In her season opener, Gabriela Stafford smashed the Canadian indoor 5,000m record at the GAA Miler Meet at the Emirates Stadium in Glasgow. The University of Toronto student ran 14:57.45 to smash the previous record of 15:25.15 held by Megan Metcalfe-Wright. Stafford was only three seconds off of the outdoor record held by Courtney Babcock in 14:54.98. 

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Stafford had a great 2018 outdoor track season. The runner represented Canada at the NACAC Championships, ran a blazing 3,000m at the Birmingham Diamond League and won her third consecutive Canadian national championship 1,500m title. 

Canadian Track Championships
Photo: Canadian Running.

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The new year is off to a great start for Stafford. The new Canadian record holder is getting married in one week’s time, before continuing her indoor track season. The 23-year-old is pursing a degree is psychology at the University of Toronto. 

Stafford said post-race, “I’m just so happy that my debut went so well. I’m very excited for the rest of my season.”

Her race on Friday has truly asserted Stafford as a world class runner. In August, the runner described her past experiences in Diamond League races as, “a chance to mix it up with the big girls”, as she considered herself to be just out of reach of world class. But that’s no longer the case. Her race on Friday places Stafford among some of the best in the world. Her time will likely remain among the fastest women’s 5,000m times run indoors this year.

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