A Year in Review: 2017

As a small local business, we couldn't do what we do without the support of our customers. It was a big year jam-packed with good times, and we thank you for being part of the community and supporting us. In 2017 you helped us accomplish some great things.

Capra Speaker Series

Capra Speaker Series

Squamish is chock-full of sleeper athletes; those people that fly under the radar, but are actually world-class athletes in their chosen activity. We wanted to feature some of those people and hear their stories, so early in the year we launched our inaugural Speaker Series.

The series is all about featuring inspiring local (and beyond) athletes, while creating an atmosphere for the Squamish outdoor community to kick back, hang out, and learn something new. In 2017 we hosted Nick Elson, Jamie Finlayson, and Ellie Greenwood.

VIMFF Best of BC Photo Contest 2017 Winner

VIMFF Best of BC Photo Contest

British Columbia is a pretty spectacular place to live. Mountains, ocean, rainforest, glaciers, and waterfalls, all in our backyard. We love BC so much, we partnered up with the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (VIMFF) to offer a new ‘Best of BC’ category in their 2017 photo competition.

Local photographer, Bill Hawley of North Vancouver, won the $800 valued prize with this stunning photo. Bill's photo captured the essence of outdoor sport and culture in BC, and it's only fitting that the shot was taken in Squamish. Any outdoor town or city you visit in BC often has a dedicated group of people with an adventurous spirit, making the most of life and getting out there, regardless of the weather.

Capra Movie Night: Brothers Screening

Movie Night: Brothers Screening

At the end of March, hot off the heels of Jamie Finlayson's talk, we hosted a movie night at the shop complete with popcorn. We hosted Altra athlete Jacob Puzey for a quick run followed by a screening of Brothers; a short film following Jacob and his brother Tommy through their trials and triumphs of running a week-long stage race together in the altitude and elements of the Colorado Rockies.

Easter with Capra: Fun Run and Egg Hunt

Easter with Capra: Fun Run & Egg Hunt

We love a good Easter egg hunt, so what better way to earn your eggs than a family fun run? In conjunction with MTN Fun Basecamp, we held our inaugural Easter egg hunt and family fun run. Everyone headed out down Wonderland trail for either a 2km or 6km run to earn their eggs. Afterwards, we sent the kids off in waves in a mad dash to hunt for eggs in the forest! And yes, it's coming back this year.

Capra Customer Appreciation Day: Espresso Station

Customer Appreciation Day

At only 9 months old, the shop was already a whirlwind of fun, so to celebrate an uptick in weather and thank our lovely customers, we threw a little season opener party. The day started off with a group run (obviously), followed by fresh Counterpart espresso pulled at the shop, capped off with some Mags 99 later in the afternoon, because, tacos! We also gave away a slew of prizes, including a free pair of shoes.

Ridgeline Athletics Training for Trail Running Clinic

Ridgeline Athletics: Training for Trail Running

In June, we hosted our good friends Eric Carter and Gary Robbins—the dynamic duo behind Ridgeline Athletics — where they put on a one-day training clinic at the shop. We had classroom session in the morning where they covered developing a training plan, common training pitfalls, fuelling & hydration, race day prep, pacing, and more.

After the classroom session we hit the trails for some uphill and downhill technique demos/practice, and then rounded out the day with one of our favourite trail loops (50 Shades and Credit Line) followed by some post-run fuel and an informal Q & A at the Howe Sound Brew Pub.

SORCA Social Heads and Tails Game

SORCA Social Night

The Squamish Off-Road Cycling Association (SORCA) keeps our trails in tip-top shape, and we wanted to give back in thanks. In conjunction with MTN Fun Basecamp and Optomeyes Eyecare, we threw it down with some local craft brew, Mags 99, and plenty of prizes.

The highlight of the evening had to have been playing a 200-person game of ‘Heads & Tails’ to give away the grand prize heli-drop to Rainbow Mountain for five lucky riders. The beer flowed well past sunset, and to say we shared a few laughs would be an understatement.

Capra Alpine Running Camp: Runners in the Blackcomb Alpine

Alpine Running & Skills Camp

There's nothing quite like getting up high in the alpine. The smell, the air, the views, and the endless possibilities. Visiting summits and connecting them along ridgelines in a choose your own adventure style.

The next logical step of trail running is moving in to the mountains and running/scrambling in the alpine — but that requires a particular set of skills. To help facilitate that step, we launched our inaugural Alpine Running Camp with the help of Eric Carter, Nick Elson, and Ross Berg of Altus Mountain Guides. The camp provides participants with a foundation of skills and knowledge that can be used in almost any alpine running adventures they may tackle, improving their ability to move smoothly through the mountains.

