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What a year it’s been!

Vancouver Frontrunners 35 year logo

2018 marks Vancouver Frontrunners’ 35th year as a club, and we have been doing ALL THE THINGS to celebrate! In addition to our twice weekly regular runs, dinners, and brunches, we’ve made sure to see lots of each other out and about in the community. Check out our year in review below.

February
First Half Marathon
Snowshoe Hike
Long Run

March
St. Patrick’s Day 5K – we had a strong, beautiful team out for the St. Patrick’s Day 5k. Some may have come for the green beer.

People in green run clothes, funny hats, and fake mustaches.

Long Run

April
BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool’s Run
Four happy race finishers with medals and bibs.

Sun Run Pre-Social at The Blarney Stone
Vancouver Sun Run 10k
10 runners after a race, with red stadium seats in background.

Pride Run & Walk Pancake Run (5km or 15km) with Forerunners

May
BMO Pre-race Potluck at Mark’s
BMO Vancouver Marathon
May 12 – July 22 – Learn to Run
“Summer is Coming” BBQ at Chad’s, hosted by Chad and Tony
Long Run

June
STRUT Vancouver
Sizzle: Pride Run & Walk Launch BBQ
Car Free Day to Promote Pride Run & Walk
Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5K

July
Shipyard Night Market
Ragnar Relay and Post-Event Brunch
Ragnar finishers with medals, including a woman.

 

Pride Run & Walk. Our Pride Run and Walk event was amazing again this year, raising $16,974 to split between our two charities of choice, Out In Schools and the Loud Foundation.
Person running toward camera, bridge in background, making peace signs with both hands, shirt says "born this gay.'

 

International Rainbow Memorial Run
Crowd in running gear with Rainbow Flags. Standing at a lower level with city in the background

 

Whitecaps FC Pride Night
Happy people in the stands at a sporting event
Long Run

August
Vancouver Pride Parade
Men in run kit marching in the Pride Parade

 

Gay Games in Paris
VQFF – Al Berto & Love Intersections
“Mind Set Go” Filming
Happy guy with glasses in foreground with film crew in background, on seawall.
Swim and Sunbathe at Kits Pool

September
Preventative Health Condom Packing Party with Health Initiative for Men
Men at a long table in a bar, intently focused on the task at hand.

35th Anniversary Party

September 14 we hosted our 35th anniversary party. We heard from members who were there at the beginning and some who’ve only joined recently. We were thrilled to present our donations to representatives from the LOUD Foundation and Out in Schools. There was a silly amateur drag competition, cake, and most importantly, the chance to catch up with people we maybe hadn’t seen in a while. To get in on some of the nostalgia, check out our retrospective slideshow.

 

AIDS WALK

 

And MORE!

Before the year’s out, there’s one last Grouse Grind, games night, movie night, Whistler 50, our AGM & holiday party, and more.

If this sounds like the most fun you can have in a two or three hour period, you are absolutely right. Vancouver Frontrunners is friendship and family (and running and beer). We care for each other deeply. Whether you’re an existing member, potential member, or an alumnus, you can get your 2019 membership here now, effective from October 1 through the end of 2019, for the ridiculously low price of $15.

Gay Games in Paris: Connecting with Athletes From Around the World

by admin

(Thanks to Kai Scott for sharing this account of his experience at the Paris Gay Games this year!)

The Gay Games were a truly profound experience that took place against the backdrop of historic landmarks in the sweltering heat of Paris. Around 10,000 participants took over the area in and around the Hôtel de Ville (aka city hall) and many surrounding stadiums, fields, and pools for one week. The feel was celebratory filled with excitement, pride, and reflection (especially the athletic pioneers that paved the way for us and those we have lost too soon). Besides athletic events of all types, there were nightly performances and parties. The local Parisian gay bars overflowed with thousands in the streets late into the night with old and new friends connecting and sharing their recent athletic accomplishments or what being queer is like in their countries.

I ran the 10K and the half marathon with hundreds of members from other Frontrunner clubs. It was the perfect blend of social and competitive. The 10K took place in a forest next to a castle (Chateau de Vincennes) and I coasted to a comfortable 42m finish. The half marathon was a week later within earshot of the L’Arc de Triomph. I was happy to surpass my training goal and ran a 1h 32m half marathon, which was nowhere near the top contenders in my division (1h 24m). I found it interesting that the French serve cubes of sugar and coca cola as part of the post-race spread – I guess that’s one way to refuel ;). Of course, I immediately located other Canadian runners, including friendly folks from Winnipeg, Toronto, and Ottawa. In the evening, there was a gathering of Frontrunner members at a local Parisian bar. It was fun to make friends and compare notes with others clubs in Asia, Australia, South America, and North America.

