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Road conditions cause postponement of opening race of Island Racing Series

A road race by definition needs roads.
Natasha Wodak is a seven-time women’s Harriers Pioneer 8K champion. The 2022 event, scheduled to take place Jan. 9, has been cancelled due to road conditions. SUBMITTED

A road race by definition needs roads. Because of the recent snow, the roads on the Island are not currently deemed in condition to safely host foot races, so the scheduled opening event today of the Frontrunner Vancouver Island Road Racing Series has been postponed.

The Harriers Pioneer 8K was to feature three Tokyo Olympians with Trevor Hofbauer, Genevieve Lalonde and seven-time women’s Pioneer-champion Natasha Wodak leading a strong field set to open the six-race Island Series.

The Pioneer course is popular because it is considered one of the fastest in the province. It is a softly undulating rural out and back route starting and finishing at the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Information Centre located on the west side of the Pat Bay Highway in North Saanich. The race could be rescheduled to a later date.

“It is with regret that the Prairie Inn Harriers have decided not to hold the Pioneer 8K [today] due to the unknown condition of the course and the inability to secure suppliers for portable washrooms,” race director Jeff Beddoes said in a statement.

“A decision on a revised date for the race will be announced at a later date.”

The 2022 Frontrunners Vancouver Island Race Series heralds the continuing return of live, in-person racing following the cancellation of the Series in 2021 due to COVID-19. It is part of the B.C. Athletics Super Series, with runners tabulating season points in races held on the Island and Lower Mainland.

The next race in the Island Series is the Cobble Hill 10K on Jan. 23, followed by the Hatley Castle 8K on Feb. 13, Comox Valley RV Half Marathon on March 13, Westcoast Sooke 10K on March 27 and the Synergy Health Management Bazan Bay 5K on April 10.