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Articles tagged #Cam Levins
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Canadian Olympic marathoner Malindi Elmore pulls out of Boston Marathon due to hamstring injury

Canadian Olympic marathoner Malindi Elmore will not be racing at the Boston Marathon on April 15, she announced on Instagram on Tuesday. Elmore, of Kelowna, B.C., has been dealing with hamstring tendinopathy, a condition in which the tendon that connects the hamstring muscles to the pelvis becomes irritated, resulting in pain and limited function.

While Elmore had hoped to feature in a strong field (including reigning champion Hellen Obiri and 2022 New York Marathon champion Sharon Lokedi), she is focused on the Paris 2024 Olympics. “Boston on hold for another year, all eyes towards being FIT and HEALTHY for Paris on August 11,” she wrote.

This would have been Elmore’s second time lining up in Boston; in 2022, she ran to an impressive 11th-place finish, posting a time of 2:27:58—the fastest-ever time in Boston by a Canadian woman. She left Boston wanting to return, saying, “It’s a blast to run the crowd-lined streets, where there is always someone cheering you on and shouting your name.”

In February, Elmore (along with national marathon record holder Cam Levins) received a nomination from Athletics Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee to represent Team Canada in the marathon at the 2024 Paris Olympics. This will be both athletes’ third Olympic appearance for Team Canada.

Elmore made her Olympic debut at Athens 2004 in the women’s 1,500 meters. Though she initially retired in 2012, she returned to the sport in 2019 to compete at the Houston Marathon. She ran the Houston Marathon again in 2020 and qualified for the Tokyo Olympics with her Canadian record-setting performance of 2:24:50. In her Olympic return, Elmore placed ninth overall–the second-best finish by a Canadian in the women’s marathon.

While Elmore isn’t able to race this month, she is still training.”After experimenting with more miles, hills and weights this winter to prepare for a hilly and challenging Paris course, my hamstring tendinopathy reared its ugly head again and told me to back off,” she explained on Instagram.”I listened, so here we are, running my favorite easy long runs but holding off intensity and hills until it returns to 100 per cent again. Thankfully (due to my easy paces shuffle) easy running is no problem as I basically have no hamstring extension at this pace so I can still hit my favorite long runs.”

(04/03/2024) Views: 160 ⚡AMP
by Claire Haines
Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...


Cam Levins to return to racing at Istanbul Half Marathon

The Canadian marathon record holder Cam Levins will return to the roads on April 28 in Turkey.

On Tuesday, Levins was announced as one of the headliners for the Istanbul Half Marathon next month. This will be Levins’ first race since his DNF at the New York City Marathon last November.

Levins chose to race New York in preparation for the hilly Paris Olympic marathon, which he had already qualified for. The 34-year-old had high expectations heading into NYC but dropped out near the 20 km point. He later disclosed that he was not injured but did not feel well, and things didn’t improve.

The Istanbul Half Marathon annually attracts some of the fastest distance runners in the world, resulting in sub-one-hour men’s champions in four of the last five years. In 2021, the women’s world half marathon record of 64:02 was set at the race by Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich. Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey broke the world-record mark at the 2021 Valencia Half Marathon later that year.

Levins currently holds both the Canadian marathon record and half marathon mark of 60:18, which he ran at the Vancouver First Half in February 2023. A month later, he hit the 2024 Paris Olympic marathon standard at the Tokyo Marathon, where he clocked a personal best and North American area record of 2:05:36.

He is one of two Canadian men to have hit the Olympic standard and has already received early nomination for Team Canada at the Paris Olympics.

(03/27/2024) Views: 159 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

The Istanbul Half Marathon is an annual road running event over the half marathon distance (21.1 km) that takes place usually in the spring on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey. It is a IAAF Gold Label event. The Istanbul Half Marathon was first organized in 1987. After several breaks it was finally brought back to life in 2015 when the...


World Athletics to raise marathon standards for 2025 World Championships

The men's standard is expected to go up to 2:06:30, and the women's standard will be 2:23:30

On Tuesday, the marathon entry standards for the 2025 World Athletics Championships in Tokyo were leaked to social media, and the men’s and women’s marathon qualification marks seem to be getting a lot tougher.

The women’s marathon entry standard is expected to be increased by three minutes and 20 seconds, to 2:23:30, from the previous 2:26:50 mark for the Paris Olympics. With the number of female athletes recording sub-2:20 times, most expected to see an increase in the women’s standard.

