. “So I will have to pick (two time Olympian) Eric Gillis' brain for how to be a good dad and still be able to perform at a high level.”

May 15, 2014

Olympian Coolsaet Heading to Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon, by Paul Gains

Reid Coolsaet

Canadian Olympian Reid Coolsaet heads up a fine men's field at the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon June 22nd.

The 34 year old member of Speed River Track Club in Guelph, Ontario recently finished 13th at the Virgin Money London Marathon (2:13:40) but still has designs on Jerome Drayton's now 39 year old Canadian marathon record. Determined as ever, the Vancouver race is another stepping stone to achieving his goal.

“Training is going well,” Coolsaet said this week. “After London I took a week off then another week to ease back into it. Now I am trying to push a little bit more in workouts with Eric (Gillis) Nick (Sunseri) and John (Mason). They are getting ready to do the Ottawa Marathon.”

Two years ago Coolsaet raced on this same Vancouver point to point course as his final test before the 2012 London Olympics. He won the race in a very quick time of 63:16 just six seconds off the event record of 63:10 set by Kenya's Patrick Nthiwa in 2007. He went on to finish 27th at the Olympics.

Organisers of the Canada Running Series have put up a $1,000 course record bonus but, as is his custom, Coolsaet won't say whether he will chase the record.

“It's still pretty early in my stages,” he reveals. “But, of course, I am going to go there looking to be competitive with the guys who typically come out to the race, maybe Kip Kangogo, (Kangogo), who is always strong there, and the top BC guys. Those guys I want to be competitive with them and get going again with competition.”

You're invited to race with Reid and Lanni Marchant! Entry and further information available at www.canadarunningseries.com/svhm/.

April 25, 2014

Kirsten Sharp: “The only failure is failing to try”

Kirsten Sharp

When Kirsten Sharp became a paraplegic after a skiing accident when she was 14 years-old, she didn't have any close friends or experienced mentors with spinal cord injuries to learn her new way of life from. With the support of her family and friends, she paved her own way.

It wasn't until a few years later that she would meet a good group of peers who also lived with spinal cord injuries. It was only then that the importance of their advice and friendship became crystal clear, and that Kirsten realized the importance of passing her own experience on to others.

Today she's an accomplished world traveller, a home-owner, a tennis player, a former animation producer and a motivational speaker. As one of Spinal Cord Injury BC's Vancouver Peer Coordinators, she also mentors people with new spinal cord injuries who are rehabilitating at GF Strong. It's an important role that requires Kirsten to help people through one of the most emotional and physically traumatizing moments of their lives.

To help people through this challenging time, Kirsten taps into her own optimism and philosophy of personal growth. “The only failure is failing to try,” she says, “and most of what I've wanted to do in my life, I've given a try. If I haven't yet, it's on my list to complete someday. I've been really fortunate, so I think it's really important to help others.”

Kirsten Sharp

Because Kirsten didn't have a Peer Mentor when she was newly injured, she's always made a point of helping others out, whenever she can. So naturally, she was one of the first to join SCI BC's team, the Walk 'n Rollers, when we first signed up for the Scotiabank Charity Challenge in 2012. This year, SCI BC is proud to call Kirsten our Walk 'n Rollers Team Captain.

“I think I would have really benefited from having a Peer Group to go out and try new things with when I was first injured. In the past few years, I've started getting into sports, and one of the reasons I didn't earlier is that I didn't know of all the opportunities that exist,” says Kirsten.

“That's why organizations like Spinal Cord Injury BC are so important. I've seen what a difference it can make to people with recent injuries to connect them with the opportunities that are out there for them.”

As an employee of SCI BC's Peer Program, Kirsten has seen the impact of Peer Mentorship first hand.

“I think sometimes people think you have to do something really, really big to make a difference in someone's life—and that's not true.”

Kirsten Sharp

“I've pursued my career the way I've wanted to, and played sports although not professionally, and insured that whatever I could get out and do, I would try. I found that you don't have to be famous to make a difference to someone. Simply seeing that you have been successful at all you wanted to do, with whatever of your own struggles you had along the way, can show someone that they can do it too.

“This one guy, he was injured he said to me once, 'You have no idea what an impact you've had on me. Just the way you would smile and seem happy with your life, you made me look forward to my future.'”

“That was, powerful,” says Kirsten, “It made me realize how important a simple smile was.”

“And that's why the Peer Program at SCI BC is so important—because a lot of people don't necessarily want to be a Paralympian, they just want to know that they can get through their life, and know that they'll be ok,” she says.

“So yeah, that's why I'm on your team. I'd do anything for you guys.”

Join Kirsten and support our team, The Walk 'n Rollers!

Dec 16, 2013

Canada Running Series announces new prize money for 2014 Western events, and commitment to Canadian and British Columbian athletes

December 16, 2013 — Vancouver, BC. Canada Running Series is pleased to announce an increase in prize monies for competitive runners at its three Western events in 2014, with a strong emphasis on encouraging the development of Canadian and British Columbian athletes. Prizing at the Vancouver Spring Run Off 8K [March 23], Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5K [June 22], and Vancouver Eastside 10K [Sept 13] will total $25,000 plus event record bonuses — the largest in the 15 year history of CRS' Vancouver races.

