It’s time to admit it to yourself: you probably won’t ever run a world record marathon time. The times to beat are 2:01:39 for men and 2:14:04 for women. Don’t get too down, though, because although you may never better those blistering times, at this year’s Scotiabank Calgary Marathon, you can still become a world record-holder.
For the past nine years, runners at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM) have been able to sign up for official record attempts, but this year is the first time that Guinness World Records will send an adjudicator to the Calgary Marathon, which is on May 31.
There are hundreds of records to be broken, all of which can be found on the race website with the current world-best times. The list of options includes “Fastest half marathon in a graduation gown,” “Fastest marathon joggling backwards” (minimum three objects) and “Fastest marathon in a sleeping bag.”
If you don’t see anything that jumps out at you on the list, Guinness World Records also accepts proposals for new records, which can be submitted on the company’s website.
In 2019, the STWM saw 14 records fall out of 22 total attempts, including “Fastest marathon dressed as a super-villain,” “Fastest half-marathon by a married couple” and “Fastest half-marathon skipping without a rope.”
Potentially the most popular record-breaker from Toronto in 2019 was Melvin Nyairo of Yuba, California, who set the record for fastest half-marathon dressed as a fruit. Nyairo ran a 1:15:35 and got a lot of camera-time as he spent a good chunk of the race running with the elite women marathoners.
Many runners use their record attempts as a way to promote awareness for charities, so it’s not only fun, but the run is also for a good cause.