COVID-19 wipes out running events

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In consideration of the provincial government’s latest recommendations and protocols regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, many sporting events in B.C. have been cancelled, including major road racing events.

With just two days to go, Salt Spring Sneakers’ coach Susan Gordon received notice that the BMO St. Patrick’s Day 5K to be held in Stanley Park on March 14 had been cancelled. This was also to be the B.C. 5K Championships and Gordon had been seeded in the elite field. The race will now combine with the James Cunningham Seawall 10K Race to take place on Nov. 1.

The organizing committee’s decision to cancel the Vancouver-based race quickly followed other major cancellations around the world, including the New York Road Runners Half Marathon, the Berlin Marathon, the Rome Marathon, and postponements (so far) for the Boston Marathon and Paris Marathon. Others are likely to follow suit.

A huge blow to local runners also comes with the cancellation of the legendary Vancouver Sun Run and the Times Colonist 10K in Victoria next month. The Vancouver Island Race Association series is taking pause with the cancellation of the Comox Valley RV Half Marathon. With two other VIRA races scheduled to follow, Sooke 10K, and Bazan Bay 5K, the Sneakers expect that race committees will take the containment situation into consideration on a per-event basis.

“As a local running group, the Sneakers’ consensus is that our outdoor activity, typically undertaken in groups of less than 30 people, will continue to be safe, and good for both mental and physical health. It makes us truly appreciate this wonderful community and the sensible approaches undertaken by health officials and business owners at this stressful time,” Gordon said.

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