Race Guide - Harriers Pioneer 8k

Harriers Pioneer 8k Race Guide

Harrier Pioneer 8k 2023 - Courtesy of Joe Crazy Legs // Prairie Inn Harriers

Race guide: The Harriers Pioneer 8k is the first race in the Vancouver Island Race Series. It is held on an out and back course through quiet country roads in North Saanich, Vancouver Island. The course is new as of 2018, and features continuous gently rolling hills. An ideal race for runners of all abilities looking to kick off a new year of racing!

The race is hosted by the Prairie Inn Harriers (PIH), the largest run club on Vancouver Island. The club was first established in 1978, and this year will mark the 45th time PIH has organized this event. The race sometimes acts as the BC road 8k championships, and often attracts high level competition from around BC. 

Photo: The 2023 Harriers Pioneer 8k by Joe “Crazy Legs” Camilleri

Our Experience

We chatted with friends of the store Logan Roots and Island Race Series ambassador Sean Mitchell about their experiences running the Harriers Pioneer 8k.

Logan: “really nice country roads… they’re not closed but the traffic is really light… quite enjoyable in terms of scenery for running.” Logan used this race as part of his buildup to the 2022 Eugene Marathon, and called it “the road runners’ or marathon trainers’ dream for long run locations”. 

Sean: “In terms of tactics, the first 2K are good to establish a steady pace, and hopefully you are resisting the urge to chase and are settling into a cadence that feels good for you. From 2-3K, there is a bit of a rise, so lean into it a bit and prepare to wave at those pesky elites already on their way back. There’s an inclined turn down to the 4K turnaround, and pacing the rise on the way back is key. However, the home stretch of 5km - finish might be my favourite part of the course, where if you play it smartly and don’t get excited by the 5-6K downhill, you can make up a good bit of ground. I’ve done both here — gone out too fast and run out of gas with around 1K to go a few years back, but another time I kept a controlled pace from km 5-7 and then kicked into a strong finish for the home stretch.”

Come out to Frontrunners Victoria located at View & Vancouver St this Friday, January 12th, from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm for the Island Race Series kickoff party! Pick up your race package for Sunday and grab some finger food and drinks, with live music!

Race Details


January 14th, 2024

Start Location

Patricia Bay Highway Tourist Information Centre 

Start Time

11:30 am

Post Race Event Location

North Saanich Middle School (10400 McDonald Park Rd, North Saanich)

Post Race Event Time

1:00 pm to 2:00 pm


Course Map

Harriers Pioneer 8k

Race Package Pickup

 Date Location Time
Friday January 12th, 2024 Frontrunners Victoria 
1200 Vancouver St, Victoria
6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Saturday January 13th, 2024 Frontrunners Shelbourne
3659 Shelbourne St, Saanich
10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Sunday January 14th, 2024

North Saanich Middle School

10400 McDonald Park Rd, North Saanich

10:00 am to 11:15 am