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Articles tagged #Cam Levins
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What would Jerome Drayton’s marathon time be with today’s shoe technology?

At Japan’s Fukuoka Marathon in 1975, Canada’s Jerome Drayton smashed his Canadian record from 1969 to win the marathon in 2:10:09 – a record that stood for 43 years until Cam Levins broke it at the 2018 Toronto Waterfront Marathon (2:09:25). When Levins set the record, he ran in the Hoka Carbon Rocket X, a shoe with carbon-plated technology Drayton did not have 43 years prior. Both times are remarkable, but it brings into question what Drayton’s time would translate to today if he had had carbon-plated shoes. 

In the 70s, the Fukuoka Marathon had the reputation as the unofficial world championship, as organizers would invite the best marathoners from around the world to Fukuoka to compete. Drayton won the race three times in seven years, beating the likes of marathon greats American Frank Shorter and Japan’s Shigeru So (who held the world record from 1978 to 1980).

When Drayton set his record he wasn’t wearing the Adidas Adizero Pro or Nike Vaporfly. He had the Adidas SL76 on his feet, which was described as ‘the shoes for all seasons,’ built for pounding the roads in the marathon and jogging around the block. The shoe featured super-light technology, a ghillie loop lacing system and an EVA midsole – in short, a lightweight, flat running shoe. 

In a 2021 video from Brigham Young University student Easton Allred, he discussed the development of carbon-plated shoes with a professor of biomechanics, Dr. Iain Hunter, who studies how people can run faster by the way they move. The two discussed whether carbon-plated shoes affect athletic performance and how much time they could take off each kilometre.

Hunter found that the top carbon plated shoes can take off two to three seconds per kilometer.

If you take Drayton’s time of 2:10:09 and take two seconds off each kilometre, it correlates to approximately 84 seconds off his time (2:08:45). Again, this calculation is hypothetical, but that time would be a record and untouched by any Canadian runner to this day.

(01/06/2022) Views: 91 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Fukuoka Marathon

Fukuoka Marathon

The Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship is one of the longest running races in Japan, it is alsoan international men’s marathon race established in 1947. The course record is held by Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia, running 2:05:18 in 2009. Frank Shorter won first straight years from 1971 to 1974. Derek Clayton set the World Record here in 1967 running 2:09:37. ...

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Canadian Cam Levins is leaving Hoka

The Canadian marathon record holder announces on his Instagram that he is parting ways with the brand.

After spending three and a half years with Hoka, the Canadian marathon record holder Cam Levins announced on his Instagram that he has left the brand.

During his tenure, Levins broke two Canadian records, including Jerome Drayton’s Canadian record of 2:10:09 that stood since 1975. He ran 2:09:25 at the 2018 Toronto Waterfront Marathon to become the first Canadian to break 2:10. At the 2018 World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia, Spain, Levins broke the Canadian 20K record (59:09) on his way to a top 30 finish and a PB of 1:02:15.

The reason for Levins’s departure has not been announced, but his departure marks the third Canadian athlete to leave Hoka in the last six months. 3,000m steeplechaser Matt Hughes and aspiring marathoner Rory Linkletter both left the brand in 2021. 

Levins was selected to represent Canada in the marathon at the Tokyo Olympics after running 2:10:14 in the final few days of Olympic qualifying. He had a rough day at the office in Tokyo, finishing 72nd in humid conditions.

Before Levins joined Hoka in 2018, he was a part of Alberto Salazar’s Nike Oregon Project alongside Mo Farah and Galen Rupp. Levins currently lives and trains in Portland, Ore., and is coached remotely by Victoria, B.C. runner Jim Finlayson.

(01/05/2022) Views: 74 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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The former Nike Oregon Project changes team name to Union Athletic Club

One of the world’s best-known professional running clubs has found a new name after the Nike Oregon Project was abolished, coincident with the four-year ban of ex-head coach Alberto Salazar. The new name, Union Athletic Club, was announced on the Elevation Om YouTube page and confirmed by Chris Chavez on Twitter on Thursday.

After Salazar’s dismissal, the group remained intact through the past three years under coach Pete Julian.

Julian is currently the coach of many of the world’s top athletes, such as Suguru Osako, Shannon Rowbury, Raevyn Rogers, Jessica Hull, Donovan Brazier and Craig Engels.

He spent three years coaching at Washington State University before moving to the Oregon Project in 2012, where he was the assistant coach to Galen Rupp, Matt Centrowitz, Mo Farah and Canadian record holder Cam Levins.

The 2021 NCAA indoor 800m champion and Australian Olympian Charlie Hunter will be the newest member of the group.

Union Athletic Club is based out of Oregon and sponsored by Nike Running.

(12/18/2021) Views: 90 ⚡AMP
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CAS releases official report on Salazar ban

Reports on Wednesday announced the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) had upheld the four-year suspension imposed on former Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar and former team endocrinologist, Dr. Jeffrey Brown for doping violations, and less than 24 hours later the official CAS report has been released.

In its report, the CAS ruled that Salazar had committed three anti-doping rule violations, including possession of testosterone, complicity in Brown’s administration of a prohibited method and tampering with the doping control process with respect to the issue of L-carnitine infusions/syringes. Similarly, Brown was charged with four violations, including complicity in Salazar’s possession of testosterone, trafficking of testosterone to Salazar, administration of a prohibited method and tampering with the doping control process.

The investigation into Salazar and the NOP began in 2015 when a BBC Panorama documentary entitled “Catch Me If You Can” alleged the coach used prescription drugs and therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) to push the boundaries of performance.

The film interviewed former NOP athlete Kara Goucher and former coach Steve Magness, who described the experiments Salazar performed to determine exactly how much testosterone cream could be applied to an athlete’s skin without triggering a positive test. An experiment was also done to test a rapid-acting (and illegal, under WADA rules) infusion of a supplement known to boost the body’s L-carnitine levels, which in turn helps the body convert fat to energy.

In 2017, a leaked  U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) report from 2016 indicated that Salazar had been giving his athletes, including Sir Mo Farah, the amino acid L-carnitine, via an IV drip. L-carnitine is not a banned substance, but infusions of more than 50 mL in the span of six hours are prohibited, and reports claimed the coach “almost certainly” broke those rules.

Throughout the process, Salazar has continued to deny the allegations, and none of his former athletes, including Farah, Galen Rupp, Sifan Hassan, Matthew Centrowitz and Canada’s Cam Levins have ever tested positive for illegal substances, which the CAS notes in its report.

It also acknowledged that the way in which USADA’s  investigation was conducted was “out of proportion and excessive when compared to the severity and consequences of the ADRVs [anti-doping rule violations] that have been established,” yet it still upheld the bans: “the Panel was satisfied that the rules have been properly applied, and that, on the basis of the ADRV’s found by the CAS Panel, the sanctions have been determined in accordance with the relevant version of the WADC.”

(09/17/2021) Views: 178 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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30 runners DNF in Sapporo heat

It wasn’t as fast as we’ve come to expect, but from 30K in, there was never any doubt that Eliud Kipchoge was on his way to a repeat performance of his 2016 Olympic marathon win. He stepped on the gas and immediately started to put distance between himself and the rest of the small lead pack, crossing the finish line in 2:08:38, a minute and 20 seconds ahead of the next finisher. The race for silver and bronze was won by lesser known runners, Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands (silver, in a season’s best 2:09:58) and Bashir Abdi of Belgium, who crossed the line for the bronze medal two seconds later, in 2:10:00 (also a season’s best time).

With this win, Kipchoge joins the greats who have won back-to-back marathons at an Olympic Games. He is the third runner to do so – and in 2024, he will have the chance to become the only athlete ever to three-peat in the marathon.

Nageeye is one of Kipchoge’s training partners on the NN Running Team. This was his best marathon performance, in terms of finishing position; he has two top-10 finishes at the Boston Marathon (seventh in 2018 and eighth in 2016). The same is true for Abdi, who is a training partner of Mo Farah’s and paced Farah to his one-hour world record on the track in 2020. His best finish before today was seventh at the 2019 London Marathon.

Despite the heat, Canadians Ben Preisner, Trevor Hofbauer and Cam Levins had excellent races, Preisner in particular, who finished in 46th position, in 2:19:27), followed closely by Hofbauer in 48th (2:19:57). Preisner was in 73rd position at 5K and made steady progress as he made his way up throughout the race. Levins was in good shape through the first half, but was not able to maintain the pace, dropping to 72nd in 2:28:43 – a very respectable result, considering the high attrition rate.

Heat and humidity result in multiple DNFs

It was another hot, muggy morning in Sapporo for the final event of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The lead pack consisting of Kipchoge, defending bronze medallist from 2016 and U.S. Trials winner Galen Rupp and 2019 world champion Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, among others, set off at 7 a.m., settling into a comfortable pace of just over three minutes per kilometre. Jeison Alexander Suarez of Colombia maintained a position at or near the front for more than half of the race as athletes stuffed their hats with ice to keep their bodies as cool as possible.

