Toronto, Oct 21 — It was an epic moment at the annual Toronto Waterfront Marathon as a pair of Canadian women broke a decades-long record Sunday.
Lanni Marchant crossed the finish line at Canada’s premier running event in just two hours and 28 minutes, breaking Ottawa native Sylvia Ruegger’s Canadian women’s marathon record of 2:28:36 set in 1985, Xinhua reported.
Coming in 32 seconds behind Marchant was Krista DuChene, who also beat Ruegger’s time by four seconds in the 42-km run.
The challenge, a test of sheer will and dedication for marathon enthusiasts, draws out over 22,000 participants from 50 countries every year.
At the press conference, Marchant, a practising criminal lawyer, admitted that she was as surprised as anyone with the results.
“I’m ecstatic, I had no set game plan for today, I just wanted to run as strong as I could until I couldn’t anymore,” she said. “The weather was perfect, the day was perfect, Krista and I ran perfect, I don’t think we could’ve executed it any other way.”
It was also a big victory with “no regrets” for DuChene, despite losing the record to Marchant. She said having tough competition is what drives her even harder.
“It’s really ideal in terms of what you want out there, someone to be there right beside you pushing you, and likely if I wasn’t there maybe she (Marchant) wouldn’t run as fast, and same for me,” she said. “Really it’s ideal for us and phenomenal for women and sport.”
Another major record was also broken by Ethiopian runner Deressa Chimsa, who achieved the fastest marathon run ever on Canadian soil, clocking in at the finish line at 2:07:05 to break the 2011 record of 2:07:58 set by Kenneth Mungara in 2011 at the same marathon.
Serious competitions aside, some unique achievements were also made Sunday, including Ed Whitlock, who broke the 82-year-old single age record when he reached the finish line at 3:41:58, and also David Hiddleston, who broke the Guinness World Records for fastest half marathon dressed as a fruit. Donning a banana costume, Hiddleston completed the half marathon with a record of 1:25:45.