Beyond running, I cheered on our local soccer team, coached by Nico Montagut, who competed against teams from England, Germany, France, and United States. I also enjoyed watching water polo, tennis, and track and field. It was inspiring to see others excel at their sport of choice. A great reminder that us queers are represented in all sports.

The next Gay Games are in 2022 in Hong Kong, so a good time to start training and planning your trip. It would be awesome to send a team of Vancouver Frontrunners at the next games. It’s an experience not to be missed.

That’s a wrap…

In case you weren’t able to make it, Pride Run & Walk 2018, held yesterday on July 22nd was another major successful year.

Mother nature made up for last year’s rain with clear skies and hot temperatures as 348 proud runners and walkers hit the sea wall pavement brighter than ever.

An army of volunteers helped make the park and course look amazing with an endless sea of smiles and rainbows and with the only glitch of the day being a faulty start line arch which was quickly remediated thanks to the creative minds of Christopher and Stephen.

Awards and Prizes were handed out to the top 3 finishers in 3 gender categories for 2 events (5km and 10km), as well as 14 door prizes were gifted.

Team ‘Which way to Fountainhead’ cleaned up with prizes for being the top fundraising team with $5,130 and the crowd cheered for them to take home prizing for best dressed.

$9,750 were received in direct donations to our two beneficiaries, Out in Schools and LOUD Foundation. This total doesn’t include the profits made from the event, which we’ll know in the next few weeks as final bills/invoices are paid. UPDATE: With profits, we donated a grand total of $16,974!

Race results are available at https://www.startlinetiming.com/en/races/2018/pride and thanks to Kangsoon Park, photos are available here.

The board of VFR would like to thank the organizing committee for their tireless efforts in executing a smooth and fun event. Those include:

  • Rohan Hare – Event
  • Kangsoon Park – Course
  • Mike Hsiao – Volunteer (on behalf of RaceForce)
  • Alan Jay – Water Station and Miscellaneous.

A huge thank you to everyone who participated this year, may it be as a participant, offering a helping hand, raising/donating money… all of it. Your continued support of Pride Run & Walk is immensely appreciated.

Snowshoeing Social 2018

by admin
Snowshoeing Social 2018

Did you hear the one about the Vancouver Frontrunners who went up to Mount Seymour and snowshoed 6km?

More of a candid group shot, trees behind

Admittedly, it wasn’t very funny, but it was a great time for all fourteen hearty souls who made it out. Fresh snow and glimpses of blue sky showcased the best of one of our local mountains. Beer and camaraderie in Lonsdale Quay afterwards capped off a wonderful day. This snowshoeing thing might just become an annual tradition!

The crew posing on snow in front of blue sky

Cheese!

Several snowshoers hiking down between trees over soft snow

VFR Wins in the Whistler50 Relay

by vanfrontrunners

This past weekend we had two teams participate in the Whistler50 relay race and the results are pretty awesome. Hot2Trot was our Open Men’s team which placed 13th overall and 2nd in their division with a total time of 6:13.54. This smashes our previous record of 6:42.04 which was set last year.

The VFR recreational team placed 34th overall and 1st in their division with a time of 7:00.35.

While everyone did an outstanding job and both teams are to be congratulated, we’d like to make some special mentions:

  • Kevin Hisko posting the past 7km leg show of 32:46
  • Kangsoon Park who posted amazing time of 58:17 on his 13km leg coming back from injury last year
  • Luke Liang surprising himself with 33:22 on his first ever race
  • Neil Johnson for posting his fastest ever pace (5:01/km) in a race 10km or higher
  • Alex Cheung, our poster boy success story from the Learn to Run program nailing 1:07:09 on his 13km segment.

A huge ‘THANK YOU’ go to team captains, Leifka Vissers and Tom Martin, for coordinating team registration and roster running order; making sure everyone showed up at the correct checkpoints and at the right time.

Don Cooper for hosting a post race pre-dinner function at his beautiful home in Whistler.  Thank you Don!  We really had a great time.

Thank you everyone who participated and volunteered at the Whistler 50 race.  Let’s think about Ragnar Relay July 2015.  🙂

Results can be found here.

VFR Raises Money for ScotiaBank AIDS Walk for Life

by vanfrontrunners

Vancouver Frontrunners have entered a team for this years ScotiaBank AIDS Walk for Life on September 21st at Sunset Beach, Vancouver. This year we’re hoping to raise $1,000 and we’re looking to yScotiaBankou to help us get there! Big or small, anything helps. Our team page can be found by clicking on this link where you can donate by Credit Card or PayPal.