The men’s marathon standard is expected to see an increase of one minute and 40 seconds, to 2:06:30, from its previous mark of 2:08:10. Only 91 athletes have hit this new mark in the Paris Olympic qualifying window (November 1, 2022 to April 30, 2024). Sixty-five of those 91 athletes are Kenyan and Ethiopian.When the women’s marathon entry standard was released for the Paris Olympics, World Athletics intended for a near 50/50 split in runners hitting the entry standard and the rest of the field qualifying via the World Athletics rankings and points system. The number of women who will qualify on points for the Paris Olympics will be zero, with 82 women of the (soft cap) of 80 spots hitting the Olympic standard of 2:26:50.The new standard of 2:23:30 is a mark only two Canadian female marathoners have surpassed (Natasha Wodak’s Canadian record of 2:23:12 from the 2022 Berlin Marathon and Malindi Elmore’s 2:23:30 from Berlin in 2023). One hundred and fifteen female athletes have run under this mark in the Paris Olympic qualifying window, with the top mark being Tigist Assefa’s world record of 2:11:53 in Berlin. Even though Elmore’s mark equalled the Tokyo WC qualifying mark in September 2023, her time will not get her into the 2025 World Championship marathon, since the qualifying window did not open until November. 

Only four North American men have ever run under the proposed 2025 World Championship standard: Canada’s Cam Levins (2:05:35–Tokyo 2023) and three Americans: Khalid Khannouchi (2:05:38–London 2002), Galen Rupp (2:06:07–Prague 2018) and Ryan Hall (2:06:17–London 2008).World Athletics’ tougher standards come with the organization’s goal to create a dual pathway of qualification, with 50 per cent of athletes qualifying through entry standards and the remaining 50 per cent qualifying through World Rankings and its points system.



(03/23/2024) Views: 96 ⚡AMP
by Running magazine

Canadian marathoner Trevor Hofbauer to miss Paris Olympics due to injury

2020 Canadian Olympic marathoner Trevor Hofbauer will not be aiming for the final spot on the Canadian men’s marathon team. The 32-year-old revealed in a social media post that he will not be taking one more shot to make the 2024 Olympic Team, after injuring his Achilles tendon in training.

“After a disappointing outcome in Valencia, I was left looking at the stars for answers,” Hofbauer said on Instagram. “I was so upset that a great opportunity slipped through my fingers, and it was a hard pill to swallow, but I’ve been using it as motivation this winter to work towards one more shot at making the 2024 Olympic Team.

“Again, I’m looking up to the stars for answers after injuring my Achilles a couple of weeks ago. I will not be racing this spring, and for the first time in a long time, I will cheer on Team Canada from the couch. Luck plays a big role in making teams, and I feel like luck did not go my way this time. Also, thank you @saucony for being in my corner through this time.”

Hofbauer, a three-time Canadian marathon champion, represented Team Canada in the event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where he placed 47th, in 2:19:57. He is only one of four Canadian men to run under the 2:10 mark for the marathon, and his personal best of 2:09:51 from the 2019 Toronto Waterfront Marathon stands as the sixth-fastest time in Canadian history.

The Burnaby, B.C., native gave qualifying for Paris a shot but came up well short of the men’s Olympic standard of 2:08:10 at the 2023 Valencia Marathon, finishing 175th overall, in 2:22:55—the slowest time of his career.

With the Olympic marathon window closing in less than 60 days, there are only two Canadian marathoners currently qualified for Paris (Cam Levins and Rory Linkletter). Ben Preisner, who also represented Canada in the marathon in 2021, is on the outside looking in—ranked 87th of 80 allotted spots. Preisner will likely need to run another marathon and hit the standard to move up in the rankings and punch his ticket to Paris.

Two other marathoners on the outside looking in are 2023 Canadian marathon champion Thomas Broatch and 2:10 marathoner Tristian Woodfine. Woodfine will be competing at the 2024 Boston Marathon, while Broatch eyes a late spring race after running 2:11 two months ago in Houston.

(03/14/2024) Views: 175 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...


Moh Ahmed withdraws from Houston Half Marathon due to hamstring injury

Moh Ahmed’s debut in the half-marathon will have to wait. He has withdrawn from this Sunday’s Aramco Houston Half Marathon after suffering a hamstring injury in his final tune-up workout.

“I am regretfully withdrawing from the Aramco Houston Half Marathon. In my final tune-up workout on Wednesday, I tweaked my hamstring/hip flexor a bit, such that my coach, Jerry Schumacher, and I felt it would be unwise to line up on Sunday,” said Ahmed in a statement Thursday.

Ahmed’s half-marathon debut was highly anticipated, given his Canadian records in the 5,000m and 10,000m on the track. He is the only Canadian distance runner to have medalled in the men’s 5,000m event at an Olympic Games (Tokyo 2020).

“After a great few months of training, I was really looking forward to testing myself over the streets of Houston against a great field, but it will have to wait until next year,” said Ahmed. Outside of a few local road races and winning the Canadian men’s 10K title last year, he has not raced the 21.1 or 42.2 km distance.

