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41st Annual Harriers Pioneer 8K kicks off Island Race Series Series registration deadline – January 10

January 07, 2020

41st Annual Harriers Pioneer 8K kicks off Island Race Series
Series registration deadline – January 10

 (Victoria, BC – January 7, 2020) The first race in the Vancouver Island Race Series – the Harriers Pioneer 8K – takes place on Sunday, January 12 at 11:30 am. The race is the 41st annual event and is hosted by the Prairie Inn Harriers. The race is also the first in the BC Super Series, a series of 12 races to be run in Vancouver and Victoria.

The Pioneer course is a fast rural out and back route starting and finishing at the Visitor Information Centre located on the west side of the Patricia Bay Highway in North Saanich. North Saanich Middle School on McDonald Park Road is the venue for registrations, bag drop off and post-race awards and refreshments.

“There is participant parking near the Tourist Information Centre and volunteer marshals will guide drivers to park there first. Once that is full, we have permission to use the nearby Canadian Tire parking lot,” says race director Jeff Beddoes. “Bib pick up is at North Saanich Middle School on Sunday from 9:30 am – 11 am, but to miss the rush you can also pick-up on Saturday at Frontrunners downtown, 1200 Vancouver St, from 10 am – 3 pm.”

“This year’s Harriers Pioneer 8K will once again attract a stellar field of high-performance athletes, many traveling from Vancouver to compete,” says high-performance director, Bob Reid. “North Vancouver's Natasha Wodak is the female race favourite. She holds the Pioneer course record and National 8K road record of 25:28 set in 2013. She's also won Pioneer six times and is closing in on Ulla Marquette's mark of eight victories. Other females in the mix in the lead pack will be Natalia Hawthorn from North Vancouver and Sandra Kilmartin. The top Victoria athlete is Catrin Jones, last year's female Island Series champion.”

“On the men's side it's a coin toss as the leaders will be Blair Johnston from Surrey, Joel De Schiffart from Langley, and Kevin Friesen from Vancouver,” Reid adds. “They are all close in performance times and any of the three could break the tape. Vancouver athlete, Braeden Charlton, could also be in that mix. The top seeded Victoria male runner is Andrew Russell, 2019 overall Island Series champion. He placed third overall last year at Pioneer.” The men’s Pioneer course record of 22:58 was set by Carey Nelson in 1985.

Runners can register online until 6 pm, Friday January 10 at www.islandseries.org, at Frontrunners, 1200 Vancouver St, on Saturday January 11 from 10 am – 3 pm, or on race day from 9:30 am to 11:00 am. Race registration until January 10 is $30 for adults/$25 for students and $50 on race weekend.

The deadline for registering online for the series of eight races is 6 pm, Friday, January 10. The fee is $175.The eight races comprise the Harriers Pioneer 8K on January 12, Cobble Hill 10K on January 26, Cedar 12K on February 9, Hatley Castle 8K on February 23, Port Alberni Paper Chase 15K on March 8, Comox Valley RV Half Marathon on March 22, TriStars Sooke 10K on April 5 and the Synergy Health Management Bazan Bay 5K and Series Awards on April 19.

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

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For more information contact:           

Louise Hodgson-Jones
General Manager, VIRA