In what was her first-ever road race, Rejeanne Fairhead, a 95-year-old runner from Ottawa, made history on Saturday at the Ottawa Race Weekend 5K. Fairhead set a new women’s 95+ national record of 58:52 over five kilometres.
Although Fairhead set a new Canadian record for her age group, she was second in her 80+ age category. She was beaten by 80-year-old Marie Mullally of Ottawa, who clocked a speedy 5K of 48:01. Mullally’s time is 20 minutes back of the 80+ 5K record set by Alice Cole of Montreal in 2015 (28:38).
Amazing! A Canadian record made today by 95 year old Rejeanne Fairhead at the Ottawa 5K presented by @Runkeeper! #RunOttawa2022 pic.twitter.com/mBsZ9fN8Wi
— Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend (@OttawaRaceWknd) May 28, 2022
Fairhead received honours from the announcers before and after the race for her attempt and accomplishment. She was also the eldest participant of the entire 2022 Ottawa Race Weekend.
Her time was only a few minutes shy of the women’s 95+ world record of 55:48 set by American Betty Lindberg at the Atlanta Peachtree 5K in February. Lindberg smashed the previous record of 1:28:36, which was set in 2017 by 96-year-old American Betty Ashley.
Fairhead ran the 5K to raise money for Perley Health, a community care project that empowers seniors to live life to the fullest. You can contribute to her fundraiser here.
She can now rightfully call herself the second-fastest 95+ woman in the world.