Rory Linkletter will be the lone Canadian athlete in the men’s elite half-marathon field. Linkletter is racing in Houston in preparation for the Sevilla Marathon on Feb. 18, aiming for the Olympic standard of 2:08:10. His personal best of 61:08 was set at this race in 2022 (a Canadian national record at the time). Ljnkletter’s PB is only 50 seconds behind the Canadian half marathon record of 60:18 held by Cam Levins.

Despite Ahmed’s withdrawal, there will still be a large Canadian presence in Houston. Four athletes will be chasing their Olympic dreams in the marathon. Leslie Sexton, 2016 Olympian Lanni Marchant, and Canadian marathon record holder Natasha Wodak will all have their goals on the women’s Olympic standard of 2:26:50, with two spots still open for Paris 2024.

On the men’s side, Tristan Woodfine from Cobden, Ont, returns to the marathon looking to break his personal best of 2:10:51, set three years ago at the London Marathon. The men’s Olympic standard for Paris is 2:08:10.

(01/12/2024) Views: 214 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Aramco Houston Half Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. After 30 years of marathon-only competition, Houston added the half-marathon in 2002, with El Paso Energy as the sponsor. Today the...


Four Canadian runners to chase Olympic dreams at Houston Marathon

As the 2024 Houston Marathon Weekend approaches, the spotlight is not only on the highly anticipated half-marathon debut of Canada’s Moh Ahmed, but also on the intense competition among four Canadian marathoners aiming to earn the Olympic qualifying standard for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Wodak eyes Olympic standard

Canadian marathon record holder Natasha Wodak leads a strong Canadian contingent in Houston, all chasing the Olympic A standard of 2:26:50. Former national team athletes Leslie Sexton and Lanni Marchant will also be vying for the two available spots on the women’s marathon team.

Wodak holds the fastest Canadian women’s time in the last two years, but her Canadian record of 2:23:12 from the 2022 Berlin Marathon was outside the Olympic qualifying window. Wodak took another shot at achieving the time at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, but warm conditions and a tactical race prevented her from earning a spot in Paris (she finished in the top 15, in  2:30:09).

Sexton returns to the marathon after a break from the distance of a year and a half. Sexton ran 2:28 twice in a 10-month period, winning the 2021 Philadelphia Marathon and finishing as the top Canadian at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore. ((she finished 13th). With a best of 2:28:35, she would need to shake off almost two minutes to solidify her spot in Paris. But the fast Houston course (which she has raced before) could provide what she needs.

Also returning to the marathon after a long hiatus is 2016 Olympian Lanni Marchant. The London, Ont., native holds a personal best of 2:28:00 from Toronto in 2013, but there are a lot of questions around her fitness, after racing only twice in 2023. Marchant would need a career-best performance to earn her a spot on the Canadian Olympic team for 2024.

Malindi Elmore of Kelowna, B.C., is the only Canadian woman to have achieved the Olympic standard of 2:26:50 at the 2023 Berlin Marathon. Elmore was also the top North American female finisher in 2:23:30, achieving an 80-second personal best.

Ontario’s Tristan Woodfine takes another shot

After thinking he had a spot on the Canadian Olympic team for Tokyo, then having it taken from him in the final week of qualifying by Cam Levins and Athletics Canada, Tristan Woodfine is heading to Houston for another shot at his dream of being on Team Canada for the Olympics. Woodfine’s personal best came on a cold and wet day at the 2020 London Marathon, clocking 2:10:51. Since 2020, he has had his struggles with the marathon distance and beating that mark.

After tough luck with the heat and his stomach at the 2022 Ottawa Marathon, Woodfine switched coaches and spent most of the 2023 season building his speed on the roads. He recorded personal bests of 14:05 for 5K and 29:06 for 10K. Only two Canadian men have ever broken 2:10 in the marathon: Trevor Hofbauer and Levins.

Levins cemented his spot on the Canadian Olympic team for Paris at his record-setting run at the 2023 Tokyo Marathon. To this day, he is the only Canadian marathoner to have run under the men’s Olympic A standard of 2:08:10. (He also did so at the 2022 World Championships.)

How to follow

The 2024 Chevron Houston Marathon is scheduled for Jan. 14. It is one of the fastest marathon courses in North America; in 2020, Elmore set the previous Canadian marathon record of 2:24:50 there. The last Canadian marathoner to win the Houston Marathon was Mississauga’s Peter Fonseca, who ran 2:11:52 for the win in 1995.

(01/09/2024) Views: 265 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
Chevron Houston Marathon

Chevron Houston Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. Additionally, with more than 200,000 spectators annually, the Chevron Houston Marathon enjoys tremendous crowd support. Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon...


Rory Linkletter to chase Olympic marathon standard in Spain

After a short and successful stint on the indoor track to end 2023, Canadian marathoner Rory Linkletter has announced his next race, the Sevilla Marathon on Feb. 18. Linkletter’s goal is to run a personal best and book his ticket to the Paris Olympics, which will require a time of 2:08:10.

