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Meet Gwen McFarlan, the 81-year-old world record marathon runner

We met Gwen McFarlan on July 1st, when around 30 members of the Forever Young Running Club in Richmond met to go for a run and to celebrate Canada Day. Tall, with fair skin, soft eyes and a lovely smile, Gwen was different from what we had envisioned a legendary world record holding marathon runner to be like.

When we started running, the group was split in several subgroups according to their speed, from the faster 9km runners to the slower 5km walkers. Gwen would probably have been in the fastest group if she had joined us. But that morning, she stayed in the house of John and Joan Young, the organizers of the Forever Young Running group, preparing the food and drinks we’d enjoy after the run.

The reason she didn’t run was because of an injury to one of her ankles that had been bothering her for weeks already. The pain started in April and adapting to the new routine has been a painful process for the retired teacher.

Before the pain started, she used to run on the streets and on the track at Minoru Park in Richmond at least five days a week. Despite her injury, she does everything she can to stay active and to speed up the healing with regular visits to the doctor and physiotherapist, deep water conditioning classes and walking.

This is not the first time she has had to recover from an injury. In fact, not even cancer could stop her years ago, so Gwen and her training partners are confident that she’ll be fine soon. In fact, Gwen fully expects to get back on the track in a few weeks and to compete in the Forever Young 8K on September 13th.

In The Fit Generation, Gwen will be sharing her real life journey with you, from the challenges of her injury to how she trains, as well as her achievements. We will all be surely cheering for her when she’s ready to break yet another world record!

You’ll not only be able to witness the daily life of an incredibly elite senior athlete, but also have the chance to learn more about the Forever Young Running group and to understand why exercising and socializing makes them happier people. The short time we have spent with them has become a highlight in our lives already.

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