In his first-ever marathon, Cam Levins didn’t just break the Canadian record, he crushed it.
And the Vancouver Island runner did so in wintery conditions Oct. 21 at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, covering the 42.2-kilometre distance in two hours, nine minutes and 25 seconds. He shaved 44 seconds off Jerome Drayton’s record of 2:10:09, set in 1975 in Fukuoka, Japan.
“It was definitely a bit cold out there; it actually snowed on us at one point,” said Levins, 29, a former Olympian who finished fourth overall in Toronto. He won $6,000 for being the top Canadian finisher, and received a $43,000 bonus for breaking Drayton’s 43-year-old record, set way back in 1975.
“I knew it would be an experience I’d always remember no matter the result, and I’m excited to do more.”
A native of Black Creek north of Courtenay, and an alumnus of Southern Utah University, Levins lives in Portland, Ore., where he is able to train full-time thanks to a sponsorship by the Hoka One One shoe company.
At the 2012 London Olympics, he placed 11th in the 10,000 metres and 14th in the 5,000m. Levins won a bronze medal in the 10,000m at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. An injury kept him out of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The next summer Olympiad is just two years away in Tokyo, Japan.
“I think it’s reasonable to believe I can improve upon my debut marathon, but I need to be careful and stay healthy to expect anything,” Levins said. “Hoping to make the 2020 Olympics in whatever event I can. I spent a bit of time in Japan during 2015 and loved it. I’m certain they will be a great host country.”