Kelowna brought the Heat to the Sept. 17, Vancouver Eastside 10-km race.
Olympians Malindi Elmore, coach of the UBCO Heat cross country team, and Trevor Hofbauer, Heat athlete, were in the race.
The speedy 10-km event is part of the pair’s race prep for their goal race, the Toronto Marathon.
Both athletes competed in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics as Canada’s top marathoners.
This season, Hofbauer will make his return to varsity sport. He will be using up the last of his U-Sport eligibility while completing additional schooling.
Elmore is the head coach of the team, which features an impressive crew for the 2022 season, including Olympic triathlete Joanna Brown on the roster.
Elmore leads the Heat by example. She ran a new personal best and set a new course record of 32 minutes and 37 seconds on Vancouver’s streets.
She ran the same Vancouver 10-km three years ago, shortly before breaking the Canadian marathon record.
The race was a good “fitness check,” leading into the Toronto marathon, in four weeks time, said Elmore.
She said that she is thrilled to run a personal best at 42, after having two children.
She has been running consistent 160-km weeks in training and found it encouraging to still be able to “spin the legs,” and go fast, in the midst of a high-mileage marathon build.
“My aerobic strength as a marathoner is making me stronger at 10 kilometres than a speed approach did 10 years ago.”
The men’s race was spicy. Hofbauer came in a close second at 29 minutes and 26 seconds, to Benjamin Preisner, who broke the course record with a time of 29:20.
Kelowna’s fastest said that he is happy with his race, falling only two seconds off his personal best, an impressive feat after weeks of high-volume, marathon-specific training.
While he wanted the win, the second-place finish has fueled his fire even more for the upcoming marathon.
Hofbauer previously ran a 2:09 and qualified for the 2020 Olympic team at the Toronto marathon.
He noted that the Canada Running Series race organizers, the hosts of both the Vancouver Eastside race and the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, put on the “best organized races in Canada.”
Both Elmore and Hofbauer said that they are excited to put their hard work and fitness to the test at their next race Oct. 16.