Women running track event

Kate Van Buskirk


Kate Van Buskirk won back-to-back Canadian titles in the 1500m in 2013 and 2014. It was in 2013 that she competed at the World Athletics Championships for the first time before going on to post a fourth-place finish at the Jeux de la Francophonie. In July 2014, she ran a personal best 4:05.38 and soon won 1500m bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

But within a year, she was suffering from intense pain and inflammation in her joints. She was eventually diagnosed with spondyloarthropathy, a genetic rheumatoid condition, and adjusted her diet and lifestyle to keep her symptoms in check. With the 2016 Olympics on the horizon, she rushed back to hard training but developed chronic fatigue, forcing her to shut down her season.

She returned to competition in early 2017, winning the 3000m at the New York Millrose Games. In early 2018, she set the Canadian record in the indoor mile at 4:26.92 and raced at the World Indoor Championships where she ran a 1500m indoor personal best 4:09.42. In the summer of 2018 she won 5000m bronze at the NACAC Championships in Toronto.

In May 2021, Van Buskirk ran 14:59.80 at a meet in Irvine, California to go under the Olympic entry standard for the 5000m. She made her Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020. 

As a junior, Van Buskirk won the 800m title in 2004 and the 5000m title in 2005. She represented Canada twice at the U20 World Cross Country Championships in 2005 and 2006 and won gold at the 2006 NACAC Cross Country Championships.

Van Buskirk ran collegiately for Duke University. As a freshman with the Blue Devils she earned All-ACC honours with a third place finish at the ACC Championships. As a senior she won the 2011 ACC 1500m title and took bronze at the NCAA Championships. She placed second in the mile at both the 2011 ACC and NCAA Indoor Championships. She represented Canada at the 2011 Universiade, placing sixth in the 1500m.

A Little More About Kate

Outside Interests: Named as an Athlete Director of Athletics Canada in 2018… Hosts and produces the Shakeout Podcast… Ambassador for Fast and Female… Odds and Ends: Brampton Amateur Athlete of the Year in 2004… Sang alto for the Duke Chorale and Chamber Choir… A tattoo on her torso reminds Van Buskirk to “Be Relentlessly Positive.”

Olympic Highlights

Games Sport Event Finish
2020 TokyoAthletics5000m - Women27

Notable International Results

Olympic Games: 2020 - 27th (5000m)

Commonwealth Games: 2014 - BRONZE (1500m)

FISU Universiade: 2011 - 6th (1500m)

World Athletics Championships: 2013 - 18th (1500m)

World Athletics Championships (Indoor): 2018 - 10th (1500m)

NACAC Championships: 2018 - BRONZE (5000m)

Pan American Championships (junior): 2005 - 5th (800m)

World Cross Country Championships (U20): 2006 - 44th; 2005 - 57th

NACAC Cross Country Championships: 2006 - GOLD