“I will be heading to Spain to run the Sevilla Marathon on Feb. 18,” Linkletter wrote on Instagram. His reasoning for choosing to race in Sevilla was to give himself ample time to recover and prepare after his 18th-place finish in the marathon at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in late August.

Although Linkletter’s time of 2:12:16 in Budapest was shy of his personal best, he referred to the race as the smartest he’s ever run, passing over 20 runners in the final 15 kilometers.

In Sevilla, Linkletter will be vying for the fastest time of his career, and he will need to hit the men’s Olympic A standard of 2:08:10. If he misses the standard, he can still be selected for Team Canada via the World Athletics rankings. He has a personal best of 2:10:24 from the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Ore.

“Training is going well, and I want to set myself up well for an Olympic Standard attempt (2:08:10),” Linkletter said.

The 27-year-old had the second-fastest Canadian men’s marathon time in 2023, behind only Cam Levins’s 2:05:36 in Tokyo. Levins already has one of the three eligible marathon spots for the Canadian men’s Olympic team, but with five months left to qualify, two spots are up for grabs for Canadians who meet the Olympic B standard of 2:11:30.

If Linkletter were to hit the A or B standard, he would potentially be selected for his first Olympic Games.

The Canadian-born marathoner, who lives in Flagstaff, Ariz., has been working on his speed over the last few months with his coach, former U.S. marathoner Ryan Hall, to improve his speed. In early December, he became the 74th Canadian to run a sub-four-minute mile and only the second Canadian to accomplish the feat while also being a sub-2:12 marathoner.

He joined marathon record holder Levins as the only other Canadian to do so.

(01/04/2024) Views: 250 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
Zurich Marathon Sevilla

Zurich Marathon Sevilla

This urban, flat, fast and beautiful brand new race course will drive athletes through the most beautiful monuments of the city. Zurich Maraton de Sevilla brings the unique opportunity to brake the Best personal result over the mythical distance to all the athletes, professional or age groupers, in one of the most perfect international marathon circuits. This fast marathon takes...


Which Shoe Brand Won the NYC Marathon?

We scored the race like an XC meet. Here are the results.One problem with pro running is that there’s no real team system to create legit rivalries and wild fan support. The major sports have figured this out—grown men wear Detroit Lions jerseys to Costco. Nobody’s slipping on a Hansons-Brooks singlet to hit up the Home Depot.

That could be in part because there is no league. Casual fans can’t throw their undying faith behind NAZ Elite and root for them to beat up on OAC during a showdown in the summer road racing season. Plus, there aren’t really any competitions where teams square off for bragging rights and team trophies—well, maybe USATF Cross Country Championships.

With XC in mind, let’s apply that kind of scoring to the NYC Marathon and manufacture some team drama.

In another article, I looked at the top 10 shoes from the marathon. But what happens when we go a bit deeper and look behind the pros? Which brand’s team is the best?Standing on the sidelines, I snapped photos of runners until the packs became too thick for me to capture everybody clearly. Then I sat with the results and matched runners to their shoes based on their bib numbers.

The elite fields were fairly small this year, so I left the pros in the scoring mix. Congrats, David Puleo from New York City, you were actually on Team Adidas with Tamirat Tola this year.

This is meant to be a fun look at shoes but, to be fair, there are many holes that can be poked into this scoring system. Nike and Adidas have bigger budgets and brought in more ringers. Likewise, because there were so many people wearing Nike, more were bound to make it to the finish line—Cam Levins (Asics) and Reed Fisher (Adidas) both dropped out but would certainly have scored well for their squads.


First, let’s take a look at the stunning number of Nikes that dotted the course. Here’s a count of the shoes among the top 250 runners. Nearly ⅔ of these runners had the swoosh.The ratio of Vaporfly and Alphafly to other shoe models got even more skewed as the times slowed. Of the final 35 runners I tagged, only 4 weren’t wearing Nike—1 Hoka, 1 Saucony, and 2 Adidas.SCORING

Now, on to the race results. Given the sheer number of Nike runners, it seemed inevitable that they’d win this meet in 2023. But, are other squads competitive? How close are they? And how strongly do the smaller brands compete on the streets?

A primer on XC scoring: In traditional cross-country, teams can have 7 runners, but only 5 actually figure into their own team’s score. But the 6th and 7th runners on a team can have a huge impact in the standings, because their place can affect their opponents’ scores. If they finish in front of another team’s 5th runner, that pushes the opponents’ score one point higher.

Let’s illustrate that with our top two teams.Not every brand in the race had enough runners across the line to yield a team score. This is only because I stopped keeping score when roughly 250 men had run by me at the 24-mile mark. They all certainly would have had five runners, in a field of 51,933 runners. But, by that time, the packs of runners became too thick for me to reliably capture bib numbers and shoes so that I could match them with their final standing later. I even peeped MarathonFoto for a few runners that I missed—some second-wavers ran really fast times!—but it was a painfully slow process and the images are too low res to accurately tell shoes apart unless they were garish neon colors that instantly gave away the brand. So I abandoned the exercise at 250 men.

