If it weren’t for COVID-19, Toronto would be hosting the World Masters Athletics Championships right now. While we’ll never know what kinds of performances the world’s best masters athletes had for us this summer, we can still look back at some incredible results and achievements from past masters events. This is not a complete list, but some of the most amazing Canadian masters running results of the past couple of decades.
We regret to inform you that the WMATO2020 Executive Board has made the difficult decision to CANCEL this year’s Championships due to the COVID-19 global crisis.
— World Masters Athletics Toronto 2020 (@wmato2020) March 24, 2020
Earl Fee’s many records
Now in the M90 category, Toronto resident Earl Fee has been racing masters events for many years, and he has broken a mind-boggling 60 age group world records in his career. He is currently credited with eight records on the World Masters Athletics (WMA) website, and in January, he was named the overall male NCCMA (North American, Central American and Caribbean Masters Athletics) athlete of the year for 2019. His current records are in the M80 and M85 200m hurdles, M85 and M90 400m, and M65, M70, M80 and M90 for the 800m. He ran his M90 400m and 800m records of 1:29.15 and 3:34.93 last summer in front of a home crowd in Toronto.
Karla Del Grande’s quick sprints
Like Fee, Karla Del Grande of Toronto won the overall female NCCMA athlete award for 2019. Del Grande competes in the W65 category, and she is the owner of five world records, ranging from the 100m up to the 400m. She has the records for the W60 and W65 100m and 200m, plus the W65 400m best. She ran the latter record last year in Toronto, producing an incredible 68.08 split for a lap of the track. She’s still racing, but in 2019, she was inducted into the Canadian Masters Hall of Fame.
Ed Whitlock’s enduring dominance
Ed Whitlock is one of the best long-distance runners to ever represent Canada. He sadly passed away in March 2017 at the age of 86, but just months before his death, Whitlock was still breaking records. Today, he owns 10 world age group records on the track and four in the marathon (M70, M75, M80 and M85). In October 2016, he set the M85 marathon record with a 3:56 at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, smashing the previous record by more than 30 minutes. Perhaps his most incredible result came in 2004, once again in Toronto, when he ran a 2:54:48 at the age of 73.
Carol Lafayette-Boyd’s multi-sport success
Regina’s Carol Lafayette-Boyd is not only a great masters runner, but an incredible jumper, too. The owner of six age group world records, Lafayette-Boyd was named the WMA Athlete of the Year for 2018. Now competing in the W75 category, all but one of her records have come since entering that age group, with the oldest of her six records from her time as a W70 athlete in the long jump. She also has 100m, 200m, high jump and triple jump records, as well as another in the long jump more recently. If she added some throwing events to her resume she could make a push for some heptathlon records, too.