Road To The Olympic Games

Rachel Cliff shatters Canadian women's marathon record

Rachel Cliff raced to a Canadian record in the Nagoya Women's Marathon on Sunday, crossing the line in two hours 26 minutes 56 seconds to finish 15th and break the previous mark of 2:28:00 set by Lanni Marchant in 2013.

Vancouver runner says it was 'very empowering' competing in women's-only race

Rachel Cliff broke the six-year-old Canadian marathon record on Saturday with a time of two hours 26 minutes 56 seconds. (@BCEnduranceProj/Twitter)

Rachel Cliff raced to a Canadian record in the Nagoya Women's Marathon on Sunday.

The 30-year-old from Vancouver crossed in two hours 26 minutes 56 seconds to finish 15th, breaking the previous record of 2:28:00 set by Lanni Marchant in 2013. Sylvia Ruegger's Canadian mark of 2:28:36 had stood for 28 years before Marchant finally smashed it.

"The depth in Japanese running is just incredible, and it's quite humbling to experience," Cliff said in an email to CBC Sports. "I was so happy with my result today, yet I only placed 15th and was beat by seven Japanese women.

"Running a women's-only race was a unique and cool experience. It's something I hadn't appreciated until I was on the start line, but it was very empowering to run a marathon only against women."

​Cliff already held the Canadian record in the women's half-marathon, and only missed Marchant's Canadian marathon mark by 53 seconds in her debut at the 42.195-kilometre distance in Berlin last September.

Helalia Johannes of Namibia won Sunday's race in 2:22.25.

With files from CBC Sports

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