Cam Levins breaks the Canadian half marathon record in 1:00:18 in the first half of Vancouver

Cam Levins, the Canadian men's marathon record holder, set the national mark in the men's marathon in 1:00:18 at Sunday's First Half Event in Vancouver.  (Patrick Smith/Pool Photo via Associated Press/File - photo credit)

Cam Levins, the Canadian men’s marathon record holder, set the national half marathon record of 1:00:18 at Sunday’s First Half Event in Vancouver. (Patrick Smith/Pool Photo via Associated Press/File – photo credit)

It’s a good bet that Japanese running fans will see another Cam Levins in three weeks time.

The Canadian marathon record holder won the men’s first half half marathon title in Vancouver on Sunday, breaking the 61-minute barrier in a national men’s mark of 1:00:18, less than three months after Ben Flanagan set the record, by beating Levins at the finish line in Spain.

In light rain on Sunday, Levins ran much of the 21.1-kilometer distance alone and won by four minutes ahead of Lee Wesselius, Thomas Broatch and 2022 Canadian marathon champion Trevor Hofbauer.

“The main goal was to perform well, which hopefully can give [coach Jim Finlayson and I] a solid idea of ​​what pace I can aim for [the March 5 Tokyo Marathon]’ Levins told CBC Sports on Monday. “I’ve been putting in some really great workouts, but sometimes it’s a bit difficult to know exactly where it’s taking me in a race.

“It feels like I’ve been training this way all the time [rainy and cool] Conditions over the past few months so I’ve had a lot of training for race day.”

“This is a seriously legitimate record on a course that has hills, open sea views and no rabbits [pacesetter] … WOW,” Trent Stellingwerff, who coaches Canadian runners Natasha Wodak and Gabriela DeBues-Stafford, posted on his Twitter account after Sunday’s race.

On August 8, 2021, Levins, 33, was one of the final finishers of the Olympic marathon in Sapporo, Japan, finishing 71st in two hours, 28 minutes and 43 seconds after beating the automatic qualifying standard of 2:11:30 reached had a week time.

He later told the Canadian press that not eating enough before races is a big part of the problem of not reaching the Olympic standard sooner.

“I really took a lot from the last Olympics and realized that I have to get better in every way,” Levins told reporters July 17 in Eugene, Oregon, where he broke his own marathon record of 2:07:09 and finished fourth place at the World Athletics Championships.

“I hope I have a long career ahead of me and that was just the tip of the iceberg.”

Ran 1:01:04 at Valencia

In his 2018 marathon debut, the Black Creek, BC native ran 2:09:25 at the Toronto Waterfront Event to beat the 43-year-old Canadian record set by Jerome Drayton by 44 seconds on a brisk October morning.

Levins continued his championship run at the Valencia Half Marathon last October 23, setting a time of 1:01:04, the second fastest in Canadian history.

He will compete in the Tokyo Marathon on March 5 with a goal of running under the auto standard of 2:08:10 at the Paris 2024 Olympics after Levins’ time last summer in Eugene secured his place at the world championships in this one summer in Budapest, Hungary. He was officially called up to the squad on February 7th.

Levins won a bronze medal in the 10,000 meter track at the 2014 Commonwealth Games before his career was interrupted the following season at the Canadian Athletics Championships in Edmonton.

After a 1,500 run, someone ran into his back, grabbed Levins’ leg, and forced him to the ground. Levins was later diagnosed with a peroneal tendon tear in his left foot, stress fractures in his navicular bone and talus, a bone spur, and bone chips that doctors had to shave and remove.

After “very serious doubts” about resuming his competitive career, Levins returned in 2016 in the 5K and 10K races before attempting his first-ever half marathon in December 2017, crossing the finish line in 1:05:07 at the Holiday Half Marathon Oregon.

Wodak fully recovered

Also on Sunday, Wodak took the women’s title, lowering her competition record from 1:11:32 to 1:10:17. It was also the fifth time the Vancouver resident finished under 1:11:00 and 38 seconds behind Andrea Seccafien’s Canadian record of 1:09:38 on February 2, 2020 in Marugame, Japan.

Last month, 41-year-old Wodak retired due to illness from the Houston half marathon, her fourth since contracting COVID-19 last September, when she set Malindi Elmore’s Canadian marathon record of 2:23:12 in Berlin.

Wodak won the women’s race at the 44th Harriers Pioneer 8K in North Saanich, BC for the ninth time in 10 appearances in early January.

The Surrey, BC native eclipsed two-time Canadian Olympian Gen Lalonde by a halfway point to win in 26:20, a national record in the Masters division (40 and over). Wodak is also the Canadian record holder in the women’s 8K (25:28).


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