Canadian Masters legend Ed Whitlock passed away this morning at 86
Currently Ed owns 21 World Records;
Marathon – M75 & M80
1500m – M85
Mile – M75
3000m – M75 to M80
5000m – M75 to M85
10,000m – M70 to M85
1500m – M75 to M85
3000m – M70 to M85
4X400m Relay – M80
Ed owns 67 Canadian Records
1500m – M50, M65 to M85
Mile – M75
3000m – M70 to M80
5000m – M60 to M85
10,000m – M65 to M85
1500m – M70 to M85
Mile – M80
3000m – M60 to M85
Ed owns 40 Canadian Road Records from M60 to M85
from 5K to the Marathon
Ed’s longtime friend Bob Moore writes……
Ed Whitlock was an excellent runner as a school boy. At University he excelled at the half mile and ran in road races for Ranelegh Harriers, London, England. He wore their pale blue vest in races in his eighties.
When he graduated as a mining engineer from Imperial College, London he came to Canada where the mines are. He ran with Toronto Olympic Club for a brief while but found their training and racing too intense and aggressive and so he stopped racing.
After more than ten years off he returned to racing at the urging of his son. He told me that his first serious race was a ten mile event in Ottawa. I won and he was last but in the decades that followed he got faster and I got slower until I was following him. His marathon record at age 74 years is credited by statisticians of the sport as being one of the greatest marathon runs of all time. Especially in his 70s and 80s he set a large number of Canadian National and World records.
When we met at races we exchanged ideas. He was laconic, always his own man who knew what worked for him and he did not deviate from this. Once he was injured during an Ontario Masters Cross Country race. He vowed never to run cross country races again and this he kept to.
Ed began to appear frequently as a contender in my own record of road and track races in the mid 1990s. By then he was rewriting the Master`s record book as a sixty year old and I was watching the time gap between our results close.
Some of the most memorable races that I ran with Ed from the 1980s on were several Jaspar to Banff and Cape Breton road relays. Our team at the later event was called Mad Dogs and Englishmen in his honour I believe. Ed would run an awe inspiring stage or two and then help the rest of us achieve our best.
A book could and should be written of his athletic achievements over a long lifetime but his pure enjoyment of competition without malice will remain with me as long as I last.
(photo – Bob leading Ed in a 2010 Championship race in Toronto)
Ed served for many years on the Board of Directors of Canadian Masters Athletics as well as being the Road Race Records Director.
Photo – Ed competing in the first World Championships in Toronto in 1975 and in the World Championships in Sacramento in 2011
I am very saddened with this very sad news. Like Bob in the early sixties I was in the same category as Ed until his amazing running career took off.
I would email Ed on occasion to congratulate him, he always replied to me full of encouragement.
My deepest sympathy goes to his family and close friends.
Maurice Tarrant. Victoria, B.C.
Such sad news. He was a great ambassador for masters, with constant encouragement to other athletes. Everyone wanted their picture taken with Ed.
Dan Slovitt Toronto
(Doug – They were lined up at a World Championships to have a shot with Ed….and he accommodated everyone!)
An inspiration to Masters athletes worldwide. Sad news indeed
Dave Proffitt UK
This one really hurts. A fine gentleman man. A truly incredible runner.
I remember when he ran his 2:59:10 marathon in Toronto in 2003 at age 72.
That same day the “world best” (not “world record”!!) for the marathon was broken in Berlin by Paul Tergat. Runners World Online had a huge headline on Ed’s 2:59 and a smaller secondary story on Tergat’s world best!
Put Ed’s accomplishments into true perspective. So fitting !! Not to mention Ed’s 2:54 the next year!!
Alan Davis Toronto
Earl, Olga and Ed in Sacramento 2011
One of the greatest Canadian runners ever, of any age. A wonderful model of sport, both for his athletic achievements, his personality, and his modesty.
Nancy Tinari BC
Sad news indeed. The passing of a true Canadian athletics legend.
Andre Francoise AB
NO! In shock. Ed was such an outstanding individual. His warmth and friendliness at meets was wonderful. And that light, seemingly effortless stride was one of the great joys of the entire track world to watch. My condolences to his family and all his running friends in Canada and throughout the world. He is already missed.
Bill Pontius USA
So sad about Ed, he was an Ontario, Canadian and World icon but more importantly a great human being. I personally recall announcing and calling his world records at the indoor races last year. I truly had my hairs standing on end and as he crossed the finish line I could hardly get the words as I was so chocked up. I had hoped to see him break many more records as he reached 90, 95 and dare I say 100. He had all the qualities of a great runner worked hard, driven, relaxed and an effortless stride. When others would swagger, he was modest, a person comfortable in his own skin and a pleasure to be around.
Bruce Mitchell ON
Very sad to hear of Ed’s passing. The guy was an absolute LEGEND! He has inspired several generations of runners including myself. We will all miss him!
Jamie Halla New Zealand
Was just watching the CBC News and saw this post!! RIP Ed Whitlock!
I had the great fortune to Start three of his World Record performances over 2016/2017 and was awed by his elegance and “Energizer Bunny” performances. He was always gracious and thankful to Officials, Coaches and Fans of Athletics!!! I’m a little shocked as he seemed so lucid when I last saw him!! Guess one point is reach out to all those you love as you really NEVER know when their time is near!
John Stevenson ON
It feels like a catastrophe, We will miss his kind, gracious , humble personality. I thought he would last for over a 100. His amazing feats will live on for a century or more.
Earl Fee ON
Sorry to hear about Ed. We go back a long way, to when he lived in Montreal. Talked to him when he came to race in in the fall. The 11k race was named the Ed Whitlock 11K in his honour.
Hugh Wilson Dorval PQ
A giant has passed from among us. Ed Whitlock is gone, but he will be remembered for a good long time. He made flesh the lines from Tennyson’s Ulysses: “and tho’ / We are not now that strength which in old days / Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are; / One equal temper of heroic hearts, / Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will / To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” Farewell, Ed.
Brad Morley ON
Very sad to hear that running legend Ed Whitlock passed away. I once came home and told my wife I had just won a 3,000 meter indoor race. She said “that’s nice”. Then I told her that Ed Whitlock counted my laps. She was extremely impressed! In addition to running many world and Canadian age group records, Ed would show up at meets and help the meet organizer with officiating. An all around super guy who would rather talk politics than running, Ed will be truly missed.
Jamie Black ON
(Doug – Jamie reminded me that Ed would run his World Record and then immediately join the finish line crew and count laps for the next race!)