(For this same reason, I was unable to score the women’s race. I made an attempt, but bib numbers were blocked too consistently to reasonably get enough data.)

Once I had the top finishers matched with their shoe brand (team), I omitted any who had finished outside their team’s top 7. In some XC races, you can run a big team, but runners 8 and up are yanked from the results for team scoring purposes.Interestingly, New Balance athletes ran in a tight pack, with the team’s 7th man finishing 31st. But they just didn’t have the pro-caliber runners needed at the front of the race to hang with the teams that made our podium.


The takeaway from all this? There are many brands building great racing shoes right now, as evidenced by the parity in the top finishers of marathons. But, further back in the pack, Nike still dominates with competitive runners. That stands to reason, as they had a few years head start on everybody else in the super shoe race.

How will these standings look in a few years, after other brands have had more time for their innovations to proliferate? If it follows suit with the pro field, expect to see some of the also-rans make a strong challenge for the podium and team title.

(11/12/2023) Views: 241 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World

2023 NYC Marathon Men’s Preview

This year’s TCS New York City Marathon fields are very different. The women’s race is absolutely stacked — the best in race history and one of the greatest assembled in the history of the sport. If you haven’t read our women’s preview yet, go ahead and do it right now. The men’s race is more of a typical NYC field — a large diversity of nationalities with some premium East African talent at the top.

Initially, the headline showdown on the men’s side was going to be the battle betweeen 2022 champ Evans Chebet and 2017/2019 champ Geoffrey Kamworor, but both withdrew last month. Instead, the field is led by Ethiopians Tamirat Tola (the 2022 world champ) and Shura Kitata, who has twice finished as runner-up in NYC but never won. Throw in a rising Cam Levins and the debut of Edward Cheserek, and there will still be some intrigue on the men’s side, but this is without a doubt the shallowest men’s major of 2023. Here are the men to watch in Sunday’s field.

The Three Guys Who Have Won Majors Before

Tamirat Tola, Ethiopia, 2:03:39 pb (2021 Amsterdam), 32 years oldSignficant wins: 2017 Dubai, 2021 Amsterdam, 2022 Worlds

Shura Kitata, Ethiopia, 2:04:49 pb (2018 London), 27 years oldSignificant wins: 2017 Frankfurt, 2020 London

Albert Korir, Kenya, 2:08:03 pb (2019 Ottawa), 29 years oldSignificant wins: 2019 Houston, 2021 New York

When looking for a winner, the first place to start is the runners who have won a major before. Seven of the last 10 NYC men’s winners had already won a major when they won New York. Tola, Kitata, and Korir all fit that criteria, with Tola and Kitata particularly worth of note (though Korir is the only one of the trio to have won NYC before).

The world champion last year, Tola ran 2:03:40 in Valencia in December, then finished 3rd in London in April. He did drop out of his most recent marathon at Worlds in August, but it’s worth noting he was in 3rd at 37k and dropped out in the final 5k once he was no longer in medal position. He quickly rebounded to win the Great North Run on September 10 by more than a minute in 59:58. Tola has some experience in NYC, but has had the least success of the trio in New York — Tolas was 4th in his two previous appearances in 2018 and 2019.  Tola has won 3 of his career 16 marathons.

Kitata was second in NYC a year ago and was also second in 2018, when he ran 2:06:01 — the third-fastest time ever in NYC. When he’s on his game, he’s one of the best in the world — he broke Eliud Kipchoge‘s long win streak by winning the 2020 London Marathon. But Kitata is coming off one of the worst marathons of his career as he was only 14th in Boston in April. Kitata has won 3 of his 18 career marathons.

Korir won NYC in 2021 — granted, against a very watered-down field that included just one man with a pb under 2:07– and was 2nd in 2019, beating both Tola and Kitata in the process. A grinder, he most recently finished a solid 4th in Boston in 2:08:01 and will be a contender again on Sunday. Korir has won 5 of his career 15 marathons.

In my mind, there’s a roughly a 65% chance one of these guys is your winner on Sunday, with the remaining 35% split between a few slightly longer shots. Let’s get to them.

The Global Medalists

Abdi Nageeye, Netherlands, 2:04:56 pb (2022 Rotterdam), 34 years old

Maru Teferi, Israel, 2:06:43 pb (2022 Fukuoka), 31 years old 

Nageeye and Teferi have a lot in common. Both moved from East Africa to Europe as children (Nageeye from Somalia to the Netherlands when he was 6, Teferi from Ethiopia to Israel when he was 14). Both have earned global medals (2021 Olympic silver for Nageeye, 2023 World silver for Teferi). Both won a famous marathon in 2022 (Rotterdam for Nageeye, Fukuoka for Teferi). One more similarity: neither has won a World Marathon Major.

