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60-year-old runner sets Spanish masters record with 2:34 marathon

Jon Arzubialde recorded an average pace of three minutes and 39 seconds per kilometre, leaving his M60+ competition in the dust by 18 minutes

Jon Arzubialde Photo by: Donostia San Sebastián

Last weekend, Spanish masters runner Jon Arzubialde, threw down a record-setting performance at his hometown Zurich San Sebastián Marathon, in San Sebastián, Spain. At a spry 60, Arzubialde not only finished inside the top 25 but shattered the Spanish M60+ masters marathon record, crossing the finish line in a jaw-dropping two hours, 34 minutes and six seconds.

Zooming through the 42.2K course, Arzubialde recorded an average pace of three minutes and 39 seconds per kilometre, leaving his M60+ competition in the dust by 18 minutes. He breezed through the 10K mark at 36:28 and hit the half marathon point in a swift 1:16:46. In a field of 3,000, he was 23rd overall, falling short only to women’s champion Kenya’s Emmah Cheruto Ndiwa, who finished just ahead of Arzubialde in two hours and 31 minutes.

Breaking records is nothing new for Arzubialde. The masters runner holds multiple records in the M55+ category for both the 3,000m (9:20.60) and the 100K (7:34:29) distance, proving he’s a force to be reckoned with across various distances. Arzubialde told local reporters that he has come a long way since he first ran a four-hour marathon at this race when he was 16. His training regimen consists of runs six days a week, averaging around 70 kilometres.

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Sunday’s marathon wasn’t just a notch on Arzubialde’s belt; he was just a few minutes shy of the M60+ masters world record of 2:30:02, set by Irish Olympian Tommy Hughes in 2020. Hughes broke the previous record held by Japan’s Yoshinisa Hosaka of 2:36:30. Since setting the record, he has run sub-2:32 on three separate occasions. And get this—he almost one-upped himself at 62, finishing just three seconds off his mark at the 2022 Manchester Marathon in 2:30:05.

Arzubialde is only the second 60-year-old in history to run a marathon in under 2:35.

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