Alan’s Journal: One Series. One Country. One Community. One Family. One Love.

TORONTO July 6th 2015.

Hey fellow runners;

4CatsA big THANKS to everyone who made the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k weekend such a great experience! One of the most enjoyable things for me, was to see the way the race is building out into more of a long-weekend-experience, and bringing together our community from across Canada. Our #ScotiaHalf Digital Champions, our 83 official charities and SO many of you have been lighting up our CRS Social Hub, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for weeks, and it all reached a fine crescendo over the June 26th-28th weekend. Our 2-day mini-Expo was the best so far, and East Van Run Crew leader Ryan Chilibeck, aka @meatysauce, got us up and running in style on the Saturday morning with a Shake-Out Run and beer tasting at Red Truck Brewery. Check out the photos here.

The race itself was HOT, in all senses of the word. Under bright, sunny skies and 20 to 25c temperatures that felt HOT, 4,500 runners from 29 countries charged down from UBC to Stanley Park. Another 2,150 met them in the park and ran the 5K. The main bout was the #BettyandVeronica show in the 21K, Round 5, with Veronica [Lanni Marchant] taking an impressive “W” over hometown bestie Betty [Natasha Wodak], 71:08 to 72:31. Natasha also added to a great atmosphere by running to raise funds for VOKRA cat rescue, and toeing the line complete with cat-woman face paint! It was humorously billed as “Catfight in Vancouver”! The Men’s race also featured some of Canada’s very best, with Reid Coolsaet [65:40] putting on a show, to overpower dust Matt Loiselle and Sami Jibril in the heat. Read our full race report.

NickRyanBillThe weekend of Canadian running celebrations continued on Sunday and Monday evenings. On Sunday, Lanni, Natasha, Matt, Sami, and Kevin “SuperK” O’Connor were able to join our CRS crew in Gastown for a fabulous, post-race dinner. It was a great mix of athletes and organizers, and underscored how much we are all one big family, one community together. Then Monday night, Jenna, Inge and I, plus Toronto’s Bill Chaupiz from Night Terrors Run Crew and Nick Mizera from Pace and Mind, all joined Ryan and the East Van Run Crew for a beautiful recovery run in their ‘hood, including scenic Trout Lake. It was great to see the #ScotiaHalf bringing together our Toronto and Vancouver communities! Thanks for the bike loan John, and great to catch up with Leslie again – sorry I haven’t been out regularly!

It was also special to see JP Bedard among the hundreds of CRS visitors to #ScotiaHalf from across the country. If you haven’t read Paul Gains’ feature on JP, @runJPrun and his remarkable story, plus his crusade to build awareness for childhood sexual abuse, it’s a DON’T MISS! He’s now back in Toronto racking up 200 kilometres a week in preparation for his TRIPLE Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon! That’s right – not a miss-print! If we think 42.195 km is a challenge, JP will be doing the course 3 times, back-to-back-to-back on October 18th. 126.585 kilometres. One day. Indeed, we have such remarkable people in our community! Read the story, and make sure you join us in October.

As well as STWM preparations, July in Toronto 11694060_10102271365233241_153510771_nfor our CRS team is all about the Pan Am Games, where most of us will be involved in the Pan Am Marathons and Race Walks. We hope you’ll join in, especially for #PANAMARATHON on the 18th and 25th, to cheer on CRS stars Rachel Hannah and Catherine Watkins [ July 18th] and Kip Kangogo and Rob Watson [ July 25th]. On the track at York, there’ll be the #BettyandVeronica Show part 6, and SO many of our other CRS stars and friends. Four of our Toronto run crews – Parkdale Roadrunners (pictured at right), Tribe Fitness, Pace and Mind and Night Terrors Run Crew will be hosting CHEER SITES on the marathon course on both dates. I’ve written a separate blog on this with all the deets, schedules, including athletes’ Twitter and Instagram handles so we can stay connected and be part of a shared experience. I know there’s been lots of grumbling about the Games – mostly traffic related – but at the end of the day this is our city, our Games, and our friends racing for Canada. They deserve and NEED our cheers! Let’s show them how much we care; how rightly proud we are of them and of our great city, and make a home-turf difference. Go CANADA!

Gotta run! I’m doing a leg of the Pan Am Torch Relay tonight!

Looking forward to seeing 800 of you on Sunday at Beaches Jazz Training Run for STWM,

Alan

Ps. Let’s stay connected on social media! Twitter & Instagram @alnbrookes.