Milton, Ont., octogenarian and champion runner Ed Whitlock felt “great relief” upon crossing the finish line of Toronto’s Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon in record time on Sunday.
“I had real apprehension about how I was going to finish at around halfway,” Whitlock told Metro Morning host Matt Galloway.
Despite his fears, the 85-year-old Whitlock still managed to set a world record for his age group Sunday. He finished the marathon in just three hours, 56 minutes, and 33.2 seconds.
Still, Whitlock said he wasn’t entirely happy with his performance.
“My goal was to run around 3:50,” said Whitlock. “Things fell apart in the second half of the race.”
Compared to his previous world records, Whitlock said his accomplishment Sunday was less impressive than his earlier record, set at the Toronto marathon 12 years ago when he was 73 years old. He ran that marathon in just two hours and 54 minutes, a record that still stands today.
I remember reading about that marathon finish of Whitlock’s 12 years ago too. He has been turning heads with these age group records for a while now. Running a marathon in under four hours is quite an accomplishment in any age group. I’ve run a couple and I was 42 for the last one. It was a nice, cool day for running and I didn’t break 4 hours.
After putting on some weight when I had broken ribs a few years ago, my return to running was humbling. I’m decades younger than Whitlock, and there are days when I think, “Maybe I’m getting too old for this. I’ll get a bike.”
No more. I have to keep trying at least until I’m 85.
Forget the under four hours thing though, I’ll be thrilled just to finish one again, which hopefully will be soon.