The 2017 Vancouver ‘First Half’ Half-Marathon has been cancelled, Canadian Running has learned.
The event, scheduled for Sunday morning, will not go ahead because of snowfall in Metro Vancouver. The announcement was made early Saturday amid safety concerns. A snowfall warning was still in effect as of 5:30 a.m. PST on Saturday morning with “a long period of snowfall, with total amounts of 10 to 20 cm expected.”
“It is with deep disappointment that Pacific Road Runners has made the decision to cancel this year’s race due to the weather.
Yesterday I said we would make a decision on the race later today after hearing from the Parks Board. However, two of our committee members inspected the seawall early this morning and reported back. It was obvious that it makes no sense to continue with the race.
We want to give everyone as much notice as possible, especially anyone coming from out of town. We will continue with our race bib pick-up at Forerunners today from 10 a.m. to 4 pm. You can pick up your race shirt, medal and finishing jacket.
We will also have race bib pick-up tomorrow [Sunday, Feb. 5] morning at the Roundhouse Community Centre at a revised time of 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Again, you can pick up your race shirt, medal and finishing jacket.
We will not be mailing out shirts and medals. We hope make them available for pick up from Forerunners over the coming weeks. This is to be confirmed.
We will make an announcement later this week on how we can compensate our runners. It will take us a few days to assess the fallout of cancelling our race. Since we are cancelling the race with less than a day’s notice, we have already paid most of the expenses. Be assured that we will do something but we ask for your patience. We also want to honour our commitment to Variety the Children’s Charity as much as we can. As you can imagine, we have a lot of ‘unorganzing’ to do!
Thank you all for understanding. Be safe out there!
P.S. Since I started writing this, the Parks Board notified us that they have pulled our permit so it wouldn’t have gone on anyway.”
The Vancouver First Half, which is a regular sell out and a winter favourite among locals and runners from out-of-province, has never before been cancelled because of weather. According to the race waiver, refunds will not be issued because of the race cancellation. The race, in its 28th year, was scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. from the Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown. An estimated 2,000 runners were expected to take part.
— Gian-Paolo Mendoza (@gpsmendoza) February 4, 2017
Friday’s weather announcement
“I’ve seen a few Facebook posts saying that a little snow that shouldn’t stop us,” race director Bushnell wrote in a Friday update. “The problem is, I’m not sure our insurance company would agree. We must proceed cautiously and wisely. We do not want anyone to be at risk, including our club, the City of Vancouver and the Parks Board.”
Bushnell had been working with the City of Vancouver to reroute the course, which would have been 3.2K short of 21.1K due to restrictions, in an effort to keep this year’s race alive. Snowfall is affecting residents across southwestern British Columbia as more than 23,000 people are without power in Metro Vancouver and on Vancouver Island, according to BC Hydro.