If you wish to go that extra mile and join our team, please feel free to visit the ScotiaBank sign up page by clicking here and when registering, search for the team “Frontrunners” – no password is required.
As a team member, you’re encouraged to join us in raising funds and walking the event with everyone else.

ScotiaBankDonate

January’s Social Event – Curling

by vanfrontrunners

I think it’s time for me to come out of the closet.  Again.  I am a curling nerd.  So, when I had the chance to spend Saturday evening curling with the Frontrunners, I jumped on it.

Our endeavour started out with a lesson from the Pacific Rim Curling League’s Krista Frazee, who taught us everything from the geography of a curling sheet, to the basics of sweeping (my mom would be proud), to the art of hurling 42 pounds of granite across 150 feet of solid ice with the precision of a military sharpshooter.  After that, 24 of us divided up into six teams, and duked it out for the title of VFR’s Kings of Curling.

Having taken to the ice with the red stones, I skipped teammates Rohan, Nico, and Kai to a depressing first end: a score of 3 yellow.  Ouch.  Armed with the resolution to win, and the last rock, we faired slightly better in the second end: a biter from Nico, plus my last-ditch draw, and we’re on the board with 2.

Third end: a lucky “Plan B” shot by Kai gave us a rock smack-dab on the button, with two chances to score another.  Shot one, a take-out, and a miss.  The Yellow skip’s stone lands near the button, forcing a tight take-out for 2: we make it.  By the slightest of hairs, the yellow skip misses his last shot.  Praise Jeebus, we’ve won!
Naturally, a few beers in the VCC’s Last Rock Lounge soon followed.  Who am I to argue with centuries of curling tradition?

Some big thanks are in order: first, to our coach extraordinaire Krista Frazee (whom we hope will join us for a run very soon); second, to Shirley Mann, Christopher Ordog, Norm Scott, and the other wonderful folks at the Vancouver Curling Club; and finally, to the 23 wonderful Frontrunners with whom I shared a fantastic Saturday evening.

I’m secretly hoping this become an annual VFR event.
-Christopher Hawn

EDIT: A huge thank you to Christopher for organizing this awesomely fun social event. Bravo!

Reindeer Run – Sat 7th Dec

by vanfrontrunners

It was a chilly day in Stanley Park – the different smartphones had it somewhere between -10 and -6 degrees – but it was a beautiful morning full of winter sunshine and crisp, clear air.

43 eager Frontrunners and Walkers made it down to the regular meeting place, just by Brockton Oval for 9am. As soon as the box of Santa hats, reindeer antlers and jingle bells was brought out everyone dived in.

And this was the result:

Reindeer Runners

43 Frontrunners and Walkers await the start of the Reindeer Run

Vancouver Frontrunners run and walk every Wednesday and Saturday regardless of the weather (unless it is really too icy). If you fancy joining us for a run or walk just come along – you’ll be very welcome.

Members can see more photos from the day in our members area.

Vancouver Frontrunners & Out In Schools

by vanfrontrunners

On Wednesday 13th November Vancouver Frontrunners and the Vancouver Pride Society were proud to present a cheque for $10,729.23 to Out In Schools which was raised from the Pride Run & Walk. Thank you to everyone who took part in the Pride Run & Walk and made this possible.

Out In Schools Cheque Presentation

Out In Schools Cheque Presentation

You can find lots of information about the great work being done by Out In Schools on their website at http://www.outinschools.com/.

This was the first year that the Pride Run & Walk was part of the official itinerary of the Pride Society and a record-breaking turnout saw almost 400 taking part.

Planning is underway for the 2014 event with a new and improved route (subject to the necessary permits) – check back on our website nearer the time for full details.

Whistler 50 Update

by vanfrontrunners

Thanks to everyone for their interest in this year’s Whistler 50 on Saturday 19th October.

Vancouver Frontrunners will have two teams this year – under team captains Jeremy Plotkin & Ian Wong and both teams are now full.

But if you’re in Vancouver that weekend why not try out a choir concert organised by our very own C.D. with the Canadian Chamber Choir. You can find out more details on the website at http://canadianchamberchoir.ca/. The concert starts at 7:30pm and is at St. Mary’s Kerrisdale. Tickets are $25 and available online (http://canadianchamberchoir.brownpapertickets.com).

As we enter the last quarter of 2013, there are still lots of running events coming up which Vancouver Frontrunner members are running in – that’s races like the Victoria Marathon (plus half & 10km), Chicago Marathon, Whistler 50, Fall Classic, James Cunningham Sea Wall race to name a few. Keep us informed about what you’re up to!

vfrtest