Around halfway, Kipchoge was seen exchanging fist bumps with Daniel Do Nascimento of Brazil, but a short time later, Do Nascimento collapsed, then rallied, then dropped out. By halfway, 10 men had already left the course, including 2012 Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich, 2020 London Marathon winner Shura Kitata and Jack Rayner of Australia, who was one of Kipchoge’s pacers at INEOS 1:59. Sisay Lemma (third at Berlin and Tokyo marathons, with a PB of 2:03) appeared to be struggling soon thereafter. Galen Rupp led the pack briefly, but for the most part appeared willing to let others do the work at the front; he ended up finishing eighth. By 27K, the lead pack had dwindled to about 10, with Kipchoge, Rupp and Suarez leading; Japanese record holder Suguru Osaka was still in the lead pack, as was Desisa.

At 30K, Rupp dropped further and further off the pace. Amos Kipruto also dropped back (eventually joining the long list of DNFs), and the chase pack dwindled to 2019 Boston Marathon winner Lawrence Cherono, Ayad Lamdassem of Spain, Nageeye and Abdi. Osaka tried to come back to them, as Kipchoge stormed toward the finish line with a bounce in his step. Cherono ultimately finished fourth, Lamdassem fifth and Osako sixth.

Top 10 finishers

Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya)

Abdi Nageeye (Netherlands)

Bashir Abdi (Belgium)

Lawrence Cherono (Kenya)

Ayad Lamdassem (Spain)

Suguru Osako (Japan)

Alphonce Felix Simbu (Tanzania)

Galen Rupp (USA)

Othmane El Goumri (Morocco)

Koen Naert (Belgium)

(08/08/2021) Views: 183 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Canadian record-holders Levins, Elmore headline Canada's marathon team for Tokyo

Seventeen years after she last raced at the Olympics, distance runner Malindi Elmore has earned a spot on Canada's team for Tokyo, while Cam Levins will race at the Games after dipping under the qualifying mark with just a week to spare.

The two Canadian record-holders in the marathon highlighted Athletics Canada's team of long-distance runners and race walkers nominated on Friday.

Nine Canadian marathoners had achieved the qualifying criteria in the marathon, but each country is allowed only three men and three women, leading to speculation about the squad in recent weeks, and posing a good problem for Athletics Canada with the depth of talent.

"Over the past few years, Canadian middle- and long-distance runners have accomplished great things on the track and on the road," Athletics Canada's head coach Glenroy Gilbert said in a statement. "In Tokyo, we'll see a new generation of marathoners who have broken Canadian records, established impressive personal bests on-demand in less-than-ideal conditions and made a name for themselves in the gruelling 42.195-kilometre event.

"We are excited to see what this group can do in Sapporo against the greatest athletes in the world, as they deserve to be there."

World bronze medallist Evan Dunfee tops the race-walk team, while Mohammed Ahmed and Andrea Secdafien earned spots in the 10,000 metres.

The rest of Canada's track and field team will be announced at a later date.

Dunfee had already clinched his spot on the team based on his bronze at the 2019 world championships, while Dayna Pidhoresky and Trevor Hofbauer had previously earned automatic berths after winning the women's and men's Canadian marathon titles.

Elmore is a terrific comeback story. The Kelowna, B.C., native ran the 1,500 at the 2004 Athens Olympics missing the semifinals by one spot, then retired from track in 2012 and became a world-class Ironman triathlete. Moving down to the marathon in 2019 — as a mom of two, she said it requires less training time than the Ironman — she broke the Canadian marathon record in January 2020.

Natasha Wodak, who's raced at three world championships in the 10,000 metres, is the third Canadian woman on the marathon team.

Levins, a finalist in the 5,000 and 10,000 at the 2012 London Olympics, shattered the Canadian record in his marathon debut in 2018. He fell short on two attempts over the past year to qualify for Tokyo, but the 32-year-old from Black Creek, B.C., finally dipped under the mark on May 23 — a week before the qualifying window closed — in Styria, Austria, despite running in rain and alone for the last 25 kilometres of the race. 

Ben Preisner is the third men's marathoner nominated to the team.

"I am so pumped about this group of athletes," said Canada's chef de mission Marnie McBean. "They chose the 'suffer' events and make them look easy. Many of their recent results have been a beacon of light for the whole of Team Canada."

Mathieu Bilodeau joins Dunfee in the 50-kilometre race walk based on his world ranking. 

The marathons and race walk events will be held in Sapporo due to Tokyo's heat, and because of COVID-19, athletes will be restricted to staying in Sapporo.  

"Woohoo! Stellar Sapporo crew locked in," tweeted Dunfee, who was fourth at the 2016 Rio Olympics. "We'll be the only Team Canada teammates we see at the Olympics, sequestered 800km away, so I'm stoked that these people are all so lovely."

Mohammed Ahmed and Andrea Seccafien were nominated in the men's and women's 10,000. Ahmed owns the Canadian records in the 5,000 and 10,000 and won bronze in the 5,000 at the 2019 world championships. Seccafien broke the Canadian record in the 10,000 just three weeks ago. 

The window to qualify in the 10,000 remains open for another month, so Canada could add runners in that distance based on either their world ranking or by achieving an automatic entry standard.

(06/05/2021) Views: 290 ⚡AMP
by Canadian Press
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Canadian Cam Levins dips under Tokyo marathon standard with a week to spare

Canada's Cam Levins raced Sunday knowing it was his last shot. Two previous failed attempts lingered in the back of his mind. He ran in the rain, and all alone for the last 25 kilometers, conditions not conducive to fast times.

"(But) nothing was going to stop me today is what I told myself," Levins said.

The 32-year-old from Black Creek, B.C., finally dipped under the Tokyo Olympic standard in the marathon with just a week to spare. Levins, the Canadian record-holder in the event, ran two hours 10 minutes 30 seconds to win the S7 Marathon in the mountains in Styria, Austria.

The qualifying standard of 2:11.30 had to be accomplished before June 1.

Levins had been well on pace twice in the past seven months, in London in October, and then in Chandler, Ariz., in December. But both times, he hit the proverbial wall with a few kilometers to go. He dropped out in London and finished almost a minute off the standard in Arizona.

"In both (races) I was feeling fine until I very, very suddenly wasn't, could barely move," he said.

He was feeling "great" again on Sunday, "but I certainly thought about (the previous two attempts) as I was coming up to 34, 35K," Levins said. "I went past it and continued to feel great, and it was a pretty emotional moment getting through that and knowing that I was going to be OK."

Levins said a big part of the problem in his previous two attempts was his fuelling - not eating enough in the few days pre-race.

"I was a little concerned about putting on excess weight when I'm not training as much leading into the marathon, so the week before the race, I was careful about what my intake was," he said. "(This week), I just kind of threw that out the window, and said, 'You know what? I'm not going to worry about that.'"

He tested out his theory in a fast half-marathon time trial last month.

Sunday's conditions on an empty Austrian highway - it's currently under construction - made his performance all the more impressive.

t rained most of the way. At the 25-kilometer mark the rain was coming down in sheets.

And neither of his two pace-setters were keeping proper pace. One dropped out just five kilometers in. The other stepped off the course when Levins passed him with more than 25 kilometers left to go.

"I had to go past 17 or 18 but he was already off pace and I needed to go. So a lot of that race was by myself," Levins said. "So, I think I have lots left in the tank."

The time doesn't guarantee Levins a spot on the Tokyo Olympic team, as four Canadians have qualified and Canada can only take three.

Trevor Hofbauer is the only Canadian guaranteed a spot after winning the Canadian championship. Ben Preisner (2:10.17) and Tristan Woodfine (2:10.51) have also run the Olympic standard.

"I hope I'm selected," he told The Canadian Press from Austria. "But I definitely feel like I've done everything that I can today, and I'm proud of my effort no matter what. Hopefully this gets me on the Olympic team. I definitely did everything I could. And I'm very happy and proud of that."

(05/24/2021) Views: 291 ⚡AMP
by Canadian Press
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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New Salazar documentary questions reasons for his 2019 suspension

Nike’s Big Bet, the new documentary about former Nike Oregon Project head coach Alberto Salazar by Canadian filmmaker Paul Kemp, seeks to shed light on the practices that resulted in Salazar’s shocking ban from coaching in the middle of the 2019 IAAF World Championships. Many athletes, scientists and journalists appear in the film, including Canadian Running columnist Alex Hutchinson and writer Malcolm Gladwell, distance running’s most famous superfan.

Most of them defend Salazar as someone who used extreme technology like underwater treadmills, altitude houses and cryotherapy to get the best possible results from his athletes, and who may inadvertently have crossed the line occasionally, but who should not be regarded as a cheater. (Neither Salazar nor any Nike spokesperson participated in the film. Salazar’s case is currently under appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.)

Salazar became synonymous with Nike’s reputation for an uncompromising commitment to winning. He won three consecutive New York City Marathons in the early 1980s, as well as the 1982 Boston Marathon, and set several American records on the track during his running career.

He famously pushed his body to extremes, even avoiding drinking water during marathons to avoid gaining any extra weight, and was administered last rites after collapsing at the finish line of the 1987 Falmouth Road Race.

Salazar was hired to head the Nike Oregon Project in 2001, the goal of the NOP being to reinstate American athletes as the best in the world after the influx of Kenyans and Ethiopians who dominated international distance running in the 1990s. It took a few years, but eventually Salazar became the most powerful coach in running, with an athlete list that included some of the world’s most successful runners: Mo Farah, Galen Rupp, Matt Centrowitz, Dathan Ritzenhein, Kara Goucher, Jordan Hasay, Cam Levins, Shannon Rowbury, Mary Cain, Donovan Brazier, Sifan Hassan and Konstanze Klosterhalfen.