Day one was a skills day on Blackcomb, focusing on snow travel and scrambling skills, terrain recognition, and some basic navigation, while taking in the epic views of the Fitzsimmons Range.

Day two found the group above the Sea to Sky Gondola linking a long ridge section with some steep technical terrain, spots of snow, a surprise rappel, and some well-earned hot dogs after 8 hours surrounded by stunning views.

Day three culminated in a summit adventure above the incredible Watersprite lake, managing some varied terrain, giving the group a chance to put together all the skills they learned in the days previous.

Capra First Birthday Party on Slhanay Summit

Capra Turns One

On our birthday, we wanted to celebrate with a secret adventure; so we set the stage, met at the shop, and carpooled to the start location. We took everyone who came out up to the summit of Slhanay where we surprised them with a party aid station stocked with drinks, treats, and of course, birthday cake!

After the summit celebration, one group went up to the Sea to Sky Gondola, while the other half tackled a route up the backside of the third peak of the Chief and over to the second peak before racing downhill to Mags for some well-earned burritos!

Mike Murphy at Squamish 50 Finish Line after winning the 50-mile race

Squamish 50-mile Win

In August, our very own Mike Murphy toed the line of the Squamish 50-mile, feeling strong and motivated. Everything was going great, until one small rock nearly crushed the dream; Mike persevered through a possible day-ender all the way to the podium.

Three minutes before the start of the race he rolled his ankle on a rock in the parking lot. Thankfully, his stubbornness paid off and brought him all the way to a first place finish!

Mike Murphy running in the Whistler Alpine Meadows 55km race

Whistler Alpine Meadows Course Record

One month after Squamish 50, Mike Murphy snagged another first place at the WAM 55km, while also setting a new course record.

Mike executed a near perfect race, pushing to the limit with a negative split, and ended up breaking the 6-hour mark with a 5:59:19 finish. Clearly that rolled ankle healed up quickly.

Capra Turkey & Trails: Runners in the forest on the 6km race

Capra Turkey & Trails

We were back again at Alice Lake for our second annual Turkey & Trails Family Fun Run. We had a perfect weather window on Thanksgiving weekend; the rain was on pause, moody clouds hanging in the trees, and just the right amount of mud on the trails. The smiles were on full blast as athletes headed out to tackle the 1km Gobble Wobble, 3km Youth Run, and the 6km Trail Race at Alice Lake.

With the help of our amazing running community, we were able to drop off a $750 cheque to the Squamish Food Bank, as well as a big bag of non-perishables.

The Muddy Runner Youth Trail Race

The Muddy Runner

The 2nd Annual Muddy Runner, put on by Sea to Sky Athletics and Capra, showed just how much excitement there is in Squamish for a kids/youth running program. With over 80 racers (between 6 and 15 years old) running their hearts out — and keeping Mike the rabbit on his toes — the finish line was all smiles.

Thanks so much to Amber, Daphne, Erin, Jayde, Mike, and all the other amazing volunteers for putting on such a positive event for Squamish kids. We'll be back again this year!

The November 30/30 Challenge: A new fall tradition

The November 30/30

November saw a return of the November 30/30 Challenge, where you guys came out in force for a new fall tradition. In 2016, we had 57 brave souls take on the challenge. In 2017, a whopping 147 of you came rose to the challenge to take November back and run 30 minutes for 30 days.

There were some grim days, but day in, day out, 111 (75.5%) of you stuck it out to the finish and we're so damn proud of you!

Capra Timber & Tor Run Club

Timber & Tor Run Club

In 2017 we saw our Timber & Tor Run Club almost double in size. It's been a pleasure getting to know so many local (and visiting) runners, and it’s pretty obvious that trail running in Squamish is both growing and the runners are committed!

We now have four runs a week, with two groups heading out on Saturday mornings. As always, the runs are free and open to everyone. The run club will continue to be a big part of what drives us, and we have plans to grow our Ambassador program to acknowledge many of the amazing people around Squamish.

Best Running Store in Squamish: Reader's Choice Award

Best Running Store

And if the year wasn't exciting enough, to cap it off we were graciously awarded Best Running Store in Squamish in The Chief Reader's Choice awards. Again, this is thanks to you, and it isn't a title we take lightly — so we're doubling down and pushing hard in to 2018.

From all of us at Capra, we thank you for an incredible year. We couldn't have done it without you and we're so excited for what's to come.

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