Perseverance and a love for running: Malindi Elmore shatters Canadian women’s marathon record

Malindi Elmore ran an time of 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon on Sunday

A Kelowna native has taken the sporting world by storm, shattering the Canadian women’s marathon record on Sunday (Jan. 19).

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon, eclipsing Rachel Cliff’s time of 2:26:56 set in March of 2019.

“It feels like it’s been a 25-year project,” said Elmore, referring to accomplishing the feat.

“There’s a lot of chapters to it, but most recently in the last few months it’s just been a lot of running, a lot of patience and consistency, training hard and putting my nose down and getting ready for it.”

Elmore has an impressive running resume that spans over two decades. Before representing Canada in Beijing in 2001, she attended Stanford University where she still holds the school record in the 800m and 1,500m distances. Then, in 2004, she represented Canada at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, where she just failed to qualify for the semifinals.

In 2006, she competed at the commonwealth games and in 2011 at the Pan Am games as a 1,500m specialist where she ran one of the fastest times ever by a Canadian woman at 4:02.64.

READ MORE: Kelowna’s Tess Critchlow gears up for World Cup at Big White

However, while she had considerable success at the professional level, she briefly decided to retire in 2010. Now, a champion seven years later, Malindi attributes her successful comeback to hard work and a love for the sport.

”I have a love for running and that never went away,” said Elmore.

“All the years (of training) have helped. Also, just being in a good place with life. I’ve got two kids and I think all those kinds of things take the pressure off and help you reach your potential.”

Since running the incredible time on Monday, Elmore said she has received overwhelming support from so many people around the nation.

“I’ve been really overwhelmed by the amount of support I’ve received. It’s cool to hear from so many people and realize that this is a story that has touched people.”

With this new record, Elmore has more than likely solidified her spot for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Her time is now the fastest-ever run by a Canadian woman. Unless someone comes along and breaks her record, she has likely earned her place.

The Olympic marathon team will be officially announced in May, but regardless of the possible Olympic nod, Elmore is very humbled and proud of her accomplishment, especially doing it at the age of 39.

“It feels like I’ve kind of gone full-circle after having years where things didn’t go well and where I’d kind of given up and moved on.”

“Now, to be back in a position 16 years after I made my first Olympic team to be possibly making another one at 40 is something I just never ever expected. I would have laughed if you told me that (16 years ago).”

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