Goucher left the NOP in 2011, disillusioned by what she saw as unethical practices involving unnecessary prescriptions and experimentation on athletes, and went to USADA in 2012. An investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency followed on the heels of a damning BBC Panorama special in 2015, and picked up steam in 2017.

When Salazar’s suspension was announced during the World Championships in 2019, he had been found guilty of multiple illegal doping practices, including injecting athletes with more than the legal limit of L-carnitine (a naturally-occurring amino acid believed to enhance performance) and trafficking in testosterone – but none of his athletes were implicated. (Salazar admitted to experimenting with testosterone cream to find out how much would trigger a positive test, but claimed he was trying to avoid sabotage by competitors.)

That Salazar pushed his athletes as hard in training as he had once pushed himself is not disputed; neither is the fact that no Salazar athlete has ever failed a drug test. Gladwell, in particular, insists that Salazar’s methods are not those of someone who is trying to take shortcuts to victory – that people who use performance-enhancing drugs are looking for ways to avoid extremes in training.

That assertion doesn’t necessarily hold water when you consider that drugs like EPO (which, it should be noted, Salazar was never suspected of using with his athletes) allow for faster recovery, which lets athletes train harder – or that the most famous cheater of all, Lance Armstrong, trained as hard as anyone. (Armstrong, too, avoided testing positive for many years, and also continued to enjoy Nike’s support after his fall from grace.)

Goucher, Ritzenhein, Levins and original NOP member Ben Andrews are the only former Salazar athletes who appear on camera, and Goucher’s is the only female voice in the entire film. It was her testimony, along with that of former Nike athlete and NOP coach Steve Magness, that led to the lengthy USADA investigation and ban.

Among other things, she claims she was pressured to take a thyroid medication she didn’t need, to help her lose weight. (The film reports that these medications were prescribed by team doctor Jeffrey Brown, but barely mentions that Brown, too, was implicated in the investigation and received the same four-year suspension as Salazar.) Ritzenhein initially declines to comment on the L-carnitine infusions, considering Salazar’s appeal is ongoing, but then states he thinks the sanctions are appropriate. Farah, as we know, vehemently denied ever having used it, then reversed himself.

It’s unfortunate that neither Cain, who had once been the U.S.’s most promising young athlete, nor Magness appear on camera. A few weeks after the suspension, Cain, who had left the NOP under mysterious circumstances in 2015, opened up about her experience with Salazar, whom she said had publicly shamed her for being too heavy, and dismissed her concerns when she told him she was depressed and harming herself. Cain’s experience is acknowledged in the film, and there’s some criticism of Salazar’s approach, but Gladwell chalks it up to a poor fit, rather than holding him accountable.

Cain’s story was part of an ongoing reckoning with the kind of borderline-abusive practices that were once common in elite sport, but that are now recognized as harmful, and from which athletes should be protected.

Gladwell asserts that coaches like Salazar have always pushed the boundaries of what’s considered acceptable or legal in the quest to be the best, and that the alternative is, essentially, to abandon elite sport. It’s an unfortunate conclusion, and one that will no doubt be challenged by many advocates of clean sport.

(05/02/2021) Views: 288 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Canada´s Cam Levins runs unofficial Canadian record with 1:01:04 half-marathon time trial

The result won't count, but Levins's new lifetime best is 24 seconds faster than the national record.

Levins smashed the Canadian half-marathon record on Sunday, running an incredible 1:01:04 time trial near Portland, Ore. Since he didn’t run it in a certified event or on a real course, his time won’t count as an official record, but he still deserves a lot of credit for posting such an amazing time. Levins’s new unofficial PB is 24 seconds faster than the Canadian half-marathon record of 1:01:28, a time that Jeff Schiebler ran in 1999, and it adds to his official national marathon record of 2:09:25. 

Levins seems to be as surprised as everyone else is by his new lifetime best, which he recorded on Strava. He posted on Instagram after his run, writing, “Accidentally ran an (unofficial) Canadian record in the half marathon this morning. 61:04 per Strava. Didn’t expect that, but pleasantly surprised.” Levins of course meant to go out quickly in the time trial, but it’s unlikely he thought he would come anywhere close to Schiebler’s 22-year-old record. 

His official half-marathon PB is more than a minute slower than the time he ran on Sunday, sitting at 1:02:14. Levins ran this time at the Houston Half-Marathon in 2020, and it’s the fourth-best half-marathon ever run by a Canadian. He also owned an unofficial PB of 1:02:12, a result that he posted in a time trial last August. He managed to shatter both of those times on Sunday with his new unofficial best, which works out to a blistering average pace of 2:54 per kilometer.

Back on Instagram, he wrote that he hopes to “get the chance to set [the record] in stone in the future” at a certified race. Regardless of the record books and his official or unofficial PBs, this run is a great chance for Levins to bounce back after a couple of disappointing results in the past year.

He kicked 2020 off with a great run in Houston, but he fell short of Olympic standard in his next two races (both of which were marathons). Sunday’s result is proof that he’s in the best shape of his life, though, and he might be able to use its momentum to carry him toward another big (and official) result in the coming months. 

(04/26/2021) Views: 332 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Pacer Great Britain's Jake Smith makes mid-race decision to run full marathon and wins in 2:11:00

British road runner Jake Smith ran an impressive debut marathon on Sunday, taking the win at the Cheshire Elite Marathon in Wales in 2:11:00. His win was a big surprise, not because he was an underdog in the race, but because he wasn’t supposed to finish the marathon at all. Smith started the race as a pacer, but after his planned exit point, he decided to keep running on a whim, and he carried on to the finish line far ahead of second place and well under the Olympic standard of 2:11:30.

Smith is one of the fastest British half-marathoners ever, and his PB of 1:00:31 (which he ran at the 2020 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships, where he finished in 18th) is third-best in national history, behind only Callum Hawkins (1:00:00) and British legend Mo Farah (59:32). His success over 21.1K made him a perfect pacing candidate to help marathoners through the first half of their races, and he did so on several occasions before Sunday.

In October, just two weeks before he ran at the World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland, Smith paced a group of elite men (including Canadian Cam Levins) at the London Marathon. As Smith wrote on Instagram after that race, he led that pack through 21.1K in 1:03:45, and instead of stopping, he kept going for another mile or so before his coach told him he had to get off the course. “The marathon life is not for me just yet,” Smith wrote.

Next up was the British Olympic Marathon Trials, once again in London, in March. Back on Instagram, Smith wrote before the race that he planned to run 25K, leading the front pack through halfway in around 1:05:00. Again, he went farther than originally planned, sticking in the race until 29K, writing that he was “tempted at one stage to keep going.” He fought this impulse, though, and pulled out well ahead of the finish, again noting that he wasn’t ready to run a full marathon, saying, “[I] think I’ll pass on the distance for a few more years.”

It turns out that waiting period was actually only a few weeks, and on Sunday, just a month after his run in the British Olympic Marathon Trials, Smith was back on pacing duties, but this time he let the urge to keep running win. He entered the event expecting to pace elite men in both the half and full marathons, but at around 27K into the run, he decided to finish the race. “Looked down at the watch at like mile 17 and thought ‘sod it,’ let’s try to run the Olympic time,” Smith wrote on Instagram.

He had carried the leaders close to two thirds of the way at that point, and with his role as a pacer fulfilled, he shifted focus to his own goal — one that he hadn’t known he wanted to hit until that moment mid-race. He ran away from the rest of the field and closed impressively (despite never having run that fast for that long before), crossing the line in 2:11:00, 38 seconds in front of the second-place runner. Smith’s run now places him at 30th all-time among British runners, and he didn’t even train specifically for the event.

To add to his achievement, Smith’s debut marathon win came just four days after he won a 1,500m, also in Wales, in 3:50.89. After his run on Sunday, he wrote on Instagram that he plans to focus on the shorter event this season, and based on both times, he’s certainly capable of thriving at either distance.

(04/26/2021) Views: 237 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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With fewer than 100 days until the Olympics, Canadian athletes are running out of time to qualify for Tokyo.

The end of the qualification period is even closer, and Olympic hopefuls in the marathon only have until May 31 to book their tickets to the Games, which begin just under two months later on July 23. With only two spots officially taken on the Canadian Olympic marathon team, four remain up for grabs, but with racing opportunities becoming more and more scarce, it looks like the team headed to Tokyo could be set. Here’s how the Canadian squad looks right now, plus other athletes on the outside looking in. 

Trevor Hofbauer and Dayna Pidhoresky are the only two Canadian marathoners who have been able to breathe easily in the past 18 months, after they both won at the Canadian Olympic Marathon Trials in Toronto in October 2019. Hofbauer won the men’s race in the second-fastest time in Canadian history, posting a massive PB of 2:09:51. His run, which was well under the Olympic standard of 2:11:30, locked him in as the first member of the Canadian team headed to Tokyo. 

