Melfort Marathon runner Robyn Luthi got a surprise when she opened an email on Jan. 19.
Luthi received a letter notifying her she had qualified for the 2023 Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Class World Championships on Oct. 2 in Chicago. Luthi said she was excited, but surprised, to receive the invite to the event.
“I was sort of hoping that maybe I would get an invite just because I had run two really good marathons in 2022, but I mean, it is open to everybody in the world who’s also running the same marathons,” she explained. “Plus, there are several international marathons that you can count points towards the age class invitation for the world championships.”
The World Championships will be part of the Chicago Marathon this year. The previous two World Championships were part of the London Marathon in 2021 and 2022.
Luthi initially began running marathons in 2017 when she decided to try and qualify for the Boston Marathon, which she did after running the Queen City Marathon in Regina.
“In February 2017, I had run several half marathons and 10 Ks had found success on both distances,” she said. “(I) just thought, ‘hey, I want to challenge myself and I want to say I ran the Boston Marathon,’ which I did. Since then it’s just been accumulating and everything’s been getting better and better, so this was the icing on the cake to see this invite come in.”
In the Berlin Marathon in September 2022, Luthi placed 235th out of 11,509 women. She was 35th in her age class, the 10th fastest Canadian woman, and third fastest Canadian woman in her age class.
Luthi completed a personal best time when she competed in the BMW Berlin Marathon with a time of 3 hours, four minutes and 35 seconds.
Luthi has set a goal of competing in all six Abbott World Marathon Majors. She also aims to complete a sub-three hour marathon, having already shaved 18 minutes off her time from last year.
Luthi has run the Boston Marathon three times in 2018, 2019 and 2022 and the Chicago Marathon in 2021. She will be running London in April and that leaves her with the New York, and Tokyo marathons left to complete out of the major six.
Originally she planned to run London in April and New York in November, but that’s going to change since there won’t be enough time to recuperate between marathons.
“Now with the invite to the World Championship, I’m going to have to just put New York on the backburner till 2024 just because the age class World Championships and New York are within a month of each other,” Luthi said.
This would be her second time running Chicago and her previous experience bodes well.
“Yeah. I’m pretty excited about getting to run the course in Chicago again. It’s actually a nice flat course. It’s a fast course, if the weather conditions are good that day. I set a personal best there in 2021, so I’m really hoping I can set another one there this fall,” Luthi said.
In 2021 she completed the Chicago Marathon in 3 hours, nine minutes and five seconds. In Boston in 2022 she completed the course in a time of three hours, nine minutes and 13 seconds.