Canada’s lone representative at the sixth annual retro-running world championships in Essen, Germany will be returning home with an impressive haul of medals. Kat Clewley won three gold medals and is expected to contend for a fourth in the half-marathon on Sunday at the world backwards running championships.
She won the 5K in 25:24, according to her Twitter account, in addition to her 800m and 10K victories. Sunday is the fourth and final day of competition.
A total of 114 runners raced at the championships held in the German city located between Düsseldorf and Dortmund in the country’s western region.
— Kat Clewley (@UltraFitKat) July 15, 2016
Backwards running is known as retro-running internationally. The world championships are held every two years and has been held exclusively in Europe. Past host countries include Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Spain.
Thank you!!! Today I won the 5km in a time of 25:24! Tomorrow is the 1/2 marathon! https://t.co/qzgYm7V8CE
— Kat Clewley (@UltraFitKat) July 16, 2016
The Burlington, Ont. resident is a former member of the Canadian women’s soccer team and competed at the Pan Am Games. Clewley was a goalkeeper for Team Canada.
She got into backwards running with the help of her dog, Vanilla. The YMCA manager wanted to maintain eye contact with Vanilla on runs and keep a tab on the canine’s tennis ball. Backwards running proved to be the best method.
Congrats Kat! https://t.co/eSEA1ih6YH
— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) July 16, 2016
Last year, Clewley set a new world record for women by completing a marathon in Hamilton, Ont. in 4:48:42, all while running backwards.