Not long after Hofbauer crossed the finish line, Pidhoresky won her spot alongside him on the Canadian team. Like Hofbauer, she also ran a huge PB, crossing the line ahead of the Olympic standard of 2:29:30 and breaking the tape in 2:29:03. While some athletes have put themselves in great positions to be named to the Olympic team, Pidhoresky and Hofbauer are the only two who know with 100 per cent certainty that they will be in Tokyo this summer. 

Hit standard 

Rachel Cliff was the first Canadian to hit standard in the qualifying period after she broke the Canadian marathon record with a 2:26:56 run in Japan in March 2019. This was more than a minute quicker than the previous national record of 2:28:00 (set by Lanni Marchant in 2013), and at the time, it looked like it was more than enough to guarantee Cliff’s spot on the Canadian Olympic team.

Then Malindi Elmore shattered the national best once more, lowering it to a remarkable time of 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon in January 2020. This was an amazing and unexpected result from Elmore, and it immediately shot her to the top of the list of eligible runners to send to Tokyo. Even so, Cliff’s 2:26:56 result still looked like it would get her to the Games, but then Natasha Wodak ran an incredible 2:26:19 at The Marathon Project in Arizona in December. The run was Wodak’s first crack at the marathon since her debut in 2013, and it suddenly put her in the third and final position for the Canadian Olympic marathon team. 

On the men’s side, matters are much simpler, as only two runners (other than Hofbauer) have hit Olympic standard. Tristan Woodfine was the first to do so, running a PB of 2:10:51 at the elite-only London Marathon in October. A couple of months later, Ben Preisner ran his official marathon debut at The Marathon Project, where he recorded a 2:10:17 finish, which is the fourth-fastest time in Canadian history. Unless someone else runs Olympic standard in the next month, Woodfine and Preisner will join Hofbauer in Tokyo. 

Outside looking in

Despite running one of the best marathons in Canadian history, Cliff is now the third-best option to fill one of the spots for the Summer Games. Also in the conversation is Lyndsay Tessier, who qualified for the Games with her top-10 finish at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar. In a brutally hot race held in the middle of the night in Doha, Tessier battled for 42K, sticking at the back of the pack for most of the run. While many of her competitors that night dropped out due to the heat, Tessier stuck with it, eventually passing much of the field and climbing to ninth place. 

Like Cliff, though, Tessier’s result will be measured against those of Elmore and Wodak. Of course, it’s up to Athletics Canada to pick the team, but based on their individual times, it looks like Elmore and Wodak will be the two women who will join Pidhoresky on the start line in Tokyo. 

In the men’s race to Tokyo, the next runners on the list are Cam Levins and Rory Linkletter. Levins is the Canadian marathon record holder, but he ran his PB of 2:09:25 in 2018, several months before the Olympic qualification window opened. Since then, he has missed Olympic standard on three occasions, running 2:15:01 at the Canadian Olympic Trials, registering a DNF at the 2020 London Marathon and posting a 2:12:15 finish at The Marathon Project. Linkletter has only run two marathons, with his second coming at The Marathon Project as well. There, he ran close to a four-minute PB, but he wasn’t fast enough to hit standard, crossing the line in 2:12:54. 

Time is running out for any athletes hoping to nab a spot on the Canadian marathon team headed to Tokyo, and anyone who’s on the outside looking in better take a chance soon, although at this point, finding an official race could be the most difficult part of the entire process. 

(04/23/2021) Views: 346 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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5 reasons why The Marathon Project will be the race of the year

With just over 100 of the top athletes in North America (and several athletes representing other nations) prepared to race on Sunday on a flat and fast course in Chandler, Ariz., The Marathon Project has the potential to be the best race of 2020. Records could be broken, Canadians could hit Olympic standard and drama could unfold, all of which makes the event mandatory viewing for all fans of the sport. There are many reasons why The Marathon Project could be a top event, but here are just a few if you needed any more convincing.

It’s one of the only races of the year

The Marathon Project could be one of the best races of the year because, well, it’s one of the only races of the year. So far this year, the biggest races we’ve seen have been the U.S. Marathon Trials in February, the Tokyo Marathon in March, the London Marathon in October and the Valencia Marathon in December. Based on its stacked lineup, The Marathon Project will likely join this list as one of the top events of 2020, and if the contenders are firing on all cylinders on Sunday, it could beat out those other events as the top race of this strange year.

Canadians are racing

Six Canadians are set to race in Arizona on Sunday, and we can’t wait to see any of them run. On the men’s side, Cam Levins will look to better his Canadian marathon record of 2:09:25, and he’ll be joined by Rory Linkletter, who has a marathon PB of 2:16:42, and Ben Preisner and Justin Kent, who will be running their debut marathons. (Preisner ran a solo marathon earlier this year, but this will be his first official race over 42.2K.) While Levins is the only one to have ever run under the Olympic qualifying standard of 2:11:30 (although he has yet to do it in the current qualifying window for Tokyo 2021), they’re all certainly capable of hitting this time, and it will be exciting to see how they fare on Sunday.

Natasha Wodak and Kinsey Middleton will represent Canada in the women’s race, and like the runners on the men’s team, they’re both threats to beat the Olympic standard, which is 2:29:30 for women. Wodak has run one marathon before, but that was all the way back in 2013. She ran a 2:35:16 back then, and now, seven years later, she’ll be looking to take a significant chunk off that result. Middleton won the Canadian Marathon Championships in 2018, when she ran her PB of 2:32:09. Two years removed from that result, she’s likely hungry to run even quicker in Arizona.

Records could fall

Sara Hall is the top-seeded runner in the women’s field, and she’s coming off a spectacular PB at the London Marathon, where she ran 2:22:01. If she has a good run, she could be in the hunt for the American record of 2:19:36, which belongs to Deena Kastor. On the men’s side, Levins could challenge his own Canadian record, which he set at the 2018 STWM.

It’s a chance to race

Not being able to race in 2020 has been hard on all runners, but for these elites, this is how they pay their bills. Racing brings prize money and sponsorships, and with so few chances to race this year, it has been extremely tough on these athletes. The Marathon Project is giving runners the opportunity to earn some cash, which is a great gift in time for the winter holidays.

Olympic spots are up for grabs

The Olympic qualifying window was closed for runners throughout the summer, and even if it had been open, there were next to no chances for athletes to run standard at official races. The American Olympic marathon team was decided at the trials in February, but for athletes from other countries, this presents an opportunity to potentially book their tickets to Tokyo next summer. With so much at stake, there will definitely be some thrilling racing on Sunday.

(12/19/2020) Views: 237 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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The Marathon Project is an elite only marathon being held Sunday Dec 20 in Chandler Arizona

When COVID-19 postponed or canceled all of the year’s major marathons in the U.S., two running industry insiders—Ben Rosario, the coach of NAZ Elite in Flagstaff, and Josh Cox, an agent to many marathoners, including several on the NAZ team—brainstormed a way for some of the country’s fastest athletes to race.

The result is The Marathon Project, an elite-only 26.2 that takes place at 10 a.m. ET on Sunday, December 20, on the Gila River Indian Reservation in Chandler, Arizona.

The course is on a flat, two-mile stretch of road with roundabouts at each end. Runners go up one side of the road and back down the other for a 4.2-mile loop that they’ll do parts of six times. The course is built for fast times, not for variety.

The race will be broadcast live on USATF.tv, and a 90-minute replay of the race will be available on NBCSN at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sunday evening. The broadcast will include veteran commentator Paul Swangard as well as Des Linden and Bernard Lagat, two experienced marathoners who should bring some insightful analysis.

Who is racing?

The race brings together 53 men and 44 women, plus 14 male pacers. Several were top-10 finishers at the Olympic Marathon Trials in February, the last chance these runners had a chance to race a major marathon on U.S. soil.

The top women include Sara Hall, who finished second in 2:22:01 at the London Marathon in October, and Keira D’Amato, who recently set a women’s-only 10-mile American record.

Stephanie Bruce, Emma Bates, Kellyn Taylor, and Julia Kohnen (who were sixth, seventh, eighth, and 10th, respectively at the Trials) also figure to be in the mix.

On the men’s side, Americans Scott Fauble and 2016 Olympian Jared Ward are among the top contenders. Four top-10 finishers from the Trials—Marty Hehir (sixth), CJ Albertson (seventh), Colin Bennie (ninth), and Matt McDonald (10th)—will also line up.

The men’s race also brings several international entrants. Amanuel Mesel Tikue of Eritrea boasts a PR of 2:08:17, although it dates back to 2013. Jose Antonio Uribe Marino of Mexico hopes to hit the Olympic standard of 2:11:30 to qualify for the Games, and Cam Levins of Canada also is looking for a strong performance to put him on the Canadian Olympic team.

Will Sara Hall set the American record?

Hall, 37, has been on a tear lately. After dropping out of the Trials at mile 22, she redeemed herself with a PR in a solo half marathon in Oregon and that runner-up finish in London, which she earned by way of a furious finishing kick in the race’s final meters.

The American record for the marathon, Deena Kastor’s 2:19:36, has stood since 2006. Hall has asked for a pacer to take her through the halfway point in 69:40, faster than Kastor’s record.

But in a prerace press conference, Hall was reluctant to call it a record attempt. “I want to go into this race with the mindset of trying to run as fast as possible,” she said on the Zoom call. “I can be all or nothing, and I don’t want to be in a scenario where I’m running really well and if I’m just off the American record pace, it feels like I’m failing. I think that would still be a big success, a big PR. That’s my main focus, just running as fast as I can.”

