Canadian masters runner Jim Dyck of Richmond Hill, Ont., set a new M55 800m national record of 2:04.2 over the weekend, beating the previous mark of 2:07.1. This is a massive improvement on the Canadian record, and now Dyck is only a little more than one second away from the M55 world record of 2:02.92, which was set by Germany’s Peter Oberliessen in 2016. Dyck ran his record at a 310 Running meet in Bolton, Ont., one of the many events that are slowly popping up around the province and the rest of the country after months with no races.
Big masters performances
A national record is an exciting feat, but Dyck has posted big results at masters events before. At the 2019 North and Central America and Caribbean Region of World Masters Athletics Championships in Toronto, he won the M50 800m and 1,500m races. In the 800m, he won in 2:07.45, three seconds ahead of second place. In the 1,500m, he won by almost four seconds with a meet record time of 4:29.56.
In early March, just before the pandemic led to the cancellation of races worldwide, Dyck competed at the Ontario Masters Athletics Indoor Championships. He was on the start lists for the 800m and 1,500m once again, but he only ran the shorter of the two events. He won the M50 800m (he was still 54 at the time), recording an impressive 2:11.95.
Shooting for the world record
Now 55, Dyck has only recently moved up to his new age category. With his new PB just 1.3 seconds off the world record, he will certainly be a threat to lower that time in the near future. Making up more than a second might seem like a lot for a short race like the 800m, but Dyck has several years in the M55 age group to reach and surpass Oberliessen’s mark and join the list of Canadian masters world record-holders.