Betty McHugh wasted little time in breaking an age group marathon world record shortly after her 90th birthday.
The Canadian ran 6:47:31 at the 2017 Honolulu Marathon, taking more than two hours off the previous W90 record of 8:53:08, according to the Association of Road Racing Statisticians. The ARRS database lists McHugh as the women’s 85-89 record holder and the single-age record holder at 82 and 88 over the marathon.
The Hawaii marathon is an almost yearly tradition for McHugh and multiple generations of the family. Grandchildren David and Ava were among the youngest McHughs who completed the marathon, clocking 3:54 and 4:36. McHugh’s son Brent also raced, running 3:47. A knee injury kept McHugh out of the 2016 Honolulu Marathon.
The age-group records she currently holds for the marathon per the ARRS were set in Honolulu, which hosts one of the largest marathons in the United States every December. She holds age-group world records set outside the state of Hawaii too. McHugh is the W80-84 record holder for the half-marathon (among other distances), having run 2:04:19 in 2008 in Vancouver.
McHugh, of North Vancouver, turned 90, the only runner in the women’s 90+ division at Sunday’s Honolulu Marathon according to results, on Nov. 7. Her sub-seven-hour clocking translates to approximately 9:40 per kilometre pace for 42.2K. She went through 21K (just short of the halfway point, official results do not list the 21.1K split) in 3:18:40, or 6:37:20 pace. The race got underway at 5 a.m. local time.
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