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Canadian records that are in serious jeopardy

Seven Canadian records have fallen in 2019 and it's very likely that the count won't stop there

We’re only 10 weeks into 2019, but the Canadian record boards have already been updated seven times. Gabriela Stafford got the party started with two Canadian records within two weeks of each other in the indoor 5,000m and mile. Then Marco Arop and Jenna Westaway both broke the indoor 800m records, with Westaway also taking down the 1,000m record in Boston. Jess O’Connell then followed those performances with a great run at the Millrose Games to take down the indoor 3,000m record, and now Rachel Cliff has added the most recent record to the board with a new marathon mark of 2:26:56. 

Rachel Cliff at 2018 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. Photo: Victah Sailor/PhotoRun

RELATED: How Rachel Cliff came back from a shaky marathon buildup to set a Canadian marathon record

This 2019 record board rewrite follows a pretty impressive 2018 for Canadians as well, Cam Levins finally broke the marathon record and Rachel Cliff also broke the half-marathon record. 

Canadians are running better than ever, and not in one specific discipline, but across the board. Heading into a world championship year, which will be closely followed by an Olympics in 2020, athletes have their eye on the big prize but haven’t lost sight of other milestones that can be achieved on their way. With this in mind, here’s a breakdown of several records that will likely be improved upon in 2019 and 2020. 


Women’s Outdoor 5,000m

Following Gabriela Stafford’s very impressive indoor 14:57.45 in Glasgow this January, the women’s outdoor record certainly isn’t safe. Courtney Babcock has held the mark at 14:54.98 since 2003, and depending on where Stafford’s focus lies for the summer, a run at this record is quite likely. 

Lynn Kanuka
Left: Lynn Kanuka. Right: Hillary Stelingwerff, Lynn Kanuka, Gabriela Stafford

Women’s Outdoor 1,500m 

Satfford is also the ideal candidate to take down the women’s 1,500m record depending on where she decides to place her focus this summer. The current 1,500m record is an extremely impressive 4:00.27 run by Lynn Kanuka (Williams) in 1985. Kanuka’s time is truly world class and breaking the four minute barrier in the 1,500m is no easy feat, but with Stafford’s killer speed-strength combo, she’s got a shot. 

Cam Levins after winning Canadian Marathon Championships. Photo: Maxine Gravina.

Men’s half-marathon

The men’s half-marathon record is dying to be broken. With Cam Levins’ recent marathon record, he seems like the ideal candidate to take down Jeff Schiebler’s 1:01:27 record which was set in 1999. Levins has also discussed the goal of breaking his own marathon record at the London Marathon this spring. 


Women’s 400m hurdles

Sage Watson has come within two tenths of a second of this record, two seasons in a row. Hopefully 2019 is the year that she is able to break Rosey Edeh’s record of 54.39 set in 1996. Watson already owns the indoor 300m record of 37.08 which she set at the Millrose Games in 2018.