Times Colonist 10K cancelled to avoid virus spread

The 2020 Times Colonist 10K run, scheduled for April 26, has been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The event, which has been held every spring for 30 years, is organized by RunSport and sponsored by the Times Colonist.

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Spokesman Mark deFrias said organizers were still planning to proceed with the run until Thursday afternoon when B.C. health officials recommended cancelling all gatherings of more than 250 people.

“So, based on the information that we got from the Ministry of Health — as well as following what other events such as ours are doing — we just thought, out of an abundance of safety and precautions, it was the best-case scenario to cancel the event right away,” he said.

“It’s just a really unfortunate, sad day especially for this event which has gone on now for 30-plus years. This year would have been our 31st anniversary. But we’ll make it work in 2021, I guess.”

DeFrias said about 6,500 people had registered for the event, which was on pace to reach its goal of 10,000 participants this year.

Registrants will be given an early registration opportunity to sign up for 2021 for just $15. They will be able to get their 2020 shirt in 2021.

The event’s board of directors said there will be no obligation to transfer to 2021, but no 2020 refunds will be given.

DeFrias said Thursday night that the next steps are still being determined and will be announced in the days ahead.

He said cancelling the race was probably the most difficult thing he has had to do in his career.

“This is a major event. It’s a marquee event for our community. We’re talking about over 10,000 participants. We’re talking about a lot of staff, volunteers, vendors, suppliers, sponsors that are going to be affected by this,” he said.

“So it was hard. But, ultimately, safety is our priority, the safety of all those involved with this event, and so it wasn’t a difficult decision to follow what they’ve outlined as the proper procedure.”

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