Hall added that she has done a lot of training faster than record pace. “I think [the record is] definitely possible based on my training,” she said.

In addition to Hall’s requested pace for a 2:19:20 marathon, the women’s race will have three other pace groups: 2:23, 2:26, and 2:29:30, which is the Olympic qualifying standard. The men will have two pace groups: 2:09 and 2:11:30.

What’s in it for the runners?

Rosario announced a modest prize purse: $5,000 for each winner, $2,000 for second, and $1,000 for third.

Otherwise, athletes are racing for sponsor bonuses—shoe companies often pay their athletes extra money for breaking certain times, although the terms of these deals aren’t publicly known.

Then, of course, there’s the joy of racing, when events have been hard to come by for the past 10 months.

“Every opportunity we have to be on a starting line is a gift in 2020,” Bruce said.

What safety measures are in place?

The race is following safety guidelines set out by USA Track and Field, World Athletics, and the state of Arizona. Participants must take two COVID-19 tests, separated by 24 hours, within the seven days before the race—which, of course, must both be negative. Most participants are staying in a race hotel near the course, creating a bubble environment of sorts.

But runners are traveling from all over to get to the race. Hehir, who is finishing up his final year of medical school, is traveling to the race from Philadelphia, where he has spent the past two weeks working in an ICU filled with COVID-19 patients.

“It’s just as scary as it’s hyped up to be,” Hehir said of Covid. “Yes, not everyone ends up in the ICU, but when you end up there, you are incredibly sick. It’s definitely a bleak place to be.”

He said he gave some “extra thought” into committing to the race, but he praised the precautions the race had put in place. “These opportunities are far and few between,” he said, “and as long as we feel like it’s being done in a safe way, a lot of us are going to jump on it.”

(12/17/2020) Views: 288 ⚡AMP
by Sarah Lorge Butler (Runner's World)
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CJ Albertson Just Ran a 2:09 Marathon on the Treadmill. He Doesn’t Care What You Think About It.

Albertson, 27, has been doing a lot of cool things recently. His highlights from the last month:

On November 1, he ran 50.4 kilometers on his treadmill in 2:42:00. The treadmill world record for 50k (and fastest time anyone had covered 50 kilometers, period) was 2:42:56.

On November 8, he ran a 50,000-meter world best of 2:42:30 by running 125 laps around his old track at Buchanan High School in Clovis, Calif.

On November 15, he ran 37 miles on his treadmill at 5:56 mile pace — the longest run of his life.

His most recent effort was his most impressive yet: on Sunday, he ran an approximate 2:09:58 marathon on his treadmill, and felt so good, he added on an extra mile even faster.

Though Albertson knew what the treadmill world record was (2:17:56 by Tyler Andrews in June), he didn’t go into his run thinking of it as a world record attempt. He just wanted to see if he could run a 2:10 marathon on a treadmill.

So he went into his guest bedroom, opened the French doors, and set up a fan to get some air flowing from outside. He laid out his fuel: seven gels, one bottle of water, and one bottle of carbs and electrolytes. He cued up the Panic! At the Disco station on Amazon Music. Finally, he wheeled in his television and prepared to binge Community. He didn’t mind that his music would mostly drown out the dialogue.

“I’ve seen all the episodes like, five times,” Albertson says. “It’s just something that clears my mind.”

And then he set his Peloton treadmill to 12.1 miles per hour (2:10:00 marathon pace) and he ran. And ran and ran and ran.

Six miles in, he began to hurt.

“I’m like, okay, I’m probably not going to go a marathon,” Albertson says.

But he muscled through the rough patch, and as he neared the end, he was feeling good. So good, in fact, that he didn’t want to stop. So after passing 26.2 miles, Albertson cranked the treadmill up to its max speed of 12.5 miles per hour (4:48 pace) and ran one final mile before stepping off with a final time of 2:14:46 for 27.22 miles.

Albertson says that before Sunday, he’d never experienced the “runner’s high.” But after his 27.22-mile effort, it hit him.

“I was walking around the house pumped up, kind of like a fighter when you see them just hopping around, randomly yelling,” Albertson says.

That feeling, and the fact that he accomplished his goal of running an entire marathon at 2:10 pace, is enough for Albertson. He won’t be submitting the effort as an official world record; he didn’t record the run or calibrate the treadmill prior to the attempt. And though he set the grade to 1.5% to account for the lack of wind resistance (“I read something that said that’s about accurate for that pace”), he isn’t going to waste time trying to figure out what the performance was worth. (Albertson thinks he came through 26.22 miles in just under 2:10 — he set the treadmill to 4:55 pace for the final mile of his marathon (2:10 pace is 4:57 pace)– and says he split roughly 2:09:50 from mile 2 to mile 27.22).

“That’s kind of the fun, that’s kind of the mystery — what was that effort worth really?” says Albertson. “I’ll never know. No one will ever know.”

Albertson says he still considers his marathon personal best to be the 2:11:49 he ran to place seventh at the Olympic Trials in Atlanta in February, but is hoping to break 2:10 at the Marathon Project on December 20 in Arizona, where he’ll face Scott Fauble (2:09:09 pb) and Canadian record holder Cam Levins (2:09:25 pb), among others.

The fact that breaking 2:10 is now a realistic goal for Albertson, who works as a professor and head cross country coach at Clovis Community College, is fairly remarkable. He was a solid runner at Arizona State, posting personal bests of 7:59, 13:50, and 8:45 in the steeple, but by no means a future star; he never even qualified for the NCAA cross country championships (he did make it to NCAAs in the steeple as a junior in 2016, though he didn’t make the final).

After graduating in 2017, Albertson spent a year away from competitive running. But when he returned in 2018, training for the Two Cities Marathon in Fresno, he tried a different approach, throwing in several long runs of over 26 miles in his buildup. It worked: he won the race in 2:17:45, qualifying for the Olympic Trials.

Since then, Albertson has incorporated hard long runs of 26-32 mile into his weekly routine, doing them almost every Sunday when he’s in serious training. And he has improved drastically. In March 2019, he shaved 58 seconds off his personal best by running 2:16:47 to win the Modesto Marathon and followed it up with a world best for the indoor marathon, clocking 2:17:59 at the Armory in April. In the fall, he ran another big pb of 2:14:51 to repeat at Two Cities before running yet another pb of 2:13:40 a month later to finish second at CIM. Then he took almost two minutes off of that time to finish seventh at the Trials.

Albertson, who is self-coached, views his Wolverine-like ability to recover as a gift that must be nurtured. He tried traditional training in college, but it was only once he leaned into making these long, hard efforts a regular part of his training that his career truly took off.

“It comes really easy and natural for me to do what people would say [are] hard long runs,” Albertson says. “So I feel like I kind of have to take advantage of that, and it works for me. I was decent in college. But I was not seventh in the nation in college, ever. I wasn’t even close.”

Mentally, Albertson is also well-suited for the monotony of grinding away on a track or treadmill for hours on end. He likes running best when he doesn’t have to worry about splits or surges and can just lock into a pace, comparing it to meditation.

“I like the rhythm,” Albertson says. “A treadmill, you’re in perfect rhythm all the time. A track, you can get into that rhythm too. There’s just something about it that is relaxing but also allows you to push hard. And so I don’t have to think about anything, I just get the physical act of running hard and fast. There’s something really soothing about that to me.”

Albertson posts all of his training on Strava, and because many of his workouts are ridiculous, they tend to generate a lot of discussion (example: this five-page thread on LetsRun after Albertson ran 27 miles at 5:09 pace in February). Albertson says he sometimes gets a laugh out of seeing strangers on the internet overanalyze his runs, but for him, setting obscure records and logging mind-bending treadmill workouts are a way to have fun and keep training interesting. They’re not what the sport is about.

“Any race is gonna mean a lot mean than any sort of a record, because competing, that’s what the sport is: you race people,” Albertson says. “…It really doesn’t matter what you do in practice. When I line up December 20, it’s like, who cares? I don’t care what anyone else did [in practice], no one cares what I did. We’re just racing and the person who crosses the finish line wins.”

(11/29/2020) Views: 364 ⚡AMP
by Lets Run
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Canadian marathon record holder Cam Levins runs 1:02:12 solo half-marathon

Canadian marathon record holder Cam Levins posted to Instagram on Friday that he ran a new personal best in the half-marathon, hitting 1:02:12 for 21.1K in a solo effort. The runner’s old personal best was a 1:02:14 from the 2020 Houston Marathon in January.

This is just one of the many impressive solo efforts that runners are putting on paper during the pandemic. Just two weeks ago, American marathoner Sara Hall ran a half-marathon personal best as well, hitting 1:08:17. 

Levins wrote, “Unofficial half-marathon PB this morning in 62:12. Went out fast (2:38 first kilometre) and hung on. Lots of wind that caught up with me by the end but overall pleased with the effort and happy to know that my fitness during this difficult time has been maintained. Finished the morning by helping remove some graffiti on a sign around the course.”

Levins’s initial plan for this spring was to run the Rotterdam Marathon and hopefully hit the Olympic standard (2:11:30) there. It was cancelled as the world settled into the new normal of pandemic life.

