Denise Robson Breaks Canadian W40+ Marathon Record
Posted by envirostats on Tuesday, December 16, 2008
by Minh Tan
December 16, 2008 at 10:12 PM AST (time this national story was broken here)
Official media confirmation by Doug Smith of the CMAA here on Dec 17 2008.
HALIFAX — Denise Robson of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, has been officially confirmed as the new Canadian W40+ (Women aged 40 and over) Masters Marathon record holder after a smart and impressive 2:41:12 performance in Sacramento, at the California International Marathon (CIM), on Sunday, December 7th, 2008. Denise bested the 17 year old record of 2:44:33, still unchanged on Canadian Masters Athletics (CMAA) as of this breaking story, held by Laura Lynn of Ontario, set in Toronto on October 6, 1991.
[ An email from Doug Smith, CMAA MASTERpiece Magazine editor, to Denise confirmed her time to be a new Canadian W40+ Marathon record if only it were her marathon personal best (PB) since she had turned 40. She has confirmed to the author, who has known her for several years and who is honoured to be breaking this national story. ]
Denise credited running a very smart race, to start out “slow”, for her 1st place Women Masters finish and 4th place Overall Women finish (56th overall) at the CIM.
“At mile 5, I felt like I was running too slow,” Denise claimed. “Yet, my watch was saying I’m on pace
for my goal time of 2:41. I chose to keep on pace and not go faster. Thankfully making this decision
and being patient early paid off in the end for me. I felt very strong finishing.”
As a result of her smart running, Denise still had “racing legs” by mile 20 (32 km), when the marathon “really begins”. She overtook Lyndmyla Pushkina of the Ukraine, then Violette Kryza of Poland for the Top Masters prize. Kryza was 2007 Overall Women’s Winner and both women were in the W40-45 category.
“It was a great feeling to be able to race at the end of a marathon and not feel like you are just in survival
mode,” Denise recalled fondly.
However, being the fierce competitor that she was, Denise chased down every last person she could right to the finish line. She gave it her all to catch one last woman at the finish line before “puking big time”.
“Puking at the finish was fine, though,” Denise exalted laughing. “I know I pushed myself to the limit.
The crowd loved it. I could see their admiration of a job well done.”
Turns out, the woman she caught was just running the last leg on a very fast relay team. 🙂
But that’s a perfect example of how this always give’r all working single Mother of three young daughters approaches everything in life. She sets her sights on her goals and gives it all to go after them, excelling at other things in life even more than her running, like raising her daughters. An inspiration to all those around her, not just runners, and a champion on and off the racing course, Denise is fast becoming a highly sought after motivational speaker, currently spokeswoman for the Nova Scotia Lung Association.
As for how Denise felt about her new record?
“I’m surprised and thrilled! I had no idea what the Canadian record was. I was simply running for
a personal best. To finish 4th (woman) and top Women Master was a huge bonus. And now, to find
out I have broken this record is awesome! I look forward to more records falling in 2009 as a new
That’s the spirit Denise! You go girl!
Denise Robson in the NS Lung Run 2008 (left) and having fun with fellow runners in the NS Lung Run 2007 (right).
(Photos by Minh Tan)
L-R in right photo: Ray Moorehead (2:43:41 in CIM), Rami Bardeesy (2:28:04 in CIM), Andrew Dacanay.
CIM race photos of Denise Robson can be found here (type in Bib #59).
I, the author, am extremely grateful to my friend, Denise Robson, for willing to let me break the national story of her official claim to the Canadian W40+ marathon record, helping with quotes. This was my first, and may be only opportunity ever, to break a national news story and I am very excited about it. I hope to do a more in-depth profile of Denise in a few weeks, but that in the meanwhile, Canada’s larger media outlets will pick up this story to share with their greater audience, about an all-around remarkable person in Denise Robson.
Masters definition clarification
As of July 11, 2003, the Masters Category minimum age officially became universal at 35 (Masterstrack.com). Before that, there was what could only be called a sexist discrepancy where the Men’s Masters category minimum age was 40, whereas the Women’s Masters category minimum age was 35, initiated by lawyer David Pain of San Diego in the 1960s. He was probably trying to pick up chicks in his “age category” by eliminating the younger competition except for slightly younger women [author’s speculation]. But if you thought that rule was stupid, the real stupid thing is, of course, that women outlive men by large statistically significant margins in all cultures!
However, races continue to use varying definitions of “Masters” to be 35+ or 40+. The California International Marathon defined Masters as being 40 and over.
Other Age Verification of Top Canadian Women Marathoners in 2008
Marathon Canada listed Denise Robson’s CIM time as Canada’s Top 40+ woman marathon performance of 2008.