Gabriela DeBues-Stafford made it easy for us here at Canadian Running, as the obvious choice for Runner of the Year. In 2019, DeBues-Stafford broke eight Canadian records.
In Glasgow in early January, she started her season off by breaking the Canadian indoor 5,000m record, posting a 14:57.45. A few weeks later, DeBues-Stafford set another national indoor record, this time in the mile, running 4:24.80. Next up, the Stockholm Diamond League in May, where she broke the national outdoor 5,000m record in her first-ever outdoor 5,000m race.
The runner set an outdoor mile record in Monaco, then ran to a 1,500m national record in London only to better that in Switzerland one month later. In Brussels, she broke her own 5,000m record from earlier in the summer. DeBues-Stafford finished her season the way she started it, breaking yet another record, once again in the 1,500m–this time at the world championships in Doha, where she placed sixth in a time of 3:56.12.
With every passing race, DeBues-Stafford looks to be one of Canada’s best hopes at a medal in Tokyo this summer, but for now we’re not concerned with 2020–we’re too busy celebrating our Runner of the Year and her 2019 season.