The talk of the running world on Friday was a new 10,000m world record being set at the Olympics in Rio. Another 10,000m world record was set on the same day, this one coming at York University in Toronto.
Ed Whitlock, 85, ran the men’s 10,000m at the Canadian masters championships in 30 C heat and took almost two minutes off his age group’s world record. The Canadian ran 51:07.53 to break the previous mark M85 world record of 52:50.80. Whitlock broke a record that had stood for 23 years.
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Incredibly, Whitlock’s time came on a day when temperatures reached 33 C in the Greater Toronto Area. With the humidity, temperatures hit upwards of 40 C under the city’s heat warning.
Whitlock, a resident of Milton, Ont. holds four age group world records in the 10,000m including the M70, M75, M80 and M85. His 10,000m race was at 9 a.m. on Friday at the Toronto Track Centre, the site of the 2015 Pan Am Games.
The 85-year-old could break three more world records this weekend if all goes well. He’s entered in the men’s 1,500m on Saturday as well as the 5,000m and 800m on Sunday. The time needed for the 1,500m is 6:51.32 and 3:09.10 in the 800m, according to the world masters records. Whitlock already holds the M85 5,000m record (24:03.99), which he set two weeks ago at the Ontario masters championships.
He broke the one-mile world record earlier this year and Canadian Running was on scene to capture the record. See footage from that race here.
Whitlock is one of the most accomplished masters runners in the world with numerous records ranging from the 1,500m to the marathon. The English-born Canadian ran a 2:54 marathon when he was 73. He’s the first person over 70 to have broken the three-hour barrier in the marathon.
He trains at a local cemetery in Milton, about an hour southwest of Toronto, and shows no signs of slowing down. The world masters championships are being held in Perth, Australia in late October and into November.