Olympics: Canadian Cliff discovering fast success in marathon


(Information) – Rachel Cliff says she is just not working with a chip on her shoulder however her outcomes since a daring change to the marathon from the 5,000 meters may recommend in any other case because the Canadian appears to be like to punch her ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Cliff, in solely her second profession marathon, shattered the Canadian document in March on the Nagoya Ladies’s Marathon in Japan the place her time of two hours, 26 minutes 56 seconds was 64 seconds sooner than the earlier nationwide mark set in 2013.

“I used to be lucky that I used to be capable of apply the teachings I had realized within the shorter occasions to the marathon,” Cliff, 31, informed Information in a phone interview.

“And the coaching and the mentality of the occasion appeared to return shortly to me and I feel that was partly as a result of I used to be capable of get lots of recommendation from individuals who’d accomplished it earlier than.”

But Cliff would seemingly have by no means even began to deal with the grueling 26.2-mile (42.16 km) distance if it had not been for some heartbreak suffered a couple of years earlier.

She had met the Olympic customary within the 5,000m together with two different Canadian ladies forward of the 2016 Rio Video games however was not chosen for the workforce by Athletics Canada, who selected to not dissipate all three spots allowed per nation for a person occasion.

The Vancouver distance runner, who had way back dreamed of representing her nation on the Olympic stage, didn’t go down with out a battle and appealed the choice, however it was rejected.

“The best option to clarify it now’s that they had the choice to choose three individuals however for numerous causes they selected to maintain two,” mentioned Cliff, who’s a Canadian model ambassador for Swiss-based sportswear firm On. “It didn’t go as I wished however that’s what occurred.”


Cliff finally accepted that she had already pushed towards her higher restrict when it comes to how briskly she run the 5,000m and so determined her greatest likelihood at fulfilling her dream of competing in an Olympics was via the marathon.

When Cliff lastly made the change, she made positive she did so with a transparent thoughts fairly than carry any grudges from her failed bid to make the workforce that competed in Rio.

“Distance working is all about being calm and affected person and relaxed and I feel if you’re working with a bunch of detrimental vitality like that it is likely to be sustainable for a couple of months however you’ll form of exhaust your self and never benefit from the sport anymore,” mentioned Cliff. “So I attempted to form of let it go.”

Cliff, whose husband Chris Winter represented Canada within the 3000m steeplechase on the 2016 Rio Olympics, wasted no time making a mark in her new occasion.

She loved the quickest ever debut marathon by a Canadian lady when she completed the 2018 Berlin Marathon in 11th place with a time of two:28:53.

Six months later in Japan Cliff took practically two full minutes off her Berlin time to determine herself as one of many Canada’s prime distance runners.

Whereas Cliff has not but secured a spot on Canada’s marathon workforce for the Tokyo Olympics she is aware of she has discovered the occasion that most closely fits her talents and feels she has what it takes to develop into among the finest on this planet.

“My potential within the longer occasions might be world class,” mentioned Cliff. “In 2016 that was one thing that my coach and I actually found about myself is I positively belong within the longer occasions.”

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Modifying by Toby Davis