Hannah and Whitlock2

Running legend and one of Canada’s most inspirational runners of all time, Ed Whitlock, died early this week. When Whitlock passed away at the age of 86 just months after running his last-ever marathon, the country’s running community was overcome with great sadness. There is no arguing that Whitlock’s contributions to the sport will be remembered for generations to come. His last-ever marathon where he set a world record was certainly quite the grand finale as he ran under four hours in Toronto at the age of 85. This week, we reached out to some of Canada’s top marathoners to share their memories of this inspirational member of Canada’s road racing scene. Their comments are below. 

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READ MORE: Toronto artist pays tribute to Ed Whitlock by designing shirt and running laps of cemetery

“Ed is an inspiration to runners around the world. He shows that age is just a number and we should never limit ourselves by what we can achieve as we get older. His smile, humble nature and approachability are some unique characteristics I remember about him. I got the opportunity to talk to him after STWM last year and was very grateful to shake his hand and tell him what an inspiration he is to me. I had been wanting to meet and talk to him for a while after watching his amazing performances over the years. Ed is a running legend and will be forever remembered and honoured not just for his top notch performances, but also for his kind and positive spirit.”

– Rachel Hannah 

“It was always refreshing to talk to Ed before races because he kept things simple. He didn’t use gadgets and he preferred his old running attire. He showed people that you can enjoy running later in life and push your limits into your golden years.”

– Reid Coolsaet

“I looked up to Ed’s determination, and persistence, but most of all this wonderful humility. Ed reading the paper before STWM while we all fiddled with our kits, was calming to see. He, after all, was the only world record holder of the bunch.”

– Eric Gillis

“I was so sorry to hear about Ed during my stay in Kenya. Many people have already expressed the same thoughts I have of him: he was humble, kind, soft-spoken, polished, interested in others, and by far always the best dressed– particularly in his suit at the STWM expo. “

– Krista DuChene


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