As if the gruelling 21.1K at 3:25-per-kilometre pace wasn’t enough, Windsor’s Dayna Pidhoresky also had to endure some uncertain moments just as she crossed the finish line on a mild Sunday morning in Niagara Falls, Ont.
Just a week after winning the Detroit Free Press half-marathon, Pidhoresky won the Niagara Falls half-marathon in 1:11:46, nearly half a minute better than the previous Canadian record of 1:12:09 set by Tara Quinn-Smith in 2009.
It remains unclear if Pidhoresky’s time will be recognized as a national record since the course is a point-to-point route. Initially, race director Jim Ralston told Canadian Running he believed the record will count. However, late Sunday evening, he admitted that he will have to check again with the course certification officials on Monday.
Although the marathon course is a U-shape, keeping it within IAAF limits, the distance between the start and finish of the half-marathon route seems to exceed the requirements for record purposes. The start and finish lines can’t be more than 50 per cent of the race distance apart — for a half-marathon that means the start and finish lines have to be within at least 10.5K of each other — and the net elevation drop can’t be more than one metre per kilometre (a maximum of 21m for a half-marathon).
According to these figures, the Niagara Falls marathon is within the requirements for net elevation drop and the start and finish lines are within 38 per cent of the race distance apart. But for the half-marathon, the gap between the start and finish lines is 57 per cent of the total race distance.
Pidhoresky and Ralston believe history is on their side. There have been Canadian Masters records set on the same course in previous years.
Athletics Canada still has to verify the record.
“I’ve wanted to break the record for a while, but I could never really get it together on race day,” Pidhoresky told Canadian Running. She knew as early as 3K into Sunday’s race that she had a good shot at it in Niagara, despite a minor headwind at times.
Another roadblock caused Pidhoresky to question if her time would be recognized as the new Canadian record since the finishing clock was about a minute off. “I was confused seeing the clock at the finish and it didn’t match up with my watch,” she said. The finish line clock was about a minute slower than all of the official times as posted on sportstats.
Ralston confirmed that the finish line clock was incorrect, but the official chip and gun times are accurate.