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“I’ve found training with a pace immediately dictates how your workout is going to go. I trained with pace and Strava for years. One day I was running with Eric Gillis [Olympian and one of Canada’s fastest-ever marathoners] in Guelph and he didn’t use pace on his watch so I took it off of mine as well. Removing pace was something that stuck.”
Trevor Hofbauer of Calgary ran the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Sunday faster than any Canadian in history except for Cameron Levins. The effort gave him the Canadian Olympic Trials win, a berth on to Team Canada and a shiny new near seven-minute personal best.
The 27-year-old ran without a watch and he also trains based on effort, not pace.
Regardless, it was a dream come true for Hofbauer.
“This has been a long time coming and I have dreamed about moments like on Sunday. It happened and I literally lived a dream. Nothing prepared me more for that moment more than good ol’ fashion hard work and self-belief.”
He went from a best of 2:16:48 to 2:09:51. His previous best in Toronto was from 2017 when he ran 2:18:06. Sunday’s race was a quantum leap-moment.
When Levins ran 2:09:25 in 2018 to break Jerome Drayton’s 43-year-old record from Fukuoka, Japan in 1975 (2:10:09), the performance was more likely. Levins once held the national record in the 10,000-metre event going 27:07:51 and owns a half-marathon of 62:15. Hofbauer hadn’t raced any distance to indicate a sub-2:10 was imminent. His 10K best (road) is 29:24, his half-marathon best is marginally better at 64:30.
When asked about workout sessions that may have indicated he was capable of such a jump in performance he told Athletics Illustrated, “I don’t focus on indicators in training, just the work that goes into the moment.”
He told Canadian Running Magazine, “I’ve found training with a pace immediately dictates how your workout is going to go. I trained with pace and Strava for years. One day I was running with Eric Gillis [Olympian and one of Canada’s fastest-ever marathoners] in Guelph and he didn’t use pace on his watch so I took it off of mine as well. Removing pace was something that stuck.”
“The feeling of the race is amazing and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. I’m not sure the weight of the accomplishment has hit me yet but I know it is significant.”
Hofbauer not only ran a new lifetime best and second-fastest Canadian performance ever, he also qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games by running under the qualification standard of 2:11:30. He is currently the fastest Canadian during the qualification window, which started January 1, 2019, and will end on May 31, 2020. Seven months remain for Canadians to make standard, but currently, Hofbauer appears to be a shoo-in for Tokyo.
The only thing remaining between Hofbauer and the Olympics is the International Olympic Committee asking national governing bodies to trim team size and that, in theory, could happen after the team is named. The team will be announced on June 3rd and the IOC will make their announcement on July 1st.
The Olympics run from July 24 to Aug. 9.