Ultrarunning power couple still breaking age barriers

george and erlinda biondic

George and Erlinda Biondic of Aurora, Ont., have been married for over four decades, but they defy the stereotype of a long-married couple. George, 70, and Erlinda, 83, have consistently been shattering records and inspiring others with their exceptional athletic accomplishments in ultrarunning.

At a six-day race in Augusta, NJ, held in May, George etched his name in Canadian ultrarunning history by establishing three new age-group records in the two-day, three-day, and six-day distances. George covered an astounding 550 km over six days, with his wife, Erlinda, providing crew support. The previous year, Erlinda made headlines at the same race, becoming the oldest woman to complete both 50 miles and 100 miles. She also shattered the six-day world record in the W80+ category, covering an impressive 403 km within a remarkable 144-hour timeframe, with George serving as her crew.

Erlinda Biondic
Erlinda Biondic and her husband George. Photo: Susie Kockerscheidt/yorkregion.com

Together, George and Erlinda boast more than 15 Canadian age-group records in ultrarunning. George humbly attributes much of his success to Erlinda, who has supported him every day through their 42-year marriage. “We both acknowledge that runners at our age cannot achieve any of this on their own,” George asserts. “Erlinda has been my unwavering helper for 40 years, even during the darkest hours when my mind falters—she skillfully resolves any challenges. She truly is irreplaceable.

The oldest woman to complete 100 miles continues to set ultra records

“When you’re an ultrarunner, your crew can make or break you,” George adds. “And no one knows me better than her.”

Their bond extends far beyond ultrarunning, as they have built a life together filled with love and shared adventures. In June, a month after George ran 550 km over six days, the couple hiked the 800 km Camino de Santiago in 30 days, and their adventures don’t stop there.

George Biondic
George Biondic exchanging post-race congratulations with his friend and competitor Arun Bhardwaj (54) from India, who finished just ahead of him in the six-day ultra

Last year, to celebrate George’s 70th birthday, the couple embarked on a 90-km walk from the bottom of Yonge Street in Toronto to City Hall in Barrie, Ont. Their purpose was twofold: to raise $15,000 for the Aurora Food Pantry and to observe the milestone birthday in a meaningful way. The walk not only showcased their impressive physical endurance at their respective ages, but also their commitment to giving back to their local community.

When asked about their future plans, the ultrarunner power couple expressed their desire to venture beyond their comfort zone. “We have never competed in the same race,” laughs George. “I think we will stay in the ultrarunning scene as it seems to be our forte.”

He shares that their mantra to continually push boundaries is rooted in advice his father gave him: “You only live once, so let go of the pressure and embrace the moment.”

“It means a lot to be competitive at our age and still do well,” says George.

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