Trevor Hofbauer cruised to his second consecutive Canadian men’s victory and third career title at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon while his cross-country coach Malindi Elmore, running the event for the first time, was the first Canadian woman to reach the finish line on Sunday morning.
Hofbauer, running on his own for much of the final 10 kilometres, pounded his chest three times with his right hand after the final turn of the 42.2 km race, blew a kiss and raised his right arm before reaching the finish line in 2:11.00 to place fifth overall on the men’s side.
The 30-year-old was fifth overall on the men’s side, topping his seventh-place finish from 2019 when Hofbauer set a 2:09:51 personal best before COVID-19 wiped out in-person competition each of the past two years. He was also top Canadian male in his 2017 Toronto Waterfront Marathon debut.
“2017 was my introduction to the distance and 2019 was all about making the  Olympic team,” Hofbauer, a native of Burnaby, B.C., told Kate Van Buskirk of Canada Running Series. “[Today] I wanted to go under the 2:09:40 world standard f[or the 2023 championship] but it got challenging toward the end.
“All eyes are on Paris [and the 2024 Olympics]. That’s all I care about.”
Hofbauer, who now lives in Kelowna, B.C., and studies psychology at the University of British Columbia, placed 48th in his 2020 Olympic marathon debut on Aug. 8, 2021 in Sapporo, Japan.
Elmore, coach of the UBC Okanagan cross-country team of which Hofbauer is a member, stopped the clock in 2:25:14 for fourth overall in the women’s race, her first Canadian marathon.
A two-time Olympian, the 42-year-old fell two minutes shy of taking back her national women’s record that Natasha Wodak, her good friend, lowered to 2:23:12 on Sept. 25 in Berlin.
Before the men’s race, Hofbauer and Calgary-born Rory Linkletter agreed to run together through the 30 km mark. Shortly thereafter, Hofbauer started to pull away on a crisp morning and soon was all alone, with the 26-year-old Linkletter no longer in camera view.
“I didn’t come here to get second [among the elite Canadians],” said Linkletter, who stopped the clock in 2:13:32, an improvement from his 2:16:42 Toronto debut in 2019 but over three minutes off his 2:10:24 PB on July 17 at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore.
“I didn’t feel good [around the 22 or 23 km mark] but my objective was to run the race. I put it out there until I couldn’t to see if something [would change]. I’m proud of my decision-making and it was a great way to celebrate a strong year.
“I don’t like to leave things unconquered, so I hope [a Canadian title] will happen soon.”
The U.S.-based Linkletter, who was joined in Toronto by his wife Jill and 14-month-old son Jason, opened his campaign in January taking down the Canadian men’s half-marathon record (1:01:08) in January.