Three BC Athletes named to Team Canada for the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships

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. Three of these athletes are BC based, training with the BC Endurance Project under the guidance of coach Richard Lee. 

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.”

The Canadian team will include three BC based athletes including Justin Kent and Benjamin Preisner who both train with the BC Endurance Project under Coach Richard Lee. Kent qualified for this event with a time of 1:04.20 at a time trial event in Courtenay, BC back on September 13th. They will be joined in Poland by Thomas Toth and Trevor Hofbauer. Trevor comes into Worlds with a personal best half marathon time of 1:03:02. Hofbauer was one of three Canadian athletes to earn early nomination for the Olympic Games, earning a spot in the Olympic marathon to be held next summer in Tokyo.

"I'm psyched to be named to the team. This is what you train for, moments like this to represent your country on the international stage.  With so much uncertainty the last 6 months, I've just tried to keep my head down and use this period to bridge the gap with the hopes that something would turn up. I'll just try and soak in the moment, it'll be nice to get back onto a start line and experience those pre race nerves and jitters— something many of us have longed for the past year.  The team looks really strong too, I can't wait to share the experience with them."

Rachel Cliff, also of the BC Endurance Project, 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

Name

Personal Coach

Hometown

Club Affiliation

Rachel Cliff

Richard Lee

Vancouver, BC

Mile2marathon

Trevor Hofbauer

Deon Flynn

Calgary, AB

Calgary Spartans

Justin Kent

Richard Lee

Burnaby, BC

Coastal Track Club

Benjamin Preisner

Richard Lee

Milton, ON

Mile2marathon

Thomas Toth

Zach Johnson

Lakefield, ON

Unattached ON

 

 

 

 

Christopher Belof

Team Coach

Fredericton, NB

 

Dr. Erik Yuill

Team Chiropractor

Vancouver, BC