But if you’ve medalled at the Olympics/Worlds and won Rotterdam/Fukuoka, you’re pretty damn close to winning a major. Both are coming off the World Championship marathon in August, where Teferi took silver and Nageeye dropped out after 25k.

It would be a pretty cool story if either man won as it took both of them a while to reach their current level: Nageeye did not break 2:10 until his sixth marathon; Teferi did not do it until marathon #10! New York will be career marathon #20 for Nageeye (and he’s only won 1 of them) and #19 for Teferi (and he’s only won 2 of them), and runners almost never win their first major that deep into their careers. But Nageeye and Teferi have also continued to improve throughout their careers. They have a shot.

The Former NCAA Stars

Cam Levins, Canada, 2:05:36 pb (2023 Tokyo)

Edward Cheserek, Kenya, debut.

Though Levins was an NCAA champion on the track at Southern Utah — he actually beat out future Olympic medalist Paul Chelimo to win the 5,000 in 2012 — his triple sessions and mega-miles (170+ per week) suggested his body was built to withstand the pounding of the marathon. It took a few years, but Levins is now world-class, running a 2+ minute pb of 2:07:09 to finish 4th at Worlds last year, and following that up with another huge pb, 2:05:36 in Tokyo in March. He’s run faster than any North American athlete in history.

No Canadian has ever won New York, and Levins will need an off day or two by the big guns if he is to break that drought. But Levins was only 14 seconds off the win in Tokyo in March, and he may not be done improving. Of the three men seeded above him in NYC, two are coming off DNFs (Tola and Nageeye) and the other is coming off a poor showing in Boston (Kitata). If Sharon Lokedi can win NY, why can’t Levins?

Speaking of Loked, her partner Edward Cheserek is making his marathon debut on Sunday — something that is suddenly much more exciting after Cheserek took down 2:04 marathoner Bernard Koech to win the Copenhagen Half on September 17 in 59:11. While Cheserek has had a few standout performances since graduating from the University of Oregon since 2017 (3:49 mile, 27:23 10k), his professional career has largely been one of frustration following 17 NCAA titles in Eugene. In six pro seasons, Cheserek has competed in just two Diamond Leagues (finishing 15th and 7th) and never run at a global championship.

Throughout that time, Cheserek’s desire had been to stay on the track, which was one of the reasons he split with coach Stephen Haas to reunite with his college coach Andy Powell. Based on what he had seen in training, Haas believed Cheserek was better suited for the marathon and told him as much. Now, after spending time training in Kenya — 2022 NYC champ Evans Chebet is a friend and occasional training partner — Cheserek has decided to make the leap.

“A lot of people have probably got in his ear and said, look you can be really good at this if you commited to it and trained for it,” said Haas, who remains Cheserek’s agent. “…He’s going really, really well. I was super impressed with him when I was over in Kenya, his long runs, his ability to up his volume…I really think this is where he’s gonna find himself as a pro runner and I think he’s got a lot of years, a lot of races to come as a marathoner.”

What is he capable of his first time out? New York is a tough course on which to debut, but Cheserek is an intriguing wild card. In the last two years, we’ve seen unheralded former NCAA stars hang around far longer than anyone expected on the women’s side, with Viola Cheptoo almost stealing the race in 2021 and Lokedi winning it last year. The men’s races have played out somewhat differently, but if this race goes slower and Cheserek is able to weather with the surges of the lead pack, he could be dangerous over the final miles.

Promising Talents that Would Need a Breakthrough to Win

Zouhair Talbi, Morocco, 2:08:35 pb (2023 Boston), 28 years old

Jemal Yimer, Ethiopia, 2:08:58 pb (2022 Boston), 27 years old

Based on what they’ve done in the marathon so far, both of these guys need to step up a level to actually win a major. But both have intriguing potential with Yimer being the much more likely winner.

Yimer formerly held the Ethiopian half marathon record at 58:33 and just finished 4th at the World Half. He’s only finished 2 of his 4 career marathons, however. But he’s in good form. Earlier in the year, he racked up good showings on the US road scene – winning Bloomsday in May,  finishing 4th at Peachtree and winning the Utica Boilermaker in July before running 58:38 in the half in August. Most recently he was fourth  (59:22) at the World half a month ago.

Talbi, the former NAIA star for Oklahoma City who has run 13:18 and 27:20 on the track, was 5th in his debut in Boston in April, running 2:08:35 in against a strong field.

The Americans

Elkanah Kibet, USA, 2:09:07 pb (2022 Boston), 40 years old

Futsum Zienasellassie, USA, 2:09:40 pb (2023 Rotterdam), 30 years old.

