© Copyright – 2018 – Victoria Sports News
It’s a new year and that means it’s time for the first race in the Vancouver Island Race Series. The Harriers Pioneer 8K – which takes place on Sunday, January 7 at 11 am – will have a new route in North Saanich. The race – hosted by the Prairie Inn Harriers – is the 39th Annual Harriers Pioneer 8K and is also the first race in the BC Super Series, a series of 12 races to be run in Vancouver and Victoria.
The new Pioneer course is a fast rural out and back route starting on John Road in North Saanich. North Saanich Middle School on McDonald Park Road is the venue for registrations, parking and awards – a kilometre from the start and finish area. There is also parking at the visitor information centre near the finish line.
“The Harriers are thrilled to offer an all-new course on quiet, country roads where runners are more likely to see horses rather than cars,” Kathleen Birney, Race Director. “As parking at the school is limited, runners are strongly encouraged to park at the visitor information centre and allow 15 minutes to walk to the North Saanich Middle School for bib pick-up. The cut-off for race day registration is 10:15 a.m. sharp so if that’s your plan, be sure to arrive good and early.”
“We expect a high level of elite athlete competition on Sunday,” said Bob Reid, Harriers Pioneer 8k High Performance Director. “We have 2016 Olympians Lucas Bruchet (5,000 Metres) and Natasha Wodak (10,000 Metres) confirmed. Wodak holds the women’s event record set in 2013 (25:28) which is also a Canadian 8k road record. Bruchet was the Pioneer champion last year winning in 23:24.”
Two men’s event record holders are also attending – Carey Nelson and Peter Butler. “Nelson set the overall Pioneer record of 22:58 in 1985 and Butler set the initial record of 23:09 in 1982, which was the first year for the Vancouver Island Race Series. These two times are the fastest on record of over 20,000 finishers since the Harriers Pioneer 8K started in 1980,” added Reid. Reid is expecting to confirm more elite athletes in the days leading up to the race.
The post-race awards ceremony will include two special presentations – the Sandy Auburn Scholarship cheque to Camosun College, and the announcement of the Pioneer Team of Champions. “For the first time ever a Harriers Pioneer All-Star Team will be named comprising the top four men and top four women over four decades of the race,” said Reid.
Runners can register online until 6 pm, Friday January 5 at www.islandseries.org, at Frontrunners, 1200 Vancouver St, on Saturday January 6 from 10 am – 3 pm, or on race day until 10:15 am. Race registration until January 5 is $30 for adults/$25 for students and $40 on race weekend.
The deadline for registering online for the series of eight races is 6 pm, Thursday, January 4. The fee is $175.The eight races comprise the Harriers Pioneer 8K on January 7, Cobble Hill 10K on January 21, Cedar 12K on February 4, Hatley Castle 8K on February 18, Port Alberni Paper Chase 15K on March 4, Comox Valley RV Half Marathon on March 18, TriStars 10K on March 25 and the Synergy Health Management Bazan Bay 5K and Series Awards on April 8.
For more information on the Harriers Pioneer 8k go to: http://pih.bc.ca/race/1-pioneer-8k
To register online for the Harriers Pioneer 8k and for the series go to: www.islandseries.org