Each of the Western events will see an increase in the prize money being awarded, and an increase in the depth of awards. The top 5 Canadian runners will be rewarded at each race, plus the top 5 British Columbian runners. The distribution of the prize money for each event can be found on the canadarunningseries.com website.

Canada Running Series has already earned a strong reputation for bringing the very best in Canadian distance running to town, from Vancouver to Toronto to Montreal, building excitement in the running community and giving top Canadians the chance to shine and earn vital funds to support their training. In 2012, Olympians Reid Coolsaet and Eric Gillis both used the Scotiabank Vancouver Half as their final tune up before the London Olympic Marathon. The 2013 races brought Lanni Marchant, Krista DuChene, Rob Watson and Kate Van Buskirk to Vancouver, all of whom represented Canada at the World Championships in Moscow in August. Then Olympian Dylan Wykes won the Eastside 10K in his first race back after London 2012.

“We really want to support an increase in depth and competitiveness among the local British Columbian runners,” said Clifton Cunningham, CRS Western Race Director “while continuing to support the top level national runners, which we attract to our events. East-West rivalries and exciting head-to-head competition are always great in Canada. And such competition and rewards will help to raise the bar, we hope, on the road to the Pan Am Games in Toronto 2015, and then Rio.”

The Canada Running Series, kicks of 2014 with the Vancouver Spring Run-Off 8km run, taking place in Stanley Park on Sunday, March 23rd.

About Canada Running Series:

Canada Running Series, prides itself on organizing great races that benefit communities, the sport and on being industry leader in innovation for Canada. In 2013 the Series attracted 56,000 runners over 8 events and raised $5.8 million for 300 community charities.

Registration is now open with event details at www.canadarunningseries.com for the 2014 running season.

Nov 18, 2013

Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5k earns Silver Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport for Social and Environmental Initiatives

Working with Green Chair Recycling, organizers achieve 97.8 percent waste diversion rate

silver certification from Council for Responsible Sport

November 18, 2013 — Portland, OR: The 2013 Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon and 5k has earned Silver level certification from the Council for Responsible Sport for efforts to reduce the event's environmental footprint and increase its social impact. Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon is a Canada Running Series event.

“The Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon's list of accomplishments is long. A 98 percent waste diversion rate is truly outstanding, and this event's commitment to supporting the missions of numerous charities while promoting health and fitness, stimulating the local economy and galvanizing the community is great to see” said Keith Peters, executive director of the Council for Responsible Sport.

Among the many initiatives implemented and tracked throughout the 2013 event, there were several that were especially notable:

SVHM 2013

“At Canada Running Series, we've always been committed to producing world-class events that showcase the cities we run in and benefit our community. We are very proud of the green initiatives our Vancouver team has brought forward,” said Alan Brookes, Canada Running Series' National Race Director “and we are honoured to be the first Silver Certified event in Canada!”

“When looking at the environmental footprint of our running races, we decided there was a lot more we could do to make our events more environmentally sustainable and help preserve the natural beauty of our city,” said Tom Skinner, Canada Running Series' Western Operations Director. “Achieving Silver Certification was a team effort involving our entire crew, great partners like Green Chair Recycling, fantastic guidance from the Council, as well as a huge amount of support from all of our participants. The award is not only great recognition but an encouragement for us to move forward with, and build on our green-events initiatives”

The Council congratulates the Vancouver Half Marathon & 5k staff and the Canada Running Series for their accomplishments as well as their commitment to an ongoing process of planning, deliberate actions, measuring progress and continuous improvement.

About the Council for Responsible Sport:

Our vision is a world where responsibly produced sports events are the norm. Our mission is to provide objective, independent verification of the socially and environmentally responsible work event organizers are doing, and to actively support event organizers who strive to make a difference in their communities.

Our Certification program provides a comprehensive method for event directors to incorporate environmental and socially responsible initiatives into their events, while informing stakeholders about events that adhere to a rigorous set of standards. Certified events range in size from ParalympicsGB Training Camps held at the University of Bath in the UK, with some 150 athletes participating, to the AJC Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, Georgia, with 55,077 timed finishers. To date, 58 different events have achieved certification from the Council for Responsible Sport, serving over 786,000 athletes in the process.

The current version of the Council's Certification standards was developed by an outside working group of 18 sustainability experts and reviewed by a wide range of stakeholders. Certification is modeled after the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Green Building Rating System, which certifies buildings and materials according to resource conservation and energy efficiency criteria.


About Canada Running Series and the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5k:

The Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5K is part of the prestigious, 8-event Canada Running Series. The Series prides itself on organizing great races that benefit communities, and on being the industry leader in innovation for Canada. In 2013 the Series attracted almost 60,000 participants and raised more than $5.5 million for 280 mostly-local charities.

Registration is now open at www.CanadaRunningSeries.com for the 2014 running season, which kicks off on March 22nd in Vancouver, BC.