Trevor Hofbauer successfully defends Canadian men’s title at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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Trevor Hofbauer notched his second consecutive Canadian men’s victory and third career title at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon while his cross-country coach Malindi Elmore, leading the event for the first time, was the first Canadian to reach the finish line on Sunday morning.

Hofbauer, who ran alone for much of the final 10km, hit his chest three times with his right hand after the final bend of the 42.2km race, blew a kiss and raised his right arm before reaching the finish line in 2:11.00 to place fifth overall in the men’s standings.

The 30-year-old finished fifth overall in the men’s standings, surpassing his seventh-place finish from 2019 when Hofbauer set a personal best of 2:09:51 before COVID-19 wiped out the competition in person each of the last two years. He was also the top Canadian man in his Toronto Waterfront Marathon debut in 2017.

“2017 was my introduction to distance and 2019 was all about doing the [2020] the Olympic team,” Hofbauer, a native of Burnaby, B.C., told Kate Van Buskirk of the Canada Running Series.[Today] I wanted to go below the world standard 2:09:40 f[or the 2023 championship] but it got difficult towards the end.

“All eyes are on Paris [and the 2024 Olympics]. That’s all I care about.”

Hofbauer, who now lives in Kelowna, British Columbia, and studies psychology at the University of British Columbia, placed 48th in his 2020 Olympic marathon debut on August 8, 2021 in Sapporo, Japan.

Top 5 Canadian Men

  • Trevor Hofbauer, 2:11:00
  • Rory Linkletter, 2:13:32
  • Mohamed Aagab, 2:15:19
  • Lee Wesselius, 2:16:51
  • Sergio Raez Villanueva, 2:18:04

Elmore, coach of the UBC Okanagan cross-country team of which Hofbauer is a member, stopped the clock in 2:25:14 to finish fourth overall in the women’s race, her first Canadian marathon.

A two-time Olympian, the 42-year-old fell two minutes short of regaining her national women’s record which Natasha Wodak, her good friend, lowered to 2:23:12 on September 25 in Berlin.

Yihunilign Adane of Ethiopia (2:07:18) and Antonina Kwambai of Kenya were the male and female winners respectively.

WATCH | Kwambai wins the women’s overall title in Toronto:

Kenya’s Antonina Kwambai wins Toronto Marathon

The Kenyan clocked a personal best 2:23:22 to claim the title.

Before the men’s race, Hofbauer and Calgary native Rory Linkletter agreed to run the 30 km mark together. Soon after, Hofbauer started walking away on a chilly morning and soon found himself alone, with the 26-year-old Linkletter no longer in sight of the camera.

“I didn’t come here to be second [among the elite Canadians]said Linkletter, who stopped the clock in 2:13:32, an improvement from his 2:16:42 debut in Toronto in 2019 but more than three minutes off his 2:10 record: 24 on July 17 at the World Championships in Athletics in Eugene, Oregon.

“I did not feel well [around the 22 or 23 km mark] but my goal was to race. I put it there until I couldn’t see if anything [would change]. I’m proud of my decision making and it was a great way to celebrate a happy new year.

“I don’t like to leave things unbeaten, so I hope [a Canadian title] will come soon.”

American Linkletter, who was joined in Toronto by his wife Jill and 14-month-old son Jason, opened his season in January by breaking the Canadian men’s half marathon record (1:01:08) in January.

“Construction base” for the Paris Olympics

Meanwhile, Elmore had some promising long runs in training at the end of her training in Toronto, but told CBC Sports earlier in the week that she wanted to run hard and win a Canadian title rather than run. focus on reclaiming the Canadian record.

“I think I’m in a good position to be very fit and healthy for the next two years,” she said, “and Toronto is sort of a building block for the ultimate goal. of [competing in] Paris.”

Elmore, who finished ninth in Sapporo – the best Olympic marathon finish by a Canadian in a Games without a boycott – said the last five kilometers of Sunday’s race were “so tough”.

“There was a bit of a climb [running] and my calves and stomach started cramping,” said the mother of two who is coached by husband Graham Hood, a former Canadian record holder in the men’s 1,500m. [marathon] exceeded my expectations. This city organized a great race. There were people everywhere [lining the marathon route].”

Top 5 Canadian women

  • Malindi Elmore, 2:25:14
  • Dayna Pidhoresky, 2:30:58
  • Sasha Gollish, 2:31:40
  • Victoria Coates, 2:39:09
  • Leanne Klassen, 2:42:53

Dayna Pidhoresky, of Tecumseh, Ont., entered the weekend as the defending Canadian champion and the Vancouver resident usually races 10-12 times a year, but Sunday’s race was only her third of 2022 .

Her performance of 2:30:58 was good for the second Canadian, but nearly two minutes slower than her previous Toronto marathon. The 35-year-old said she never felt well during the race.

“I was hoping to have this magic of 2019 [and] it was a bit of a comparison game in my mind, but I never felt like I was running fast,” said Pidhoresky, who was 73rd in Sapporo (3:03:10) after coming into contact with COVID. -19 when she arrived in Japan, which meant she had to quarantine in her hotel the day before the marathon.

“It was a character building day. I wasn’t on my A game, but I was proud of how hard I ran in the second half.”

About 22,000 runners participated in the 5k, half marathon and marathon of the World Athletics Elite Label road race, which doubled as a Canadian championship and raised $2.75 million for charity .

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