There are a few other US men in New York, including 2:10 guys Nathan Martin and Reed Fischer, but Kibet and Zienasellassie are the most intriguing. Kibet is 40 years old but has churned out a number of solid results recently — 4th at ’21 NYC, 2:09:07 pb at ’22 Boston, 2:10:43 at ’23 Prague. Zienasellassie, meanwhile, has run two strong races to open his marathon career: 2:11:01 to win 2022 CIM, then 2:09:40 in April to finish 11th in Rotterdam.

Ben Rosario, executive director of Zienasellassie’s NAZ Elite team, told LetsRun Zienasellassie is running New York in part because his idol, fellow Eritrean-American Meb Keflezighi, has a deep connection to the race, winning it in 2009. The other reason? To challenge himself in terms of his in-race decision making and get some reps in an unpaced race before the Olympic Trials.

(11/02/2023) Views: 352 ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault
TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

The first New York City Marathon, organized in 1970 by Fred Lebow and Vince Chiappetta, was held entirely in Central Park. Of 127 entrants, only 55 men finished; the sole female entrant dropped out due to illness. Winners were given inexpensive wristwatches and recycled baseball and bowling trophies. The entry fee was $1 and the total event budget...


Cam Levins’s bonkers workout ahead of New York City Marathon

We are less than three weeks away from Cam Levins, Canada’s marathon record holder, toeing the start line at the 2023 TCS New York City Marathon on Nov. 5. If you have not been following his Strava workouts or recent races, you might be surprised to find out that he might be in the best shape of his life.

The 34-year-old athlete is in the final few weeks of peak training before tapering for the NYC Marathon. On Oct. 12, he threw down an impressive one-kilometer workout, maintaining an average pace of two minutes and 45 seconds per kilometer for 12 reps, with only one minute’s rest between reps.

The workout 

12 sets of 1K, with one minute of jog rest @ 2:40-2:50/km

This workout is specifically designed for those training for a half-marathon or marathon, with short rest periods to acclimatize them to a faster pace. Levins pushed his limits during this session, clocking his fastest rep at 2:40 per kilometer and his slowest at 2:51 per kilometer, resulting in an astonishing 2:45 per kilometer average pace. This pace equates to an incredible 58 minutes for a half-marathon. (His Canadian record is 60:18.)

In his last two marathon outings, Levins achieved something historic for Canada, breaking the national record on both occasions. He also secured a top-five finish at both the 2022 World Championships and the 2023 Tokyo Marathon.

Levins chose to race the New York Marathon in his build-up to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. The marathon course in Paris has a challenging elevation gain of more than 400 meters across 42.2 kilometers.

Of the six Abbott World Marathon Majors, New York and Boston are considered the most challenging. New York’s difficulty is attributed primarily to the four bridges participants must cross as they wind through the city’s five boroughs, with the Verrazzano-Narrows and Queensboro Bridges both extending to a distance of more than one kilometer each. 

With the recent announcement that the 2022 NYC champion, Evans Chebet, and the two-time NYC champion, Geoffrey Kamworor, have both withdrawn due to injury, the 2023 race will see a new champion crowned in Central Park on Nov. 5. Could it be Levins? His fitness seems to indicate that he could–and if he does, he will be the first Canadian ever to win the New York City Marathon.

(10/17/2023) Views: 311 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

The first New York City Marathon, organized in 1970 by Fred Lebow and Vince Chiappetta, was held entirely in Central Park. Of 127 entrants, only 55 men finished; the sole female entrant dropped out due to illness. Winners were given inexpensive wristwatches and recycled baseball and bowling trophies. The entry fee was $1 and the total event budget...


Cam Levins shatters longstanding course record at Royal Victoria Half Marathon

On Sunday, Cam Levins raced close to his home of Black Creek, B.C., winning the Royal Victoria Half Marathon in a new course record time of 61:18 in front of his friends and family in preparation for the TCS New York City Marathon on Nov. 5. Levins broke the previous record of 62:32 held by two-time British Olympian Jon Brown, which stood for 21 years.

Running close to home meant Levins was able to race in front of his 94-year-old grandmother, Fern, and his parents, Barb and Gus, who came down from Black Creek. “I am so proud of him,” said Fern Levins of Esquimalt to the Victoria newspaper Times Colonist. “It’s not very often I get to see Cameron race live.”

“Vancouver Island will always be my home, so racing here is extra special,” said Levins. His finishing time on Sunday was a minute shy of his Canadian half-marathon record of 60:18, set at Vancouver’s First Half last February.

The 34-year-old marathoner was slated to race in the half-marathon at the 2023 World Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia, on Oct. 1, but changed his plans two weeks before the championships, opting to race the Victoria half instead, rather than travelling internationally.

Levins finished nearly three minutes ahead of the second-place finisher, 2020 Olympic marathoner and reigning Canadian marathon champion Trevor Hofbauer, who ran to a personal best of 64:07. Kip Kangogo of Lethbridge, Alta., rounded out the podium for third in 67:46.

