Andrea Seccafien with other athletes trailing behind her

Andrea Seccafien


Andrea Seccafien has become a dominant force in Canadian long distance running. In May 2021 she broke the Canadian record in the 10,000m, finishing in a time of 31:13.94 seconds to take more than 27 seconds off the previous mark that had stood since 2015. It was also in May 2021 that she lowered her personal best in the 5000m to 14:57.07.

It was in the 5000m that Seccafien made her Olympic debut at Rio 2016 where she was the top Canadian in the event. She has also competed in the 5000m at two World Athletics Championships, reaching the final in 2019 where she ran sub-15 minutes for the first time in her career to finish 13th. That breakthrough came at the end of a difficult season that included four separate injuries.

In her second Olympic appearance at Tokyo 2020, Seccafien was the only Canadian woman to advance to the 5000m final. She was also the only Canadian entrant in the women’s 10,000m and finished in the top-15 in both events.

A runner in high school, Seccafien accepted an offer to Samford University only to have the program scrapped soon after she arrived. She transferred to the University of Guelph in 2010 and went on to win 5000m gold at the 2013 Canadian Championships, the first of her four national titles in the distance (2013, 2016, 2017, 2018).

A foot injury kept her sidelined during the 2015 season and then, once healed, she opted to change everything – her mechanics, diet, training and coaches. In 2016, she ran 15 minutes, 17.81 seconds, beating the Olympic standard time of 15:20 and her own personal best to qualify for Rio 2016.

After training in Toronto through the 2017 season, Seccafien moved to Australia to join the Melbourne Track Club, one of the most successful in the world, to work with coach Nic Bideau. She has also competed in the half marathon, making her debut in that event in April 2018. In February 2020, she shaved three seconds off the national record that had been set just two weeks prior, setting a new standard at 1:09:38.

A Little More About Andrea

Getting into the Sport: Started participating in track and cross-country competitions while in elementary school before joining the Guelph Track Club at age 14… Her love of running really grew after her high school cross-country team won the OFSAA title and she had her first really good individual result at the provincial level… Outside Interests: Participated in dance and soccer before gaining a strong interest in running… Graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Arts in International Development Studies… Would like to attend law school after retiring from athletics… Coaches recreational runners online with a business called Purdue Performance… Enjoys reading memoirs and non-fiction, as well as baking and cooking… Ambassador for Fast and Female…  Odds and Ends:  Favourite motto: Why not me?… Tries to stay away from superstitions but always paints her nails before a race…

Olympic Highlights

Games Sport Event Finish
Rio 2016Athletics5000m - Women11th in Heat
Tokyo 2020Athletics5000m - Women15
Tokyo 2020Athletics10,000m - Women14

Notable International Results

Olympic Games: 2020 - 15th (5000m), 14th (10,000m); 2016 - 11th in Heat (5000m)

World Athletics Championships: 2019 - 13th (5000m); 2017 - 23rd (5000m)