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Elizabeth Waywell shatters two Canadian masters records at Chicago Marathon

The Guelph, Ont., runner topped her division in Chicago on Sunday to claim her eighth and ninth Canadian masters records

M65 Canadian women's marathon record holder

Elizabeth Waywell of Guelph, Ont., smashed two Canadian masters records in one fell swoop at Sunday’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon, topping her division in the race and setting a new Canadian W65 marathon record of 3:14:18, while also setting the national W65 women’s half-marathon record by finishing the front end in 1:35:01.

Her sensational performance in the Windy City on the weekend saw the runner lop more than seven minutes off the previous W65 record (3:21:38) set by Morag McDonah two years ago.

Masters runner Elizabeth Waywell

Waywell’s speedy first half also shaved more than a minute and a half off the national W65 half-marathon record set by Jennifer MacDonell last year (1:36:32).

Waywell’s newest national records—her first in the W65 age group—raise the number of Canadian masters records Waywell holds to an astonishing nine. These include W60 records in the 8K (32:52), the 5-mile (33:02), the 10K (41:08), the 10-mile (1:10:17), the half-marathon (1:29:53) and the marathon (3:07:56). She also holds the Canadian 30K record in the W55 age group.

Waywell made clear earlier this year she had no plans to slow down when she was inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame. “Well, I think I haven’t run my fastest races yet, so I hope to improve and be more worthy of it,” she told Guelph Today of receiving the honour in May.

Meet Elizabeth Waywell, new Canadian 60-64 marathon record-holder

While her growing list of Canadian records is something she can be proud of, Waywell has said her greatest moment in running so far has been racing in the Comrades Marathon in South Africa. She completed the 90K course—her first ultramarathon— in 2018 in eight hours and 11 minutes to win her age group by more than an hour.

“I ran it in the down year, but you’re still going through these incredible hills and the year I ran it was 90.184 km and finishing that, to me, was an absolute thrill, and I think it’s just the best way to see the best of South Africa. It was a wonderful, wonderful event.”

Jeannie Rice Boston
Photo: B.A.A.

Meanwhile, American runner Jeannie Rice continued her run of blistering performances in 2023 by breaking the marathon W75 world record with her 3:34:32 finish in Chicago.

In July, the 75-year-old from Mentor, Ohio, shattered the women’s 75-79 world records in the 1,500m (6:14.88), 5,000m (22:41.46) and 10,000m (46:53.07) in her debut at the USATF Masters Track and Field National Championships in Greensboro, N.C.

Jeannie Rice record

That was on the heels of her incredible 3:33:15 finish at this year’s Boston Marathon, just three days after her 75th birthday. Although that was faster than her time from Chicago this weekend, results from the Boston course can’t be considered as official records under World Athletics rules, which stipulate a course’s average elevation decrease can’t be greater than one metre per kilometre. (The Boston course is a net downhill).

In March, Rice won the women’s 70+ age category at the 2023 Tokyo Marathon in 3:31:22 to receive her six-star finisher medal–completing all six Abbott World Marathon Majors.



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