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Former Team Canada soccer player wins gold at world backwards running champs

Kat Clewley, a former member of Canada's soccer team, won multiple gold medals at the backwards running world championships in Germany.

Backwards running
Backwards running
Photo via Kat Clewley on Twitter.

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.

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.

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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.

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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.