Home > The Scene

International Women’s Day: celebrating Canada’s top female athletes of the year

Today, Canadian Running looks back on a year of wins and records from our inspiring female athletes

Today is International Women’s Day, so here at Canadian Running, we’re taking a moment to celebrate some of our country’s best female athletes. In the past year, our Canadian women have stood on the top of podiums, shattered records and inspired the nation. We could talk about all our incredible female athletes all day, but here are some of our top performers of the year.

Malindi Elmore

Just over a year after she shattered the Canadian marathon record, Malindi Elmore finished ninth in the Tokyo Olympic Marathon, the third-highest finish of any Canadian at an Olympic marathon. Her teammate, Natasha Wodak, was not far behind in 13th.

Andrea Seccafien

Andrea Seccafien had an incredible year. Last May, she lowered Wodak’s previous Canadian 10,000m by 28 seconds, running 31:13.94 to qualify for her second Olympics. In Tokyo, she made her first Olympic final in the 10,000m, where she ran the second-fastest 10,000m by a Canadian woman, finishing 14th in 31:36.36.

Gabriela DeBues-Stafford

Gabriela DeBues-Stafford has been on fire this year. After finishing an impressive fifth place in the Tokyo Olympic 1,500m final, she stormed into the indoor track season. In the span of just two weeks, she broke the Canadian indoor 3,000m record at the NB Grand Prix in New York in 8:33.92, and one week later she shattered her own Canadian indoor 5,000m record by 26 seconds, running 14:31.38. Her time was a North American record as well.

Lucia Stafford

DeBues-Stafford’s younger sister, Lucia Stafford, also deserves a huge shout-out this year for her 13th place finish at the Olympics in the 1,500m. Although she didn’t make it to the final, she ran the fastest non-qualifying time in Olympic history, which not only speaks to the calibre of women’s distance running but also gets us really excited to see what she’ll accomplish in her next international competition.

Genevieve Lalonde

In her second Olympic appearance, Genevieve Lalonde set not one, but two national records. First, she ran 9:22.64 in her heat to smash her personal best, set a new Canadian steeplechase record and move on to the Olympic final. Then, only a few days later, she ran 9:22.40 in the final for 11th place, her highest-ever finish at an Olympic Games and another new Canadian record.

Regan Yee

Before Lalonde’s record-breaking runs in Tokyo, her fellow Canadian Regan Yee broke the Canadian steeplechase record in Montreal, winning the race in 9:27.54 and qualifying for her first Olympics.

Aurora Rynda

Aurora Rynda of Toronto (a fourth-year student at the University of Michigan) won the 600m at a meet in Chicago in February in 1:27.05 to break the former Canadian record, which had stood for 38 years. Two weeks later she surpassed it with a 1:26.50 at the Big Ten NCAA conference championship, though the event was not record-eligible.

Kyra Constantine

At a meet in Louisville, Ky., Kyra Constantine took .14s off Sage Watson’s Canadian indoor 300m record, running 36.94 and becoming the first Canadian woman to dip under 37 seconds. She was also a member of the Canadian women’s 4x400m relay team, who placed fourth at the Tokyo Olympics.

Viktoria Brown

It seems Viktoria Brown can’t enter a race without setting a new record. In the last year, she has broken the Canadian 48-hour, 72-hour and 100-mile records, and recently broke the 72-hour world record, breaking her Canadian 72-hour record in the process.

Karen Holland

In September of this year, Karen Holland smashed the overall (men’s and women’s) Bruce Trail FKT, completing the 900 km route in eight days, 22 hours and 51 minutes. She was more than four hours faster than the men’s record, set just a few months prior by Kip Arlidge in 9:03:27, and more than three days faster than the women’s FKT, set by Chantal Demers of Barrie, Ont. in 2017.

Marianne Hogan

Quebec’s Marianne Hogan has been lighting up the trail scene lately. In November 2021, she took second place at the Ultra-Trail Capetown 100K in 12:15:13, and in January of this year, she won the Bandera 100K in 9:17:06, putting her third on the Canadian all-time list and punching her ticket the Western States Endurance Run in June.

This list is far from complete, and we could spend days celebrating our incredible Canadian female athletes. Today, we encourage you to take a moment to give a hug or a high-five to the incredible female runners in your life who inspire you every day.