Omicron variant complicates journey house for Canadian ultrarunners in South Africa


Operating 100 kilometres was one thing Remi Poitras at all times needed to perform, so when he had the prospect to compete on the Extremely-Path Cape City 100K final weekend in South Africa, he couldn’t move up the chance. Poitras completed twenty sixth out of the 237 runners who began the race, in 13:26:56. Though he had an important lead to his 100K debut, the hardest half for Poitras has been attempting to get house.

The beginning of the Extremely-Path Cape City 100K. Photograph: UTCT

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Poitras, a Moncton, N.B., native, at all times needed to go to Cape City to race internationally, however when he discovered that worldwide borders have been closed to vacationers, he was caught in South Africa with fellow Canadian ultrarunner Jean-François Cauchon, who completed sixth total at UTCT, searching for solutions. “In Cape City, I didn’t discover something out of the standard laws we had in Canada,” Poitras says. “Locals have been extra involved in regards to the closures of the tourism business.”

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

Since there aren’t any direct flights to Canada from South Africa, there are just a few methods to journey. One choice is to journey via Europe, however many main airways corresponding to Air France and KLM have acknowledged that they’ll carry EU passengers solely. The one metropolis in North America that connects with Johannesburg is Atlanta, Ga., however once more, U.S. residents solely. One other choice to get again to Canada is to fly via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a rustic at present coping with a civil battle between the federal government and insurgent teams.

Canadian marathoner caught in quarantine one week earlier than race

Flights out of South Africa have reached excessive costs for vacationers, and the airports are full of vacationers from Europe and North America seeking to get house. “I attempted connecting with the Canadians Overseas emergency hotline to see what they know and what they may do,” says Poitras. “After six days of no information or communication from the Canadian authorities, I made a decision to take issues into my very own arms and guide a flight to London.”

Lion’s Head peaks at dawn in Cape City, South Africa. Photograph: Remi Poitras

Sadly, there aren’t many PCR testing centres in South Africa, but each Canada and Nice Britain require destructive outcomes upon entry. “Holding us all right here is barely prolonging our publicity,” says Poitras. “Everyone seems to be scrambling looking for a means house, the federal government isn’t serving to us.”

Weekend recap: path version

Replace: On Dec. 2, Cauchon and Poitras left South Africa on a flight to London, England, the place they each await the outcomes of their PCR assessments to return to Canada. Poitras appears again on his first Extremely-Path race as an unbelievable expertise and hopes to beat extra ultras in 2022.

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