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Times Colonist 10K returning to in-person racing in 2022

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Lucy Smith and the rest of the organizers of the TC 10K are ready to welcome back runners in 2022. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

After two dark years, the Times Colonist 10K will go live on April 24th, 2022, with ­registration now open at TC10K.ca.

The 2020 race was cancelled due to the pandemic and the 2021 event was held virtually. There will still be a virtual component, if that’s the way anyone wants to participate, but the big news is that people can once again form a ribbon of humanity pounding the pavement on the streets of the capital.

It will be the second major live road racing event held on the Island since the pandemic, following the Royal ­Victoria Half-Marathon and 8K in ­October. That event, held during the tender starting days of the re-opening, was capped at 4,419 participants, with the aim of restoring the full marathon distance event for next year uncapped.

The numbers will be ­unlimited for the 2022 Times Colonist 10K and organizers are hoping to reach the level of the 9,000-plus participants in the last pre-pandemic race held in 2019.

Organizers are encouraged that more than 3,000 people signed up for the 2021 virtual race last spring and are expecting a surge of participants for the return of the live race.

The event, which will be in its 33rd year, has a pedigree. Dayna Pidhoresky of Tecumseh, Ont., was the back-to-back women’s winner of the Times ­Colonist 10K in 2017 and 2018 and Malindi Elmore of Kelowna was second in 2019. Pidhoresky and Elmore both represented Canada in the marathon this year in the Tokyo Olympics.

“It’s been a long haul for race directors and a lot of races have fallen by the wayside,” said Lucy Smith, race ambassador for the Times Colonist 10K.

“But the Times Colonist 10K and Sun Run [in Vancouver] are cornerstones 10K events and strong. I was at the Royal ­Victoria Half-Marathon in ­October and it was so cool to see live racing again. We are hoping for the best for April.”

The reopening of in-person ­racing continues with the announcement of the 2022 Frontrunners Vancouver Island Race Series dates following the cancellation of the series in 2021 because of COVID-19.

The series opens with the Harriers Pioneer 8K on Jan. 9, an event won on the women’s side by two-time Rio and Tokyo Olympian Natasha Wodak on seven occasions.

The six-race series continues with the Cobble Hill 10K on Jan. 23, 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.

“We are delighted to be back next year and offering runners from all over Vancouver Island a competitive series,” said series president Jonathan Foweraker.

Registration is at islandseries.org.