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Gabriela DeBues-Stafford smashes national mile record in world-record-setting race

With today's 4:17.87 mile, DeBues-Stafford now owns four Canadian records

Gabriela DeBues-Stafford wasn’t messing around in Monaco on Friday. The 23 year old smashed a national record that was as old as she is, running a 4:17.87 to take third place in the Brave Like Gabe mile. She’s now the 15th fastest woman in the world to run the outdoor mile.

She broke Leah Pells record of 4:23.28, which was set in August 1996.

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DeBues-Stafford took the spot behind the rabbit for the first 600m of the race before being overtaken by Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, the ultimate winner and now world record holder in the mile at 4:12.33.


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Stafford has now set four Canadian record in 2019, taking both the indoor and outdoor mile and 5,000m records.

In May, Stafford ran a 14:51.59 to set a new Canadian 5,000m record and finish fourth at the Stockholm Diamond League. She made a big push with 300m to go that landed herself in the lead and track fans took notice. It’s rare to see a Canadian that strong in a longer distance event. DeBues-Stafford said, “Truthfully I was just trying to get out of trouble, I didn’t think I would land myself in the lead.”

Photo: Daniel.tnf

Before Stockholm, the runner didn’t event have an outdoor 5,000m time to her name, the only 5,000m race she’d ever run was indoors in early January of this year when she also broke that Canadian record. She told Canadian Running post-race, “I felt like I belonged in the race on Thursday [in Stockholm], like I’d earned my spot, but I certainly still felt like an underdog. I didn’t have a time next to my name on the start list and all of the other women I was racing are very well established.”

Everytime DeBues-Stafford steps on the line she proves herself as one of the best runners in the world. There is so much more to come for this Canadian phenom.