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North Van's Natasha Wodak sets Canadian record in half marathon

Racer becomes first Canadian woman to finish in less than 70 minutes
Natasha Wodak celebrates a gold medal at the 2019 Pan Am Games held in Lima, Peru. On Sunday Wodak set a new Canadian half marathon record. photo supplied David Jackson/Team Canada

North Vancouver resident Natasha Wodak was part of a record-smashing day in distance running Sunday, becoming the first Canadian woman ever to complete a half marathon in less than 70 minutes.

Wodak clocked a time of 1:09:41 in the Houston Half Marathon, beating the old Canadian record of 1:10:06 set by Rachel Cliff just one month ago in Okayama, Japan.

Wodak, however, wasn’t the only record setter in Houston. Kelowna’s Malindi Elmore raced the full marathon and set a new Canadian record of 2:24:50. The old record of 2:26.56 was also set by Cliff last March.

Wodak, age 38, finished 17th overall in the Houston Half Marathon while 39-year-old Elmore placed third in the marathon. The two Canadians celebrated their new national records together at the finish line.   

Wodak is coming off a fast 2019 season that saw her win gold and set a new meet record in the 10,000-metre race at the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru. She also won the Vancouver Sun Run for the third time and won gold at the Canadian 10,000 m Championships. She is the Canadian record holder in the 10,000-m race, having set that mark in 2015.