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The 43rd Harriers Pioneer 8K to go Sunday, January 9 has been postponed due to snow, the Omicron variant and of all things a lack of portable toilets.

There continues to be snow on the course.

Pioneer 8K start 2019. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall/Athletics Illustrated

The current wave of the coronavirus has caused health authorities to limit capacity at sporting events and require distancing protocols reminiscent of the beginning of the pandemic. Locally, the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks postponed a home game scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 8. The Smart Dolphins IT Solutions New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim, the largest on Vancouver Island was cancelled.

The current restrictions continue to Jan. 18.

For the Pioneer 8K, it would be the return of seven-time winner and record holder Natasha Wodak. She holds the fastest time nationally from the event at 25:28, is a former national record holder in the 10,000m and half-marathon. Also in the field was to be Genevieve Lalonde, also a two-time Olympian and is the current national record holder in the 3000m steeplechase. Leslie Sexton, one of Canada’s fastest marathon runners, was to race among several other elite athletes.

The men’s number one seed, Trevor Hofbauer, had to withdraw due to a hamstring injury.

Portable toilet companies were unable to supply the event due to the recent freezing temperatures.

A new date will be determined soon, possibly in February.

The Prairie Inn Harriers Running Club puts the race on annually, it is part of the Vancouver Island Race Series and the BC Super Series.

The next race on Vancouver Island will take place Sunday, Jan. 23 in Cobble Hill. The next race in the BC Super Series is the Steveston Ice Breaker 8K

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