Cath Fah: Finding Home in Calgary and Becoming a 6-Star Finisher

Calgary MarathonUncategorized 1 Comment

The Servus Calgary Marathon is a proud Abbott World Marathon Major qualifying event for the Wanda Age Group World Rankings. In our on-going series chasing down Calgary Marathon legends and learning of their pursuit of becoming an Abbott World Marathon Majors 6-star finisher, we recently chatted with Cath Fah who just achieved her 6-star medal at the Tokyo Marathon earlier this month.

You likely know her as ‘Aussie Cath’ or maybe ‘Cath from Strava’ if you are part of the running community here in Calgary. Catherine Fah and her family arrived in Calgary from Melbourne, Australia in 2011 due to her husband’s job, with the intention of staying for 2-3 years. 13 years later they are still here and thriving and this week the whole family became Canadian citizens. The running community is largely to credit for Cath happily making Calgary home. “Time flies when you’re having fun,” she exclaims joyfully. 

For the past five years, Cath has been part of the Strides Running Store team, where she has found a second family within the vibrant Calgary running community. Strides hosts various free Run Clubs, which everyone is welcome to join, and Cath is a staple. “I love the stories and the camaraderie amongst runners,” says the recent 6-star marathoner. Adding, “I’m an avid racer, participating in road and trail races from 5k to 50k and have raced numerous Canadian and International events. I did a Backyard Ultra and managed 100km, but once is enough!” 

Most years you will find Cath running The Servus Calgary Marathon but now and again you will find her cheering and handing out water at the MitoCanada aid station as her credo is for every three races she participates, she must volunteer for one. “Volunteering can be as fun as racing; I dressed up as a horse at the Stampede Road Race aid station last year and although it was hot, it was well worth it,” says Cath.

She completed the Melbourne Marathon in 2010 and then faced the challenge of running through Canadian winters after relocating. A visit to a running store for gear and joining a local running group solved that, leading to friendships that have lasted over a decade.

Cath’s first Calgary Marathon in 2013 earned her a coveted spot in Boston, where she experienced the “Boston Strong” community after the previous year’s tragedy. When she qualified again, she joined the Adrenaline Rush Athletics for coaching which led to running another major, The New York Marathon in 2016. Despite slowing her pace to help a fellow runner in distress to the finish line, Cath surprised herself when she qualified for Chicago. “My best friend Tracy and I ran Chicago. We started together and then crossed the finish line together and were ecstatic to find that we had achieved the exact same time of 3:34:16 hr and a personal best for me at the age of 50,” shares Cath about one of her most memorable moments in run. 

On March 3, 2024 Cath completed a decade long 6-star journey when she finished the Tokyo Marathon, having won the lottery for all 3 international majors (London in 2019, Berlin in 2022, Tokyo 2024).

So what is next for Cath? “Our family’s journey in Canada is due to reach a new milestone, with our upcoming citizenship ceremony, but until then, I’ll be running as a ‘True Blue Aussie’ at Powderface Marathon in July and the Golden Ultra Full Pint in September,” she says with her signature smile and accent. 

And of course you can join ‘Cath from Strava’ and thousands of runners on their own journey at this year’s 60th Calgary Marathon and register today!

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