Media Release – Athletics Canada

Athletics Canada today unveiled the team of four men and one woman who will represent Canada at the rescheduled 2020 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships next month.
This event was postponed in March, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships will now run October 17 in Gdynia, Poland.

“This is obviously not your typical World Championships race. Everyone has had to adapt in a season without a lot of competitions,” said Athletics Canada Head Coach Glenroy Gilbert. “Our runners have put in a lot of miles to get to this race and it will be a good test of their physical and mental preparations. I’m looking forward to seeing how they manage the race and I expect to see some good results.”
Trevor Hofbauer comes into Worlds with a personal best half marathon time of 1:03:02. Hofbauer was one of three Canadian athletes to earn an early nomination for the Olympic Games, earning a spot in the Olympic marathon to be held next summer in Tokyo. He will be joined in Poland by Justin Kent, Benjamin Preisner, and Thomas Toth. Kent qualified for this event with a time of 1:04.20 at a time trial event in British Columbia on September 13th.
“Our team is strong and I’m looking forward to sharing this milestone with the rest of the team. We are in a good position to improve our world ranking. This year has tested every fibre of who I am, which I’ve had to be adaptable and accepting of every situation that has arisen. To put my feet on the start line and to give it my absolute best will make up for some of the downs this year,” said Hofbauer.

Rachel Cliff takes the starting line with a personal best half marathon time of 1:10:06, set last December in Japan. She is also a former Canadian record holder in the full marathon distance. Along with Hofbauer, Preisner and Toth, she was named to the team competing at this event when it was originally slated for March 29th.
“I’m so excited to be named to this team. After a spring and summer of race cancellations I wasn’t sure when I would have this opportunity again,” Cliff said. “Since March, we’ve all had to make massive adaptations to our lives, and I think Worlds will be a chance to get an understanding of what racing in this ‘new normal’ will look like. Competing on the world stage has never been something I’ve taken for granted, but I will appreciate it all the more this time round.”
Athletics Canada continues to closely monitor the evolution of COVID-19 and its impact on competition, working closely with World Athletics and the Local Organising Committee to ensure the health and safety of all team members comes first.

Team Canada at the 2020 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships

NamePersonal CoachHometownClub Affiliation
Rachel CliffRichard LeeVancouver, BCMile2marathon
Trevor HofbauerDeon FlynnCalgary, ABCalgary Spartans
Justin KentRichard LeeBurnaby, BCCoastal Track Club
Benjamin PreisnerRichard LeeMilton, ONMile2marathon
Thomas TothZach JohnsonLakefield, ONUnattached ON
Christopher BelofTeam CoachFredericton, NB 
Dr. Erik YuillTeam ChiropractorVancouver, BC