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Meet Elizabeth Waywell, new Canadian 60-64 marathon record-holder

The Guelph, Ont. runner broke the age group record with a 3:07:56 at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Don’t be fooled by Elizabeth Waywell‘s typically Canadian modesty (“I like to fly under the radar,” she quips). This lady is one of the fastest 60-year-olds in the history of the marathon. She also doesn’t do things by half-measures. Upon turning 60 earlier this year, and with the support of her coach, John Marsden of the Guelph Victors, Waywell, a Guelph, Ont. native, decided to take on the Canadian 60-64 age group record, which was 3:16. Her target race was the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 21, and Waywell’s 3:07:56 finishing time smashed it by nine minutes. 

RELATED: Meet the 70-year-old who ran sub-3 at STWM 2018

Photo: Marathon-Photo

Waywell has run 24 marathons, but says she didn’t get serious about training until her 40s. Since turning 60 she has upped her mileage considerably, and along the way she has broken several shorter-distance records, including the 8K and the half-marathon. 

RELATED: Patty Blanchard wins gold, breaks Canadian W60 record in 800m at World Masters


Photo: Marathon-Photo

When asked for some tips on how to survive the relative inactivity of the shoulder season, Waywell demurred, because she limits her time off to two periods of two-weeks post-marathon per year. This year those recovery periods came after she ran the 90K Comrades Marathon in South Africa in June (her first ultramarathon, where she won her age group by more than an hour) and after Scotiabank.

“I don’ t have an off season of which I am aware,” says Waywell. “What motivates me is the belief that I can still run faster–and the fact that I do enjoy running… I don’t push the pace on my easy days. I run as slowly as I feel like.”