Relief from the wildfire smoke that’s been blanketing Metro Vancouver for the past ten days may finally be in sight as wind patterns change, but half marathon runners who’ve come to the city will still face hazy conditions.
Cindy Yu, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, says the smoke, which prompted the longest-lasting air quality advisory in Metro Vancouver history, should start to clear this weekend.
“We are seeing some winds develop on the Strait of Georgia. So hopefully we will see more of that tonight and into tomorrow morning,” she said Friday.
Those winds will come too late for runners who signed up to do the Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon Saturday.
Abby Kamensky, who suffers from asthma, came all the way from the U.S. to run the race, and didn’t expect the haze.
“I’m going to have my inhaler with me, I’m going to try to take it slow,” she said.
Runners have taken to social media to voice their concerns over the smoke. One said there’s a different smell in Vancouver, posting an accompanying photo of the haze. Another wrote the name “SeaWheeze” is more appropriate than ever this year.
One woman from Seattle posted on Facebook that she cancelled her trip altogether because of the air quality.
In a statement to CTV, Lululemon said they are consulting medical experts and monitoring air quality during the race.
“The health and safety of all our SeaWheeze guests is our top priority… We recommend each individual consult with their doctor… and listen to their body on race day,” the statement read.
For Connor Batchelor, a SeaWheeze runner, listening to his body means running the race despite the added challenge.
“We’re still going to run it, even if that means smoking a pack of cigarettes the whole time,” he said.
With a report from CTV’s Allison Tanner.
Never has the name of lululemon's SeaWheeze been more appropriate than this year.— James (@madgerald) August 10, 2017