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Malindi Elmore shatters Canadian marathon record in 2:24:50

Exactly one year after her debut, Malindi Elmore is the Canadian marathon record-holder in 2:24:50

There’s no way Malindi Elmore, 39, predicted that she would be a marathoner when she hung up the spikes in 2012, let alone the Canadian marathon record-holder. But Elmore finished the Houston Marathon on Sunday morning in third place, in 2:24:50, smashing the record in her second marathon ever.

RELATED: Malindi Elmore on staying in love with running

The Kelowna, B.C. native was a talented high school runner who attended Stanford University before returning to Canada to do a masters degree at the University of Calgary. She competed for Canada at the 2004 Olympic Games, the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the 2011 Pan Am Games as a 1,500m specialist who ran one of the fastest times ever by a Canadian woman, at 4:02.64.

After retiring from professional running in 2012, Elmore describes struggling with the sport and being unsure about her future in running. In January 2019, seven years after hanging up her spikes and her middle-distance career, she ran a blazing 2:32 marathon debut at Houston. Exactly one year later, she became the Canadian record-holder.

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My friend Tara and I used to chase each other around our local track in our favourite discipline – 800m. We had fun, we worked hard, and thanks to the lack of social media back then, we didn’t think much about what other people were doing. 20 years later we are both still runners for life, chasing marathons and kids while juggling busy lives. We were both coached by an excellent, thoughtful, kind (male) coach @mikevantighem who put the emphasis on having fun and doing our best. Thankfully, that has been my experience through my 20+years of sport with excellent coaches along the way. While I have had frustrations with injuries and setbacks, I have always felt supported and had professional and caring care (root word of caring IS care!) from my coaching/medical/strength/physiology team. I know this isn’t the experience for everyone, but I think with so much negativity in the running news lately, it is good to point out that there are many examples of positive and athletic relationships with both oneself and their coaching teams. I have always respected my body to do what it can do for me, and try to be my best through good healthy eating, sleeping and exercising habits. Some things may need to change, in particular some specific people and systems, but there is also a lot of good going on. I considered writing more but just moments ago came across a great blog post by @jenrhines that was so similar to my own experience and perspectives that I will share the redundancy and encourage you to check hers out! Www.jenrhines.com Thanks to everyone who is respectfully contributing to the world of running, body image, personal relationships and sport by sharing stories both good and bad. We can always be better, but not everything is broken.

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Elmore’s 2019 did not go exactly to plan. She was scheduled to race the Canadian Olympic Marathon Trials in Toronto in October, but had to pull out only one week from the event because of a hamstring strain. She took a few weeks of downtime to allow her hamstring to recover before refocusing and getting ready for the Houston Marathon. She said pre-race that her build went extremely well–she knew she was fit and ready to run something impressive.

RELATED: Dayna Pidhoresky wins Canadian Marathon Championships in Olympic standard

Elmore has nearly guaranteed her spot for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Her time is now the fastest-ever run by a Canadian, and barring someone beating the new record, she’s likely earned her place. The Olympic marathon team will be officially announced in May.

RELATED: Natasha Wodak becomes first Canadian woman to run under 1:10 for half-marathon

Askale Merachi of Ethiopia won the women’s race in 2:23:29. Second place went to Biruktayit Degefa Eshetu in 2:24:47 (who was also second at STWM in October).