Like all runners, Levins is unsure about what the future of road racing looks like, but he’s managed to get himself in the best half-marathon shape of his life and hopefully he can test himself on a real start line sometime soon. 

(08/22/2020) Views: 320 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Uganda’s Felix Chemonges goal is to win the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

No Ugandan runner has ever won the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon a blemish which Felix Chemonges wishes to eradicate October 20th on the race’s 30th anniversary.

"My goal is to win the race and improve on my personal best as I want to get selection with my Toronto performance for Tokyo 2020," he explains. "My future goals are to be a world class star."

"I have only run two marathons before, which were smaller marathons. Both times I finished second. Toronto will be my first big one and I am really looking forward to it."

In recent years, beginning with the inspiring victory of Stephen Kiprotich at the 2012 London Olympics, Ugandans have strived to match the competitive results of their East African rivals from Ethiopia and Kenya. Now, with young athletes like the 23-year-old Chemonges (he turns 24 on October 10th), the country’s fortunes are indeed in good hands.

One of those aforementioned second place finishes came at the 2019 Linz (Austria) Marathon back in April and yielded a personal best of 2:09:19 but since then he has also lowered his PB at the half marathon distance with a 61:03 clocking in Zwolle Netherlands. That is, indeed, encouraging as he builds towards the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon - an IAAF Gold Label race.

Netherlands based Global Sports Communications which represents world half marathon record holder Geoffrey Kamworor, world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge (both from Kenya) and Ethiopia’s world 5000m and 10000m record holder Kenenisa Bekele, in addition to Kiprotich, operates a training camp in Uganda where Chemonges trains.

It is in Kapchorwa in Eastern Uganda which is around 50km from the border with Kenya. The elevation is roughly 2000 metres above sea level but they can reach even higher elevations nearby - perfect for training. "I live in the camp then we meet with other marathoners from different groups and train together," Chemonges says.

Under the guidance of coach Nalis Bugongo the group which can number as many as sixty athletes and includes Joshua Cheptegei, the 2019 IAAF World Cross Country Champion, Robert Chemonges (no relation) and Jackson Kiprop, winner of the 2019 Nagano Marathon, has a strict training regimen running twice a day.

Highlights are a 35 kilometre run on Thursdays and a Tuesday track session which sees the group running one kilometre ten times at 2:06 marathon pace with a very short recovery.

The camp is not far from the village of Chebungai where Chemonges grew up and where his siblings still live and farm, so he is able to return home on occasion. But like their Kenyan rivals they are incredibly dedicated to the end goal of achieving success on the roads. Everything points in that direction from getting enough rest as well as massage between training sessions, eating healthy and pushing each other.

It cannot be stressed enough what the impact of Kiprotich’s Olympic gold medal offered the young runners. Although he trains mainly in Kenya at the Global Sports Communication camp in Kaptagat he returns home on weekends.

"His medal has inspired me to strive for the same title and many medals for myself in the future," Chemonges says of the Olympic hero. "It’s the biggest inspiration for all of us from Kapchorwa region.

"I meet with him and he encourages me. We often train together when he is at home. He is the most well-known Ugandan and he also competed in Toronto last year."

The 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships were held in Uganda’s capital of Kampala which was an incredible source of national pride. Kiprotich returned home to be a member of the Ugandan team even though he is now a fully-fledged marathoner. At that point Chemonges had not yet distinguished himself. But that would change a year later.

Selected to represent Uganda for the first he finished 26th in the 2018 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia recording a then personal best of 62:10. That was just four places ahead of Canadian marathon record holder Cam Levins who is also racing for Olympic selection in Toronto.

Later the same year he finished second at the Beirut Marathon, with a promising debut of 2:11:57 on a demanding course.

"We chose Beirut with my manager Jurrie as it was a good place to debut and learn the distance and be competitive," he reveals adding, "I learnt that I can run a faster competition and time when I prepare well and that I can be confident."

As for Toronto his knowledge is limited to what he has gleaned from his management and Kiprotich. "I just know it is a marathon in Canada with a strong course and it can be cold," and then adding rather prophetically, "And no Ugandan has won, so far."

(09/20/2019) Views: 1,053 ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Welsh marathon runner Josh Griffiths will be seeking olympic selection at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The IAAF Gold Label race (October 20th) is serving as the Athletics Canada Marathon trials for Tokyo 2020 and Josh Griffiths, fresh off his personal best performance in London (2:14:25), has chosen to make his own run for an Olympic berth.

The 25-year-old is presently ranked fifth in Britain behind Mo Farah (2:05:39), Callum Hawkins (2:08:14), Dewi Griffiths (2:11:46) and Jonny Mellor (2:13:25). Like the Canadians he will face in Toronto, he believes a 2:12:30 performance might be enough to cement a place on his national Olympic team. Asked what he is looking for in Toronto he is succinct.

"Just a really good, competitive race," he offers. "Malcolm (Anderson, his manager) said it would be a really good Canadian field, so if I can just get in the mix and, on a good day, see how far I can go with them.

"There's three really good British guys now. Obviously, it all depends on if they all stay fit and if they all choose to do the marathon. All I can do is focus on myself and if I run the best I can then I can’t really ask for more."

Canadian record holder Cam Levins (2:09:25) will be seeking to run with the international elite and improve upon the record he set a year ago, while fellow Olympians Dylan Wykes and Reid Coolsaet want to be in that 2:12 - 2:13 range that Griffiths is targeting.

Although he represents Swansea Harriers, Griffiths has lived all his life in Gorslas, Carmarthenshire in rural Wales where there are few runners. As a result, he is self-coached and does all his training alone. He supports himself financially by providing an online coaching program as well as some funding from Welsh Athletics and the London Marathon.

"It’s mentally tough getting out the door," he says of the solitude. "Sometimes it’s the hardest part of the run. I just think if it’s going to be that grim in training I am really prepared. If it rains in Toronto, I am prepared for anything.

"The weather is not always great in Wales; it rains a lot. But on those days, you have got to think what the goal is. If I want to run well in Toronto, then I have got to put the work in. I don’t struggle like that. I am in a pretty good position I can run all these amazing races and it’s well worth putting in the work."

The toughness that has characterized so many British runners over the years is epitomized especially by Welsh hero, Steve Jones, who set the world marathon record in the 1984 Chicago Marathon and won the 1992 Toronto Marathon.

"I met Steve a few times but when he was at his peak I wasn’t born yet. I have met him many times since," Griffiths reveals.

"We met at the Welsh track championships a couple of years ago. I went along to watch and so did he. We kind of got to chatting. It was after the London Marathon. He is always supportive."

Like Jones, he recalls his early start in athletics came as a schoolboy where he was exposed to many different sports.

"When I was in university I kind of took it seriously, started working with a good group of athletes in Cardiff. In 2017 I decided to do the marathon to try and qualify for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast Australia. I had to run 2:16 and I managed to run 2:14 which qualified me for Gold Coast and for the World Championships."

In 2011 he visited southern Ontario on a schoolboy rugby trip. At the time he was billeted by families in Coburg, Brantford and Lindsay, Ontario. They also visited Toronto’s tourist sites. There will be little time for site seeing on this trip however as so much is at stake.

"I will be looking to go through halfway just under 66 minutes," he says returning to the reason for his Canadian adventure. "One thing I have learned in the marathons I have done it’s much better to feel good in the second half. I don’t want to go crazy at the start. If there is a good group, then I will work my way through."

 

(09/05/2019) Views: 1,017 ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Kenya´s Philemon Rono will be looking for another title at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Philemon Rono of Kenya has won the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon twice–the first time in 2016, and the second time in 2017, when he set the Canadian all-comers record of 2:06:52 (also his personal best).

Rono, who trains with NN Running (marathon world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge’s group), was dealing with a calf injury and didn’t have a great race in 2018, finishing ninth in 2:13:36, but the diminutive runner they call Baby Police is healthy and will be back on October 20, hoping not only to win, but to lower his Canadian soil record.

Rono raced at Boston in April, finishing eighth, in 2:08:57–which he was happy with. He is currently running about 200K per week with the NN Training group in Kaptagat under the direction of coach Patrick Sang.

Kipchoge has a big influence on the training, Rono says. “We watch everything he does.” Many accounts of Kipchoge’s training make note of the fact that while living in camp from Monday to Saturday, he takes his turn mopping floors and scrubbing toilets like everyone else. When not working out, the group loves to watch soccer on TV. Like Kipchoge, Rono travels home to his farm on weekends, where he spends time with his wife and young son, and tends his cattle.

Rono’s stiffest competition so far announced will be Abera Kuma, who has a personal best of 2:05:50, and Benson Kipruto, who won last year’s marathon in 2:07:24 (which was seconds off his PB).

The race will also serve as the Canadian marathon championships and unofficial Olympic trials, with the top Canadian male automatically qualifying for Team Canada at Tokyo 2020 (provided he achieves the Olympic standard of 2:11:30 within the qualifying window). 

Reid Coolsaet, Dylan Wykes, Rob Watson and Canadian marathon record-holder Cam Levins will all be on the start line on October 20.

(08/16/2019) Views: 1,080 ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Canadians Reid Coolsaet, Dylan Wykes & Rob Watson will return to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Three very familiar faces will be among the outstanding Canadian entries for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon October 20th, all lured by the Athletics Canada National Championship which runs concurrently in this IAAF Gold Label race.

