There is a strong contingency of Canadian athletes toeing the line at the 2017 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. From athletes making their debuts, to runners hoping to break master’s records, it’ll be a race worth watching. Here are a few Canadians to look out for:
A local athlete who has Toronto as his hometown, Sami Jibril is no stranger to this race. Not only does he have home course advantage, Jibril has been a pacer for STWM in previous years. A member of the Canadian World Cross Country Championships team, Jibril is a force to be reckoned with on any cross-country course, and will undoubtedly be one on the marathon course.
With a blazing personal best of 2:33, Leslie Sexton is a mileage hound who is inspiring to follow on Strava. Running upwards of 200km per week, Sexton is no stranger to high mileage. Slowly building up her tolerance to running these distances, she’s a workhorse that’s perfect for the marathon. Don’t be fooled, even with that amount of mileage in her legs, Sexton has the speed that placed her in 2nd at the 2017 Under Armour Eastside 10k this September.
Relatively new to the elite marathon world, Kevin Coffey has shown that he belongs there. Having the cheeriest demeanour, it’s hard to find a race where there isn’t a photo of Coffey’s infectious grin plastered across his face. Finding a balance between coaching with Vancouver’s Mile2Marathon, and running up a storm, Coffey has the same marathon goal almost every runner has: to beat his personal best.
Faster as a master. Catherine Watkins has shown the running world that age doesn’t slow you down. Having represented Canada at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto in the marathon, her continual success in every race distance is awe-inspiring. A mother of two girls, Watkins has found a balance between family and being an elite runner. Like anything, at times it can be hard, but with her family’s, coach’s, and running community’s unwavering support, we have high hopes for this master to break some records at STWM.
Giving up on his hoop dream of being an NBA star, Trevor Hofbauer has found stardom in distance running. Initially he was training mostly on his own, Hofbauer made a big move from Calgary to Guelph to run with some of Canada’s top runners. Representing Canada at the World Cross Country Championships, and at the World Half Marathon Championships, Hofbauer has shown he has strength in every distance. Debuting at STWM has been much anticipated and we look forward to seeing what this young star will do.
Natasha LeBeaud Anzures
Originally from Kelowna, Natasha LeBeaud Anzures now calls San Diego home. Running since she was a young girl, she’s made it her life not only in racing competitively, but in the non-profit organization she and her husband founded, 2nd Recess. Ranging from 1500m to the marathon, Natasha’s natural speed is a benefit even in the gruelling 42.2km of a marathon. In the hopes of hitting a new personal best, LeBeaud’s high-humidity training could give her an advantage when running through the potentially cool streets of Toronto.