Lanni Marchant smashed Silvia Ruegger’s 1985 record on Sunday at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon by 37 seconds, running 2:27:59. The 29-year-old native of London, Ont. was just one-year-old when Ruegger ran her record-setting time to win the Houston Marathon. Ruegger also represented Canadian in the first Olympic women’s marathon in Los Angeles in 1984.
The 14th edition of the Waterfront Marathon was filled with excitement and fast times. Ethiopia’s Deressa Chimsa also set a new marathon all-comers record on Canadian soil in 2:07:05.
Marchant wasn’t alone in her quest for the elusive marathon record. She and 36-year-old Krista DuChene worked together for much of the race. DuChene would also technically crack Ruegger’s long-standing mark in a time of 2:28:32, but the glory would go to Marchant and her exceptionally strong finish.
Jerome Drayton’s 1975 men’s Canadian record was also briefly under threat on the banner day in Toronto. Eric Gillis of the Speed River Track Club flirted with sub-2:10 pace for over 30K, which would have made him the first man to best Drayton’s 2:10:09 mark. But the native of Antigonish, N.S. struggled in the last 5K, finishing in 2:11:49.
The women’s overall race was dominated by Kenyan favourite Flomina Cheyech, who delivered the win in 2:25:13.
Here are the top performances by Canadians at STWM:
Lanni Marchant – 2:27:58 CR
Krista DuChene – 2:28:30 PB
Natasha Wodak – 2:35:16 PB
Eric Gillis – 2:11:47
Rob Watson – 2:13:27 PB
Here are the official results from the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon: