Meet Nicole van Zanten

Ever wonder who’s standing next to you in your corral at the start line, or cheering you on when you’re about to give up during a race? We’ll be featuring guest bloggers that have a passion for Rock ‘n’ Roll and inspire us by their dedication and commitment to the sport of running. You may recognize their faces, but the purpose of these posts is to put a face behind the name to better understand their journey to self-discovery.

Today’s post comes to us from guest contributor Nicole, author of A native to Vancouver, BC Nicole finds peace and balance in her training, no matter how hard the run.


I took up running and cycling three years ago. I credit running to a relationship I was in at the time – he was once an athlete and I was always so inspired by the stories of training and dedication. I trained for my first half, raced on a beautiful course in Victoria and was hooked. I’ve since found that running is the “me” time that I had always been searching for. 

As difficult as long runs can be (I often have nightmares of ice packs, cold tubs and the morning-after races) – they give me an opportunity to reflect. During long runs, I find myself lost in thoughts about family, friends, work, life, relationships. Running helps me find balance and has played a big role in helping decrease stress and anxiety in my day-to-day life. I would be a much different person without training.  

Has the Rock ‘n’ Roll Series played a role in your running?

Absolutely! I’ve heard such great things about the Rock ‘n’ Roll Series and I’m so excited that it’s come to Vancouver. This is my hometown – my city. It’s where I train and it’s where I find my peace and balance. What’s better than racing in your own city?

Though it takes time to learn to love, running has been key in finding balance. My career requires me to work 24/7, around the clock – often pulling in long, long hours in the office for evenings and weekends. Without throwing on my running shoes and heading out for a long run, I know that my balance and overall level of stress and anxiety would be much different. I encourage everyone – young, mature and otherwise – to consider picking up your shoes and hitting the pavement. No distance is too long or too short to feel impact. 

Meet more of our Rock ‘n’ Blog Ambassadors on our Rock Blog!