96-year-old runner breaks W95+ world record at Ottawa 5K

Rejeanne Fairhead, 96, is getting faster with age. She finished in 51:09, smashing her previous 5K best by seven minutes.

Photo Courtesy Perley Health/Julie Ireton

Marley Dickinson, Canadian Running Magazine May 27, 2023

Canada’s Rejeanne Fairhead can now call herself the fastest 95+ woman in the world. On Saturday afternoon in 30 C weather, the 96-year-old unofficially destroyed the women’s 95+ world record, running 51:09 for five kilometres at the Ottawa

She beat her previous personal best from last year by seven minutes, placing first in the women’s 80+ age category, improving on her second-place finish from last year.

At Friday’s press conference, she said her secret to running fast is keeping busy. “I try to be active in all sports, and take care of myself and be happy,” said Fairhead.

Fairhead received honours from the race announcers before and after the race for her attempt and new accomplishment. She is the eldest participant of the Ottawa Race Weekend for the second consecutive year.

Fairhead, setting the W95+ Canadian 5K record at the 2022 Ottawa 5K. Photo: RunOttawa

The women’s 95+ world record Fairhead beat was that of American Betty Lindberg, who ran 55:48 at the 2022 Atlanta Peachtree 5K.

Fairhead ran the 5K to raise money for Perley Health, a community care project that empowers seniors to live life to the fullest, raising over $114,000 toward innovation. You can contribute to her fundraiser here.

Source Canadian Running Magazine

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