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100 Canadian Women Aim to Reclaim 100×1-mile Guinness World Record in Hamilton

Boasting a strong squad with 25 sub-five milers, the record may come falling.

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On July 7, 100 of Canada’s fastest female distance runners will gather in Hamilton to attempt to reclaim the Guinness World Record for the 100 x 1-mile relay. This ambitious event, named “100 Women CAN,” will see these athletes collectively race through 400 laps of a track in a bid to set a new record.

100 Canadian Women Aim to Reclaim 100x1-mile Guinness World Record in Hamilton 1
Photo Credit: Muad Issa

The original record of nine hours and 23 minutes was set by Canadian women, including McMaster University coach Paula Schnurr and Hamilton Olympic Club coach Patti Moore, in 1999. However, last June, an American team in San Francisco broke this record with a time of nine hours and 18 minutes. Determined to bring the record back to Canada, Schnurr and Moore launched the 100 Women CAN initiative.

Schnurr and Moore invited Canada’s top female runners to apply, receiving over 125 applications. They have now selected 100 participants, with 10 alternates on standby in case of last-minute injuries or illnesses. Notable athletes include Canadian masters distance champion Sasha Gollish and Tokyo 2020 Olympian and three-time 800m national champion Maddy Kelly.

100 Canadian Women Aim to Reclaim 100x1-mile Guinness World Record in Hamilton 2

The team’s target is to complete the relay in nine hours and 10 minutes. Each runner must complete a mile in five minutes and 30 seconds or faster. Schnurr and Moore believe they have a talented group, including 25 women capable of running a sub-five-minute mile, who are up to the challenge.

“Our youngest runner is 12 years old, and we have several masters athletes,” Schnurr said to Canadian Running. “We have one woman who ran on the world record team from 1999, and she will be handing off the baton to her daughter. And we have one Canadian Olympian [Kelly].”

The event will take place at the Mona Campbell Track at McMaster University in Hamilton, starting at 9 a.m. and concluding after 6 p.m. on July 7.

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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