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The coronavirus continues to wreak havoc north of the 49th parallel in Canada, from east to west. Meanwhile the Chevron Houston Marathon is expected to take place on Sunday, Jan. 16.

While in the west two road races were cancelled in part due to snow and various other issues, however, it is the Omicron variant that played a major role in the postponement of the Harriers Pioneer 8K. It was set to take place in Victoria, BC on Jan. 9. Also cancelled was the Steveston Ice Breaker 8K in Richmond (Vancouver). The races were to go Sunday, Jan 9 and 16th, respectively. The former is part of the Vancouver Island Race Series and BC Super Series, while the Steveston event is part of the BC Super Series. The Dec. 18, 2021-scheduled Harry Jerome Indoor Games held in Vancouver was cancelled as well.

The Harriers Pioneer 8K will likely take place in Feb., on a date that is typically occupied by other Island Series races that have bowed out for one year due to the coronavirus.

2019 Harriers Pioneer 8K. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall/Athletics Illustrated

The 2022 Canadian Indoor Track and Field Championship, which was set to take place on February 19-20, is postponed to a later date. Organizers are looking to move the event to sometime in March.

The event to be held this year in Saint John, N.B has not been held in full capacity since 2019 because of the ongoing pandemic.

Athletics Canada reported before Christmas that the AC East Hub at the Toronto Track and Field Centre would close until at least Jan. 4 citing the pandemic. Although AC to provide an update on Jan. 4, it does not appear that has happened as of Jan. 11.

Houston Marathon and Half Marathon

Houston is fast, early in the year and a popular event for athletes around North America to compete in. It is especially so for those looking for a qualification time for US Olympic Trials in the typical quadrennial Olympic cycle or an international team for Canada such as the Commonwealth Games or World Championships. The half-marathon is also fast, providing an opportunity for some athletes to qualify for the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships. East African elite athletes also enjoy the popular event.

The Jan. 16 race is anticipated to be another fast year with a strong field listed.

The marathon course records are 2:06:51 and 2:23:14 by Tariku Jufar and Alemito Abera from the 2012 running. The half marathon records are 59:22 and 65:50 by Feyisa Lelisa and Brigid Kosgei, respectively. Kosgei owns the marathon world record at 2:14:04, while her 2019 half-marathon performance is the fastest ever run in the US.

The full 2022 elite lists are available here>>