Editor’s note: In 2020 it should be no surprise that more and more woman hold positions of power. Whether it’s business, politics, sports or the non-profit sector, woman continue to achieve new milestones. This story is part of a series of stories highlighting 16 women in Kelowna who are leaders in their fields. You can read all of their stories in our annual publication called Women in Business in the Feb. 28 issue of Kelowna Capital News.
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Malindi Elmore may not be a household name just yet, but that’s about to change.
The 39-year-old recently took the sporting world by storm, shattering the Canadian women’s marathon record in January, completing the Houston Marathon in an incredible 2:24:50, eclipsing the previous record by more than two minutes.
“It feels like it’s been a 25-year project,” said Elmore, reflecting on her national accomplishment.
“There’s a lot of chapters to it, but most recently in the last few months it’s just been a lot of running, a lot of patience and consistency, training hard and putting my nose down and getting ready for it.”
The Kelowna local has an impressive running resume that spans over two decades.
Before representing Canada in Beijing in 2001, she attended Stanford University where she still holds the school record in the 800 and 1,500-metre distances.
Then, in 2004, she represented Canada at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, where she just failed to qualify for the semifinals.
In 2006, she competed at the Commonwealth Games and in 2011 at the Pan Am Games as a 1,500m specialist where she ran one of the fastest times ever by a Canadian woman at 4:02.64.
However, while she had considerable success at the professional level, she decided to briefly retire in 2010.
Now, a champion seven years later, Elmore attributes her successful comeback to hard work and a love for the sport.
“I have a love for running and that never went away.”
“All the years (of training) have helped. Also, just being in a good place with life.
“I’ve got two kids and I think all those kinds of things take the pressure off and help you reach your potential.”
Elmore said she has received overwhelming support from so many people around the nation after her performance last weekend.
“I’ve been really overwhelmed by the amount of support I’ve received. It’s cool to hear from so many people and realize that this is a story that has touched people.”
With this new record, Elmore has more than likely solidified her spot for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Her time is now the fastest-ever run by a Canadian woman. Unless someone comes along and breaks her record, she has likely earned her place on Canada’s track and field contingent.
The Olympic marathon team will be officially announced in May, but regardless of the possible Olympic nod, Elmore is very humbled and proud of her accomplishment, especially doing it at the age of 39.
“It feels like I’ve kind of gone full-circle after having years where things didn’t go well and where I’d kind of given up and moved on.
“Now, to be back in a position 16 years after I made my first Olympic team to be possibly making another one at 40 is something I just never ever expected. I would have laughed if you told me that (16 years ago).”