We Lost a Legend

running the Stockade-athon 15K in November

Ed Whitlock is a Canadian runner who rewrote the 70+ record books and forever altered conceptions of human endurance performance in older age. He died on Monday in Toronto. The cause of death was listed as prostate cancer.
In 2003, at 72, Whitlock became the first person 70 or older to break 3:00 in the marathon, with a 2:59:10 at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. A year later, at 73, he lowered that 70+ best to 2:54:49. Over the ensuing years, Whitlock set age-group marks in the 70+, 75+, 80+, and 85+ age groups at distances from 1500 meters up through the marathon. Just last October, at 85, he ran 3:56:33 at the Toronto Marathon, becoming the first in his age group to break 4:00 and taking 28 minutes off the previous 85+ record.
I was fortunate to meet him at what I think may have been his last race. He graciously chatted with and posed for photos with anyone who asked.
As an older runner, I am in awe of his accomplishments. I mean at age 85, he finished a  half marathon in 1:50:47.What really impresses me was his running ethic:

Whitlock also defied convention, especially for older runners, in his approach to non-running activities, in that he did no stretching, strength training, or cross training. When he was injured, he simply stopped running until he felt able to resume his high-volume training. He followed no special diet, other than to eat enough to keep his weight up. Whitlock mostly ran in old shoes he’d won at races or had otherwise received; he said the racing flats he wore to break 4:00 at Toronto were 15 years old.

Hmmmm.  Does he know something here?

So sad that stupid cancer had to end his running career. He will be missed.

And since it is Wednesday,  I’m linking up with  Nicole and AnnMarie and Jen for the Wild Workout Wednesday

and also with Susie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches’ Corner.

Happy Running! Ever met a famous runner?  Whom do you idolize?

12 thoughts on “We Lost a Legend

  1. Oh what a sad loss to the running community. He was able to achieve so much! What an inspiration, thanks for sharing.


  2. That’s amazing. We are all looking for the right shoes and when to swap them out. Always trying to eat right and cross train.
    He was truly amazing and old school. Truly an inspiration to us all.


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