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The 7 best runners’ names

Some of the fastest names in running

Usain Bolt

There are certain names that you see in results and you can’t help but think, “what a great running name.” There are many things that draw people to become runners, but we can’t help but feel like maybe the holders of those names felt they had to run as a result of their identifier.

Here are some of the best running names Canadian Running editors have come across in the past few months, and their holders’ running accolades.

Worknesh Degefa

Running, especially marathoning, is a gritty sport and there is no name grittier than Worknesh. The Ethiopian runner won the 2019 Boston Marathon, leaving the field in her dust and crossing the historic finish line in 2:23:31. She also owns 2:17:41 personal best, one of the fastest marathons ever run by a woman.

RELATED: Why we love Dubai Marathon women’s champion Worknesh Degefa

Joe Fast


Fast is a grade 12 student at Ridgemont High School in Ottawa, ON. When Fast is your last name, it’s hard not to become a runner. And Fast, as it turns out, is quick. He’s a multi-time OFSAA champion and was fifth at the cross-country championships only two weeks ago.

RELATED: The Ontario Grade 9 1,500m champion has the fastest name in athletics

Matt Leeder

OFSAA Cross-Country
Matt Leeder (1074) won Midget Boys in 2004, Junior Boys in 2005, Senior Boys in 2006. Venues: Guelph, Kingston, Thunder Bay

Leeder was a three-time OFSAA cross-country champion who went on to run for Florida State University. There, he trained to represent Canada at the 2008 U20 World Cross-Country Championships and was a multi-time NCAA finallist.

The Quick Family

The Quick family are a family of triathletes, but their name is too good to not include on this list. And triathletes run, so it counts.

Their first names are Angela, Derek, Donna and Steve Quick. All athletes in their own right, with Angela having the most success in her career, she won the Barrelman Triathlon in September 2019.

Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt

The man with the fastest name on the planet is also the fastest runner in the world. Bolt is an 11-time world champion and owner of both the 100m and 200m world records.

Ross Proudfoot

Canadian Cross-Country Championships

As a Canadian sub-four miler with a real knack for cross-country, Proudfoot holds one of the best names in running and some strong results. The Guelph alumnus was a two-time national cross-country champion and one of the most decorated athletes in Canadian university sport athletics history.

Anyone named Miles

The mile is referred to in so many running contexts, whether it be the metric of the running you’ve accomplished in a week or the name of a race. If you’re a runner named Miles or are planning to name your child Miles, know that they’ll likely fall in love with the sport one day.