Tomorrow is the Sprouts Mesa Half-Marathon in Mesa, Arizona and Canadian marathon champion and Olympic qualifier Trevor Hofbauer is racing one of American’s fastest-ever marathoners, Olympic medalist Galen Rupp.
— Trevor Hofbauer (@TrevorHofbauer) February 7, 2020
Saturday will be the first race in a while for both runners. Hofbauer last raced at the STWM, which doubled as the Canadian Olympic Trials, where he ran a massive marathon PB (2:09:51) to become only the second Canadian to run under 2:10:00 for the distance. As for Rupp, his 2019 racing resume is a DNF from the Chicago Marathon.
In Chicago, both Rupp and Jordan Hasay had been hunting American marathon record but neither finished the race. Their former training group, the Nike Oregon Project, was shut down days before their race. Since Chicago, Rupp has switched coaches and is now working with NAU head coach Mike Smith. Saturday will be a tune-up race for Rupp ahead of the upcoming U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.
Hofbauer told Canadian Running in December that his plan for 2020 included a race in Arizona this winter and possibly a run at the Canadian half-marathon record before the summer. However, Hofbauer isn’t the only runner with their eye on that record. Fellow Canadian Rory Linkletter clocked a 1:01:44 is his debut at the distance and Cam Levins wasn’t far behind finishing the Houston half in 1:02:14.
The race starts tomorrow morning at 6:30 a.m. MST. Live results and runner tracking can be found here.