The “flying feather” is one of the most instantly recognizable symbols in the Toronto running scene and one that you’re almost guaranteed to spot at the start line of any race in the city and beyond as well. The emblem of one of Toronto’s longest standing run clubs, the Longboat Roadrunners, the only race where you won’t spot it on any singlet among those racing is the Toronto Island Run, which celebrated its 36th running this past Sunday.
Rather than racing, Longboat Roadrunners comprise the race crew for the day and work behind the scenes to make the event happen, taking on duties like arranging first aid to passing out medals at the finish line. It’s part of fulfilling one of the club’s pillar principles of giving back to and helping build the running community.
The 5K took off at 11am with winner Dancan Kasia crossing the finish line in 15:38. Hammering all the way at a 3:08/km pace, Kasia was almost two minutes ahead of the second place male finisher Henry Gage, who crossed the line in 17:34. Jane Murage, the top female at 16:41, was also nearly two minutes ahead of the women’s second place finisher Rebecca Verlaan (18:38).
Another unmistakable symbol of Canadian running was present on race day in the form of Mr. Ed Whitlock. At the finish line, I asked Ed how his race was, to which he responded, completely understated, “Ah, it was good. That’s a new world record.” Ed’s time of 49:47 in the 10k is the new record for the distance in the M85 division, easily besting the previous record of 52:50 run by German Max Raschke in 1993.
Ed is now the owner of nearly 20 masters running world records ranging from the 1500m to the marathon. Having turned 85 in March, Mr. Whitlock now has a brand new division to dominate. Ed says that if recovery goes well following this race, he will likely be at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon to chase another record.