Keith Wakelin, seen here leading an Island Race Series race, set a new Canadian record in the 50-mile ultramarathon distance at the Elk/Beaver Ultras in Saanich recently. File photo

Merville man shatters Canadian ultramarathon record

Keith Wakelin takes 22 minutes off the national time for 50 miles in the 60+ age group

Keith Wakelin of Merville shattered a long-standing Canadian record at the Elk/Beaver Ultras in Saanich recently.

Wakeling ran the 50-mile ultramarathon in a time of 7:43:57, shaving an incredible 22 minutes off the old Canadian record for 60-year-olds and over. The record had stood for 24 years before Wakelin dismantled it.

“I’ve been training for this for a long time and couldn’t wait to turn 60, so that I could take a shot at the record,” said Wakelin.

Wakelin has been running and racing for 50 years now and doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

He has run more than 750 races and about 75 races of the marathon distance and over. While he has had moderate success over the years, since turning 60 he has won his age category in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon; the Tarawera 50k Ultramarathon in his home town of Rotorua, New Zealand; the Island Race Series, including the Comox Valley RV Half Marathon; and now the 50 Mile at Elk/Beaver Ultras, which was the Canadian National Championship this year. Wakelin was third overall in the race, but won the Masters (over40) category.

The race went according to plan, sort of.

“I had some challenges during the race which I had to overcome,” Wakelin said. “The first came at 48k where I ran out of energy and barely made it to the aid station where I ate and drank a lot to replenish my energy stores.

“Then during the next lap I got a nosebleed that I couldn’t stop, so I came into the aid station with blood all over my face and shirt. The volunteers thought I had fallen. I also had to deal with very sore feet and extreme fatigue in the final 25k or so.”

Wakelin doesn’t race many times beyond the 50k distance because of the severe discomfort. However, he knew he had a good chance at breaking the Canadian record so was up for the challenge.

“I’m elated to be a Canadian record holder and relieved it’s over, but mainly I’m grateful for still being able to compete at a high level for my age,” he said.

Wakelin also broke the six-hour Canadian record for 60+ during the race by two miles, but it is not an official record, as the organizers were not in position to measure where Wakelin was at the six-hour mark. However, Wakelin said he was contemplating going for the six-hour record next year in Kingston, Ont.where an official race for six hours is held.

Wakelin is currently training for his 26th time running the 30-mile Kneeknacker race in the trails above North Vanvouver in July, where he will be attempting a course record for 60+.

Just Posted

Chinook fishery not ‘closed’ in area is message from guides

Conservative MP Calkins comes to Campbell River hear fishing stakeholders’ concerns

UPDATE: Fire crews suppress smouldering fire on Highway 19 north of Campbell River

Wildfire reached .25 hectares, according to BC Wildfire Service

Strathcona Regional District won’t cover director’s court costs

Case was concluded June 10, with lawyer saying clients were put up to launching petition

Intertidal walk looks at life on the reef in Campbell River

Biologist Sandra Milligan has been leading walks for 13 years

Residents welcomed to new Habitat for Humanity homes in Campbell River

New homeowners received keys during ceremony at affordable housing development

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

B.C. teen killed by falling tree near Victoria

Second youth also injured in freak incident during field trip at Camp Barnard near Sooke

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

Most Read