Moreover, this year’s event also serves as Canada’s Olympic trials with the ‘first past the post' earning an automatic spot on the team bound for Tokyo provided he or she has achieved the Olympic standard (2:11:30/2:29:30).

Two-time Olympian Reid Coolsaet will seek a third berth, Dylan Wykes a second and Rob Watson, a three-time World Championships performer, relishes the challenge of earning another podium finish. The ‘three amigos’ between them have won twenty-one national titles.

Coolsaet turned 40 on July 29th and acknowledges his best days are behind him - he is Canada’s third fastest marathoner of all time with a 2:10:28 personal record - but believes he has the experience to make the team for Tokyo. "Yeah, it is my goal, I am totally focused on making the Olympics," said Coolsaet, who has run under 2:11:30 six times in his career. "It’s definitely my main motivation for training as hard as I do in the marathon.

"If it wasn’t for the 2020 Olympics, knowing I am not really looking for a PB anymore, I think I would have moved to the trails last year. I am happy to train this hard knowing the reward would mean a lot to me."

With Cam Levins (2:09:25) also returning to the site of his dramatic Canadian record-breaking performance, Coolsaet realises that something would have to go seriously wrong for Levins to miss the automatic place. Still, he remains optimistic he has a chance.

"I know what it takes to run the level I need to run to potentially qualify for the Olympics," Coolsaet says believing a 2:12:30 might be good enough to earn a place through the IAAF ranking system.

"Although I don’t want to get hurt, I don’t want to sell myself short and think ‘what if?’ I am going to be smart about my training and listen to my body. "I am not going to run quite as much mileage as in the past. But I know I can’t let being 40 be an excuse to back off my training because I can't handle it or something like that. Although there will be some slight changes, they are going to be very slight."

Wykes who was Canada’s top finisher in the 2012 Olympic marathon (20th in 2:15:26) has a personal best of 2:10:47 making him the fourth fastest Canadian of all time. Many were surprised by his return. After failing to make the Rio Olympic team he effectively retired to focus on his family - he and his wife Francine have two young children - and his coaching business ‘Mile2Marathon’.

Coach Richard Lee had once declared that he doubted Wykes would ever want to put himself through the disruption which ultimately led to his place on the 2012 London Olympic team. He made three attempts to achieve the standard sacrificing much in the process. His 2:10:47 came at the 2016 Rotterdam Marathon. Reminded of this the now 36-year old laughs.

"It’s certainly taken a few years to wrap my head around things and realize I am probably not going to do it again if it’s like the buildup was to London," he admits. "I would be lying if I said Tokyo wasn’t in the back of my mind. But I think I am trying to see things less ‘big picture’ and trying to focus on staying healthy and getting to the finish line in Toronto.

"If Cam Levins is on his game he’s in a different stratosphere. But I guess guys like Tristan Woodfine, Reid, Trevor Hofbauer, these kind of guys, if I am going well, I will mix it up with them.That is kind of what I am most excited about."

Following the 2012 Olympics, Wykes’ motivation was at a peak. The London experience had left him excited with endless possibilities to set about achieving. But there were obstacles that cropped up along the way. "I was as focused or more focused after London as any time in my career and the years between London and Rio were going to be my best," he reveals. "But a lot of that was injuries and kind of biting off more than I could chew.

"Some of that had to with the buildup to London and having to run so many marathons. And I made the silly mistake of trying to chase down (Jerome Drayton’s Canadian record). After London that became my focus. And, when I didn’t make Rio, I was kind of done."

A year ago Wykes and his family moved east from Vancouver after Francine received a post-doctoral position at Carleton University. Together with Rob Watson he coaches runners of all abilities through their company ‘Mile2Marathon’. With over 200 clients and ten coaches it is a thriving business. Somewhere along the way he rediscovered his own love for disciplined training. At his peak Watson achieved a personal best of 2:13:29 at the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

(08/02/2019) Views: 1,142 ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Two of Canada's fastest-ever marathoners Cam Levins and Reid Coolsaet are going to battle it out at this year's Edmonton lululemon 10K

Natasha Wodak, Cameron Levins and Reid Coolsaet are leading the field for the 2019 Edmonton lululemon 10K. The three Olympians and previous lululemon 10K winners will line up against a strong elite field in the sold out event.

The 2019 race sold out in a record time of 10 hours and will host 7,000 runners.

Wodak is on a tear this season. The B.C native has won five races in 2019 alone and come away with two Canadian championship titles. Wodak has been named to the World Championship team for the 10,000m following a huge run at Payton Jordan in early May where she hit world standard and narrowly missed her own Canadian record, and a win at the Canadian 10,000m trials in June.

Coolsaet had a slightly later start to his 2019 season following a setback in training which meant he wouldn’t be prepared for the Hamburg Marathon where he initially intended to open his season. He instead ran his spring marathon in Ottawa, 10 years after debuting on the same course. Following Ottawa, he’s lining up for the Edmonton 10K and will race Canadian marathon record holder Levins.

Levins had to withdraw from the London Marathon earlier this spring due to injury, but he’s back in good form and using a series of summer races to gear up for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon this October. At STWM Levins hopes to lower his own Canadian record.

He told Canada Running Series, “My training since [the Toronto lululemon 10K] has been great. It has taken a step forward and I think there is a tendency to do that once you get your first race out of the way.”

Race race goes at 7:30 a.m. on July 7 starting at the Alberta Provincial Legislature.

(06/29/2019) Views: 918 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Cam Levins will return to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon to defend his national title and hopefully lower his own Canadian marathon record

On Sunday, October 21, 2018, Levins broke a record that had stood for many more years than he’d been alive. Levins crossed the line in his marathon debut in 2:09:25, 44 seconds ahead of the record set 43 years ago by Jerome Drayton.

Levins had hoped to take another stab at the marathon in London this year, but was sidelined due to injury. Since withdrawing from the London Marathon, Levins has gotten healthy and announced his fall marathon will take place in Toronto.

Levins told journalist Paul Gains, “I was thrilled with how I performed, and I will probably remember crossing the finish line there for the rest of my life. It’s exciting to go back to a race where I now know the entire course.

I also feel like I know what to expect. I may not feel the same as I did last year, but if I can go and have a similar experience, I will be happy.”

As an added bonus, the 2019 STWM is also the Canadian Marathon Championships, and therefore, an Olympic qualifier. The first Canadian male and female finishers will receive automatic pre-selection for the Tokyo Olympic marathon next August, provided they achieve the 2:11:30 (male) and 2:29:30 (female) standards.

If they do not go under those standards on October 20th, a place will still be held open for them until May 31, 2020 to allow them to attain the standard. Anyone else hoping to represent Canada in the marathon in Tokyo will have to wait until June 1, 2020 before selections are announced, so the Toronto Championship race offers a huge incentive.

(06/20/2019) Views: 1,219 ⚡AMP
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TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba has withdrawn from the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon for personal reasons

The three-time Olympic champion and current 5,000m world record holder was second in the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon when she set a personal best (PB) of 2:17:56, making her the fifth fastest female marathon runner in history.

Dibaba, 33, is one of a handful of notable changes to the fields for the elite men and elite women races since they were first released at the end of January.

USA’s Allie Kiefer, who was seventh at last November’s TCS New York City Marathon, has withdrawn as has Denmark’s Anna Holm Jorgensen – the daughter of Henrik Jorgensen, the 1988 London Marathon champion who died earlier this year.

Swiss pair Maude Mathys and Martina Strahl have both also pulled out, as has Ireland’s Emma Mitchell and the British duo Eleanor Davis and Laura Graham.

In the elite men’s race, North American pair Chris Derrick (USA) and Cam Levins (CAN) are the biggest name withdrawals while Mikael Ekvall (SWE) and Matt Sharp (GBR) are both also no longer running.

(04/17/2019) Views: 1,362 ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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The Canadian record-holder Cam Levins has withdrawn from the London Marathon due to an injury

Canadian marathon record-holder Cam Levins announced on Tuesday evening that he is out for the 2019 London Marathon, due to an injury. 

Levins told Athletics Illustrated that he’s dealing with what he believes to be patellar tendinitis, which has prevented him from training properly since the New York Half-Marathon on March 17. 

Levins was heading into London hoping to break his own Canadian record of 2:09:25 set in October 2018 at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. There he became the first Canadian to ever go under 2:10 for the marathon.

The London men’s and women’s fields are historically deep. The men’s race will feature world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge, half-marathon world record-holder Abraham Kiptum, Olympic gold medallist (in the 5,000m and 10,000m) Sir Mo Farah, and 2018 London Marathon second-place finisher Shura Kitata. 

(03/27/2019) Views: 1,217 ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Canadian marathon record holder Cam Levins and 2015 Pan Am Games medallist Sasha Gollish are set to run United Airlines NYC Half

The 2019 United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon has a truly star-studded lineup. In the men’s field, Levins is joined by Americans Ben True and Paul Chelimo. Chelimo is an Olympic silver medallist over 5,000m and Sunday will be his half-marathon debut.

Chelimo told Let’sRun on Monday that he’s less concerned about time, and aiming for a spot on the podium. True was sixth at the 2015 World Championships in the 5,000m and is the 2018 NYC Half defending champion. 

