Canadian distance running star

Breakout Season in 2021  

Leslie emerged as one of Canada's elite distance runners in the fall of 2021 when she had a string of top results, starting with a win at the Canadian 5K Championships in September and another win at the Canadian 10K Championships in Toronto in October and capped off her 2021 season by winning the Philadelphia Marathon with a new course record and personal best of 2:28:34.

Her goal heading into Philadelphia was to run under the 2:29:30 qualifying standard for the 2022 World Marathon Championships in Eugene, Oregon which she did, by almost a full minute.

2022 World Championships Success  

Leslie threw down one of the best-ever marathons for a Canadian at Worlds. A stubborn, never-give-up mentality propelled her to an impressive 13th-place finish in the women's marathon. At 35, the native of Markham, Ont., reached the finish line in two hours 28 minutes 52 seconds, 17 seconds shy of her personal best from the Philadelphia Marathon last Nov. 21.  

But her time in Eugene (2:28:52) was not far off the personal best she set in winning the 2021 Philadelphia Marathon (2:28:35).

Targeting Paris 2024

Canada will most likely qualify three women to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympic Marathon and Leslie will be in the mix to make that team but they all must run a qualifying time of 2:26:50 or better.

West Coast Running Community

Originally from Markham, Ontario, Sexton competed for Queens University in Kingston before moving to London, Ontario, where she lived and trained with her partner and coach, Steve Weiler, for nine years.  The duo decided to move to Vancouver in 2022 when Steve accepted a position at the University of British Columbia and Leslie took on a part time coaching position herself with the Vancouver Thunderbirds Club.  

These days she finds balance as a coach of university and elite athletes and enjoys the flexibility to also get in her own marathon training.


elite distance runner

Career Highlights



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Hometown : Markham, Ontario
Training Base:
vancouver, Bc

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social: @leslie.sexton




  • 13th Place - 2022 World Athletics Championships Marathon in Eugene, Oregon - 2:28:52
  • 2nd Place - 2022 Canadian 10k Road Championships (Ottawa Race Weekend) - 32:56
  • 1st Place - 2022 Canadian 10,000m Championships - 32:31.89
  • 1st Place - 2022 Vancouver Sun Run 10k - 32:37
  • 1st Place - 2021 Philadelphia Marathon - 2:28:35, course record
  • 1st Place - 2021 Canadian 10k Road Championships - 32:04
  • 1st Place - 2021 Canadian 5k Road Championships - 15:37 (held virtually)
  • 2nd Place - 2019 Philadelphia Half Marathon - 1:11:21
  • 8th Place - 2019 Prague Marathon - 2:31:51
  • 5th Place - 2017 Toronto Waterfront Marathon - 2:35:47 (1st in Canadian Marathon Championships)

Personal bests;

  • 10,000m: 32:31.89 // 2022 Pacific Distance Carnival (Canadian 10,000m Championships)

  • 10k: 32:04  // 2021 Toronto Waterfront/Canadian 10k Road Championships

  • Half marathon: 1:11:21 // 2019 Philadelphia Half Marathon

  • Marathon: 2:28:35 // 2021 Philadelphia Marathon