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.
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.
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.