Levins is targeting the London Marathon at the end of April where he will race against world record holder Eliud Kipchoge. “I’m very excited to meet him, he’s an inspiration to marathoners everywhere, but if he goes out on world record pace I’d hardly even call it the same race.”

Levins’ half-marathon personal best is a 1:02:15 from the World Half-Marathon Championships last March in Spain, which is less than a minute off of the current Canadian half-marathon record of 1:01:28 set in 1999 by Jeff Schiebler. It would take a very strong run for Levins to knock down this mark, but it doesn’t seem out of the question considering the strength of Sunday’s field. 

On the women’s side, 2:32 marathoner Sasha Gollish is joined by 2018 Boston champion Des Linden, half-marathon world record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei and two-time marathon world champion Edna Kiplagat

Gollish’s personal best is from 2018 World Half-Marathon Championships where she was the first Canadian across the line in 1:11:52.

(03/13/2019) Views: 1,681 ⚡AMP
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United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

The United Airlines NYC Half takes runners from around the city and the globe on a 13.1-mile tour of NYC. Led by a talent-packed roster of American and international elites, runners will stop traffic in the Big Apple this March! Runners will begin their journey on Prospect Park’s Center Drive before taking the race onto Brooklyn’s streets. For the third...

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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon will serve as a Canada auto-qualifier for the Olympics

Athletics Canada announced that the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon will serve as an automatic qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Canadian marathon team. 

The first Canadian man and woman across the line, provided that they have met Athletics Canada’s standard in the event, will be named to the Olympic team. While Olympic standard hasn’t been released yet, the 2019 world championship standard is 2:37 for women and 2:16 for men. 

This will be a huge draw for elite Canadian runners, and make the race within the race very interesting. The only potential issue is that the world championship marathon is only days apart from STWM, and therefore impossible for a runner to compete in both events.

Canadian marathoner Reid Coolsaet discussed the drawbacks and exciting aspects of this decision. Also, someone like Cam Levins, who should easily qualify for Tokyo may want to race Worlds in Doha (both STWM and Doha are in October). What would prepare Cam better for the Tokyo Olympics?

Another paced marathon in cool temps (he’s running London this April) or, running a championship race in hot conditions? (Tokyo is forecasted to be very hot) Otherwise Tokyo will be his first championship marathon and probably his first hot marathon.

Coolsaet jokes that he’s simply trying to convince Levins to run Doha. The past three Olympic marathon teams have been named based on time alone, taking the fastest of the runners who achieved Athletics Canada’s named standard. Creating one auto-qualifier position means that a runner who hasn’t necessarily run the fastest time, or maybe even in the top five best times, could win and make an Olympic team because they raced well on that given day. But maybe this is okay? 

(01/27/2019) Views: 1,319 ⚡AMP
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TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Cam Levins will run the 2019 London Marathon in one of the deepest fields in the race's history

The complete elite lists were announced on Friday for the 2019 London Marathon and Canadian marathon record holder Cam Levins was included. London is shaping up to have one of the strongest marathon fields in the race’s history.

Levins smashed the Canadian record this October at the 2018 Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Canadian Marathon Championships, running a 2:09:25. London will only be his second marathon, but the field is very strong and could pull him to a fast finish and maybe even another Canadian record.

Levins will face world record holder Eliud Kipchoge, 2018 Chicago champion Mo Farah and 2018 London runner-up Shura Kitata. The men’s marathon will be extremely competitive. With eight men who’ve run under 2:05:00, if Levins has a good day, he could do something very special at this race.

(01/20/2019) Views: 874 ⚡AMP
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Allie Kieffer won the Toronto Waterfront Half as she gets ready for the New York Marathon

Allie Kieffer won the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon Sunday clocking 1:12:44. Kieffer made a name for herself when she was the second American woman to cross the finish line at the 2017 New York City Marathon. After New York she trained in Kenya for seven weeks racking up 110 miles per week. Kieffer will be running the New York Marathon again in a couple of weeks. She most likely used her race in Toronto as a tune-up for New York. Second place female went to Reneta Plis in 1:13:58, and third place to Claire Sumner in 1:14:24. In the men’s race Will Norris took the win in 1:05:30, followed by Chris Balestrini in 1:05:47 and third place went to Lee Wesselius 1:07:21. The highlighted event was the marathon. Kenya’s Benson Kipruto, 27, was the overall winner clocking 2:07:21, with Mimi Belete of Bahrain winning the women’s marathon and breaking the course record of 2:22:43.  Cam Levins set a new Canadian's national record clocking 2:09:22.    (10/23/2018) Views: 1,246 ⚡AMP
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Canada’s Cam Levins breaks Jerome Drayton’s national marathon Record in Toronto

Cam Levins had the marathon debut of his life Sunday (Oct 21) at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, crossing the finish line in 2:09:22 and breaking Jerome Drayton’s Canadian national record of 2:10:09 in the process. That record comes with a $43,000 (CAD) payday–$1,000 for every year the record has stood. Levins finished fourth . Kenya’s Benson Kipruto, 27, was the overall winner clocking 2:07:21, with Mimi Belete of Bahrain winning the women’s marathon and breaking the course record of 2:22:43.  Cam was certain a record was within his grasp at the 40K mark. The final two kilometers went by so fast for him that it seemed like a sprint. “It was pretty much a blur, especially the last half-kilometre,” Levins said. “Everything was flying by at that point."  The 29-year-old from Black Creek, B.C., did his best to focus on the finish line where his wife, Elizabeth, mother, Barb, and father, Gus, were waiting.  He eclipsed a national record by former long-distance champion Jerome Drayton – and by a substantial 44 seconds.   “It is such an old record, it is nice to be the one to take it down,” Mr. Levins said. “It’s a good one to check off the list." (10/22/2018) Views: 1,327 ⚡AMP
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Ethiopia's Shura Kitata runs fastest half in US and Linden are winners at Rock ’N’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

Fall marathon season is in full swing, and the elites have started their tune-up races in preparation. So far, it’s been successful: Reigning Boston Marathon champion Desiree Linden took first at the Rock ’N’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon this weekend. The women’s field was stacked, and included Linden, Sarah Sellers, who finished second at Boston, and Kellyn Taylor. In the race, Linden was neck and neck with Taylor, until Linden pulled away late. Linden topped the podium with a time of 1:11:49, while Taylor took second with a 1:12:07. Taylor captured the attention of the running world in June when she won the Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota in 2:24:28, the seventh-fastest marathon time ever for an American woman. The men’s race was won by Ethiopia's Shura Kitata in a stunning 59:17.  This is the fastest half marathon run in the United States and the 6th best winning time in the world in the last 12 months.  Parker Stinson finished second, in 1:03:02, and Canada’s Cam Levins was third, in 1:03:10. Cam Levins also raced Philadelphia as a tune-up, in his case for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 21. Stinson will run Chicago on October 7. (09/17/2018) Views: 1,201 ⚡AMP
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Canada's Cam Levins will make his marathon debut at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The 29-year-old from Black Creek, B.C., has battled a serious foot injury that required surgery for a couple of seasons, but believes he's finally healthy enough to become a force on the global running scene once again. Marathon fans have eagerly anticipated Levins' marathon debut, but he said he's not worried about lofty expectations. "I think there is a part of me that is a little bit anxious of the unknown," Levins said in a release. "But I feel pretty comfortable that what I am doing will prepare me well. More than anything I am excited to do it at this point, however it goes. "I am ready to go out there and have a good experience, and learn from it whether I knock it out of the park or if it goes very far south. But I feel confident at this point. I think it will go well." Levins won both the 5,000 and 10,000 metres at the NCAA championships in 2012. He went on to win bronze in the 10,000 at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and then broke the Canadian record in that distance a year later. But a freak accident at the Canadian championships — he fell across the finish line in the 1,500 metres and injured his foot — wiped out much of the 2016 and '17 seasons. This past March, he raced for Canada at the world half-marathon championships in Valencia, finishing in a personal best 62 minutes 15 seconds. (09/05/2018) Views: 1,188 ⚡AMP
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Canadian's Elite Team selected for IAAF World Half Championships

Athletics Canada announced Wednesday the eight athletes who will compete at the 2018 IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships in Valencia, Spain. Four men and four women were named to the largest Canadian world half team since Edmonton hosted the championships in 2005. The 2018 IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships, held every two years, are set for March 24. No member of the team has raced at a past IAAF World Half-Marathon Championship. Men's Team: Evan Esselink, Cam Levins, Sami Jibril and Geoff Martinson. Women's Team: Sasha Gollish, Emily Setlack, Kinsey Middleton and Victoria Coates. (02/07/2018) Views: 1,392 ⚡AMP
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Hoka One One signs Olympian Cam Levins

Hoka One One has landed one of Canada’s greatest men’s distance runners. The shoe company signed Cam Levins, formerly the national record holder in the 10,000m, to a sponsorship deal, it was announced on Monday. He is slated to make his professional debut for Hoka One One at the 2018 Houston Half-Marathon on Jan. 14. The 2012 Olympian was scheduled to race his debut half-marathon in Toronto in October but withdrew due to injury. But then ran 1:05:07 at the Holiday Half-Marathon in Oregon. (01/08/2018) Views: 1,106 ⚡AMP
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