On Sunday evening, Lucia Stafford broke a nearly 40-year-old record, running a 2:38.70 1,000m at Birchmount Stadium to break Glenda Reiser’s record of 2:41.4 which she ran in August 1973. The run was planned as a record attempt, and since it was officially timed, is ratifiable as a Canadian record. She was paced by older sister Gabriela DeBues-Stafford, who recently announced that she’s joining the Bowerman Track Club this fall.
Stafford is coming off of a killer season, winning U Sports cross-country in 2019, running a strong indoor season in 2020 and now setting her third Canadian U23 record (she already owns the 1,000m and 1,500m indoors). Stafford’s 2019 and 2020 success is well deserved, as she struggled with Graves’ disease for a number of years leading up.
In 2018, the runner had a low-key season, and when she was racing, her performances weren’t as strong as in previous years. Some thought she was experiencing a plateau, not uncommon for someone who’s been so dominant for so long, but this wasn’t the case. In 2018, Stafford was undergoing treatment for an autoimmune disorder that causes an overactive thyroid. Since partially eradicating her thyroid gland, Stafford feels like herself again and is back running the way she wants to be.
In a summer with very little on the calendar, scheduling time trials and record attempts is keeping runners motivated. Despite missing out on international competition, Stafford is among the many runners knocking out impressive times on their own.
After a bit of a rough few weeks of training & annoying niggles- I’m super happy with my 9:00.8 3000m TT yesterday😄 PB! Yippy! Huge thanks to Natalia Hawthorn for helping pace laps 3,4,5,7🙌🙌🙌 (30 mins after her 2:04 800🔥) pic.twitter.com/ROdCzJ9zoP
— Natasha Wodak (@tasha_wodak) July 31, 2020
Others impressive results from the weekend:
Out west, the impressive middle distance results keep flowing in. This week, 2018 Canadian 800m champion Lindsey Butterworth ran a huge personal best in the 1,500m, running under 4:10 for the first time to finish in 4:07. In other west coast results, Natasha Wodak also had a great run to hit a personal best in the 3,000m in 9:00. Finally, John Gay broke four minutes in the mile for the first time, just sneaking under the wire to finish in 3:59.