Community They’re Just Like Us! Canadian Celebs and Public Figures at the Races

    They’re Just Like Us! Canadian Celebs and Public Figures at the Races

    PM Trudeau at the 2017 Canada Army Run. Source: Ottawa Citizen.


    Celebrity is a powerful force, so powerful in fact that it can make your non-running friends interested in running, if only for a few days.

    I have to admit to a bit of glee when anyone mentioned hearing that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took on the 5K at last weekend’s Canada Army Run and ever so subtly – I probably wasn’t that subtle – pointing out that I edged the Prime Minister’s time in my most recent 5K.

    With that in mind, here are some famous Canadians you can measure yourself against, whether for your own sense of affirmation or just for a fun fact to drop at parties.


    He may now reside south of the border, but author Malcolm Gladwell grew up in Elmira, Ontario and is a graduate of the University of Toronto. A track star in his youth, he hasn’t exactly been slacking and remains a fixture at the 5th Avenue Mile in New York. This year, 55 year old Gladwell posted a 5:11 mile.


    Comparisons are inevitable when you follow in the footsteps of a famous parent. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau certainly inherited his father’s love of athletics. Fun fact: Pierre Trudeau had the pool installed at 24 Sussex. At last weekend’s Army Run, Justin held down a 4:31 pace for a 22:37 finish.


    Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is a known avid runner, making regular appearances at races in Toronto and beyond. Premier Wynne’s chip time of 28:41 at last year’s Around the Bay 5K was good enough for 2nd in her age category.


    Toronto City Councillor Mary Fragedakis has been a major supporter of the city’s running community and of efforts to boost running tourism. She even brought pal Reid Coolsaet to speak to Toronto City Council on the issue. Councillor Fragedakis goes the extra mile for running by taking part in races. She recorded a 1:12 chip time at the 2017 Waterfront 10K.


    In 2015, CBC Metro Morning host Matt Galloway took on 365 days of running. There were some races thrown into the mix, including a 46:12 at the Yonge Street 10K.


    Lawrence Hill’s The Illegal, winner of Canada Reads 2016, “gets” running. It’s no surprise, then, that the author and Burlington resident has shown up at races in the area, including the Around the Bay 30K. Sportstats credits Hill with a 2:50 at the 2006 edition of the historic race. Hill was obviously taking it easy. The author of The Book of Negroes, also a Canada Reads winner, also has a mile PB of 4:36.


    Scott Russell is best known as the face of CBC’s Olympics coverage. Russell ran a 3:20 at the 2015 Mississauga Marathon, a performance which punched his ticket to Boston.

    You oughta know that Alanis Morrissette is a marathoner. The iconic Canadian songstress completed the 2009 Biz Johnson Trail Marathon in 4:17. Alanis discussed her relationship with running in an interview with Runner’s World just before that race.


    • Ravi Singh