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Chris Balestrini, Krista DuChene break Canadian 50K records

Chris Balestrini won the men's race in 2:48:32, while Krista DuChene was the top woman in 3:22:22

On a hot, sunny morning in Hamilton, Ont., Chris Balestrini and Krista DuChene ran a blazing-fast 50K, both setting new Canadian records of 2:48:32 and 3:22:22, respectively. Both athletes took several minutes off the previous Canadian records, proving that a little early summer heat wasn’t going to get in their way.

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Balestrini’s run improves on Cal Neff’s 50K record by nearly three minutes, which he set earlier this year in Texas in 2:51:27. Prior to the run, Balestrini told us he was confident he could outdo Neff’s record-setting pace of 3:26 per kilometre, which he did handily, holding an average pace of 3:25 per kilometre. Balestrini is a 2:17 marathoner, but this was his first official ultramarathon.

On the women’s side, DuChene shattered the previous Canadian record set by Catrin Jones in 2015 at the IAU 50K World Championships in Doha, Qatar, where she ran 3:28:20. Duchene’s 3:22 lowers that record by an incredible six minutes, making her average pace per kilometre 4:02 for the win. This was DuChene’s second ultra of her career, having run a 54 kilometre trail race last fall. That run, she told us, gave her confidence knowing that she’d already completed the distance once before.

Phil Parrot-Migas finished second in the race, five minutes off the previous record, in 2:56:22; Rachel Hannah finished fourth, a few minutes behind DuChene, in 3:42:01.

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Balestrini’s splits:

5K: 16:54
10K: 33:54
15K: 50:44
20K: 1:07:48
30K: 1:41:44
40K: 2:15:13
50K: 2:48:32

Between 25K and 35K, Parrot-Migas was doing the tough work in front, but Balestrini had regained the lead by 40K.

DuChene’s splits:

5K: 19:48
10K: 39:38
15K: 59:27
20K: 1:19:30
30K: 2:00:20
40K: 2:42:38
50K: 3:22:23


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