Trevor Hofbauer of Calgary had the race of his life this morning to win the Canadian Marathon Championships in 2:09:51, an unbelievable seven-minute personal best, well under the Olympic standard of 2:11:30 and only seconds off Cam Levins’ Canadian marathon record of 2:09:25, set last year at this race.
“I just wanted it,” Hofbauer said in a post-race interview. “There was an opportunity today, to make the Olympic team, and that’s why I came down here. That’s why I run. That’s why I’ve been doing everything I’ve done for the last five years, is to be in this moment… I just really, really wanted it. And I just came out here super relaxed, and I just gave it a go.”
Though Hofbauer has been the Canadian marathon champion before (he won that title in 2017 also), it’s fair to say that nobody, possibly including Hofbauer himself, expected a result quite like this. He set his last PB at the Hamburg Marathon in April, running 2:16:48, and was hoping for “a strong fall marathon,” but with all the attention on Levins for a strong performance today and other up-and-comers Evan Esselink and Rory Linkletter making exciting debuts, Hofbauer wasn’t the focus of attention on Sunday.
— Canadian Running (@CanadianRunning) October 20, 2019
Hofbauer finished seventh overall.
Tristan Woodfine finished second, also in a huge PB (2:13:16), after already setting a PB in Houston earlier this year. Levins, who had a tough day on the course, finished as third Canadian, in 2:15:01.
Tristan Woodfine was a surprise runner-up.
2:13:16 is a new personal best today for the 26-year-old.
— TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon (@TOwaterfront42k) October 20, 2019
Here are Hofbauer’s splits from today’s race:
Amazingly, Hofbauer ran without a watch, explaining during the post-race press conference that he experimented with training without a watch while still in Guelph, and the habit stuck. He said his buildup was perfect, and that he did an astonishing 10 to 12 40-kilometre long runs. He also said he added more fruits and vegetables to his diet. “I love chocolate,” he confessed.
Canadian top 10 men
1. Trevor Hofbauer 2:09:51
2. Tristan Woodfine 2:13:16
3. Cam Levins 2:15:01
4. Josh Griffiths 2:15:20
5. Reid Coolsaet 2:15:23
6. Thomas Toth 2:16:28
7. Rory Linkletter 2:16:42
8. Nick Earl 2:18:03
9. Evan Esselink 2:18:38
10. Aaron Cooper 2:19:01
More jaw-dropping info about Hofbauer is that he ran unsponsored today and is self-coached.