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Earlier it was reported that Canada’s fastest half-marathon runner, Cameron Levins, will race the Royal Victoria Half Marathon on Sunday, October 8. Now, Canada’s second-fastest all-time marathon runner, Trevor Hofbauer, will also be racing the half-marathon.

“I’m choosing Victoria because the course is stunning and the timing of the race lines up well with my training ahead of the Valencia Marathon on December 3rd. I’m hoping to run around 1:04:00 and I have no plans to run with Cam.”

Levins was the first sub-2:10 marathon runner in the country. He ran 2:09:25 during the 2018 Toronto Waterfront Marathon to break Jerome Drayton’s national record of 2:10:09 from the 1975 edition of the Fukuoka Marathon. In 2019, Hofbauer ran the Toronto Marathon in 2:09:51.

Hofbauer winning the 2016 Royal Victoria 8K.

Since 2018, Levins has had many ups and downs. Much was owed to injury, heat or just going out very hard looking for a new personal best — high-risk, high-reward racing. He recently cracked the code going 2:07:09 at the 2022 Eugene World Athletics Championships finishing in fourth position. In March this year, Levins clocked 2:05:36 in Tokyo. The performance is a new Area Record or North American record. Less than a month earlier, Levins ran a new national half-marathon record in Vancouver at 1:00:18. He hopes to recreate the formula by running the New York City Marathon on Nov. 5, less than a month after Victoria.

Levins passed up a seat on Team Canada for the Inaugural World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia and chose Victoria. Why not? Victoria on Vancouver Island is where his coach Jim Finlayson lives and runs. Finlayson may go after the national 50-54 age group record of 1:11:31. He did set a national half-marathon record in Copenhagen in the 45-49 age group in 2018 with a 1:08:20 finish.

Like many others, Levins and Hofbauer had a rough go in the 2020 (2021) Tokyo Olympic Marathon. The heat was the primary issue. Since then, Hofbauer, a Calgary native who now lives in Kelowna, has run 2:10:52 at the Boston Marathon and 2:11:00 in Toronto last year. The Boston effort is the fastest from a Canadian in the history of the event. In February, the 31-year-old nearly ran a half-marathon personal best in Vancouver clocking 1:04:33. His best is from the 2015 Philadelphia Half Marathon where he clocked 1:04:30. He will be looking for more on the streets of Victoria.