Omicron variant complicates vacation home for Canadian ultrarunners in South Africa

Operating 100 kilometres was something Remi Poitras constantly wanted to attain, so when he experienced the likelihood to compete at the Extremely-Path Cape Town 100K last weekend in South Africa, he could not move up the opportunity. Poitras finished 26th out of the 237 runners who started out the race, in 13:26:56. Although he had a great outcome in his 100K debut, the hardest part for Poitras has been hoping to get dwelling.

The start off of the Extremely-Trail Cape Town 100K. Photograph: UTCT

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Poitras, a Moncton, N.B., native, constantly wished to go to Cape Town to race internationally, but when he observed out that global borders have been shut to vacationers, he was stuck in South Africa with fellow Canadian ultrarunner Jean-François Cauchon, who concluded sixth general at UTCT, searching for responses. “In Cape City, I did not detect just about anything out of the typical laws we experienced in Canada,” Poitras states. “Locals had been more involved about the closures of the tourism industry.”

Suthers Peak overlooking Cape City, South Africa Image: Remi Poitras

Considering the fact that there are no direct flights to Canada from South Africa, there are only a few strategies to journey. A single choice is to travel by way of Europe, but lots of key airlines these kinds of as Air France and KLM have mentioned that they will have EU passengers only. The only metropolis in North The usa that connects with Johannesburg is Atlanta, Ga., but all over again, U.S. citizens only. A different alternative to get back again to Canada is to fly through Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a state at present dealing with a civil war in between the government and rebel teams.

Canadian marathoner caught in quarantine one particular week right before race

Flights out of South Africa have reached superior price ranges for vacationers, and the airports are packed with travelers from Europe and North The us seeking to get house. “I tried using connecting with the Canadians Overseas unexpected emergency hotline to see what they know and what they could do,” states Poitras. “After six times of no information or conversation from the Canadian govt, I made the decision to choose matters into my very own hands and ebook a flight to London.”

Lion’s Head peaks at sunrise in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo: Remi Poitras

Regrettably, there are not lots of PCR screening centres in South Africa, nonetheless equally Canada and Excellent Britain have to have damaging results upon entry. “Keeping us all listed here is only prolonging our exposure,” suggests Poitras. “Everyone is scrambling making an attempt to discover a way household, the authorities is not assisting us.”

Weekend recap: trail edition

Update: On Dec. 2, Cauchon and Poitras left South Africa on a flight to London, England, in which they the two await the success of their PCR checks to return to Canada. Poitras seems to be back on his first Ultra-Path race as an unbelievable practical experience and hopes to conquer more ultras in 2022.

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