“I felt good about my effort today,” Levins told the Times Colonist. “It [Victoria] was definitely a hard course, much like New York, helping me to gauge, making me feel pretty good about my marathon.”

Makenna Fitzgerald of Calgary won the women’s half marathon in 1:17:30, beating second-place finisher Vancouver’s Eriko Soma by 58 seconds. Victoria’s own Carley Gering took the final spot on the podium for third in 1:18:57.

The 2023 TCS New York City Marathon will be Levins’s second marathon of the year. Last March, he broke his Canadian record in the marathon for the second time in less than a year by running 2:05:36 to place fifth in the Tokyo Marathon. This marked the fastest time ever recorded by a North American marathoner, beating Khalid Khannouchi’s mark of 2:05:38 from the 2002 London Marathon (which remains the American record). Levins’s Tokyo time was under the Olympic standard of 2:08:10 and qualified him for his third Olympic Games in Paris next July.

(10/11/2023) Views: 407 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
Royal Victoria Marathon

Royal Victoria Marathon

We are one of Canada's premier running event, offering athletes an unmatchable running experience on the pristine West Coast. Our world-class, record-breaking course is designed by runners, for runners. As the only Certified Boston Qualifier on Vancouver Island, come join us to compete, to conquer and to move from warm-up to reward. ...


Cam Levins to race close to home at Royal Victoria Half-Marathon

Canada’s marathon and half-marathon record holder Cam Levins has chosen to race close to home at the Royal Victoria Half-Marathon on Oct. 8, in his preparations for the 2023 TCS New York City Marathon on Nov. 5.

Last week, Levins pulled out of the half-marathon at the 2023 World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia. Levins said he underestimated how significant the travel and recovery would be to and from the event. The championships would be a 20-hour trip for Levins each way with two layovers if he flew from his home in Portland, Ore. Levins and his coach Jim Finlayson decided the long trip would not be ideal in his build for New York. 

Canada’s marathon and half-marathon record holder Cam Levins has chosen to race close to home at the Royal Victoria Half-Marathon on Oct. 8, in his preparations for the 2023 TCS New York City Marathon on Nov. 5.

Last week, Levins pulled out of the half-marathon at the 2023 World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia. Levins said he underestimated how significant the travel and recovery would be to and from the event. The championships would be a 20-hour trip for Levins each way with two layovers if he flew from his home in Portland, Ore. Levins and his coach Jim Finlayson decided the long trip would not be ideal in his build for New York. 

The half-marathon will be close to home for Levins, who grew up three hours north of Victoria in Black Creek, B.C., where his parents, Gus and Barb Levins, still reside.

The Royal Victoria Marathon weekend is experiencing a resurgence after being disrupted by the pandemic. Last year saw the long-awaited return of the marathon, with 7,934 participants coming back after the pandemic hiatus. This year, organizers are optimistic about the event’s growth, aiming to reach 10,000 participants.

In March, the 34-year-old broke his Canadian marathon record for the second time in less than a year, clocking an impressive 2:05:36 for fifth place at the 2023 Tokyo Marathon. This was also the fastest time ever recorded by a North American, surpassing American Khalid Khannouchi’s 2:05:38 from the 2002 London Marathon.

Levins’s remarkable run in Tokyo not only met the Olympic standard of 2:08:10 but also secured his spot on Team Canada’s marathon squad for the 2024 Paris Olympics next July. His journey to the 2023 New York Marathon in November is all in preparation for his pursuit of Olympic glory in Paris, which is expected to be one of the most difficult Olympic marathon courses to date.

(09/21/2023) Views: 339 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
Royal Victoria Marathon

Royal Victoria Marathon

We are one of Canada's premier running event, offering athletes an unmatchable running experience on the pristine West Coast. Our world-class, record-breaking course is designed by runners, for runners. As the only Certified Boston Qualifier on Vancouver Island, come join us to compete, to conquer and to move from warm-up to reward. ...


Loaded men's field for 2023 New York City Marathon announced

The field has six past event champions, including Chebet, two-time champion Geoffrey Kamworor, and World Championships medalist Maru Teferi.

Reigning New York City Marathon champion Evans Chebet will return to the streets of New York to defend his title on Sunday, November 5.

Chebet, a two-time Boston Marathon champion, has had one of the greatest seasons so far, starting by defeating world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge in the Boston Marathon earlier this year.

The Boston Marathon win is enough motivation for him to make history one more time when he competes against a loaded field in the former capital of the USA.

The field has six past event champions, including Chebet, two-time champion Geoffrey Kamworor, and World Championships medalist Maru Teferi.

Challenging Chebet will be Kamworor, an Olympian and three-time half marathon world champion who is looking to become only the third athlete to win three TCS New York City Marathon men’s open division titles. He won in both 2019 and 2017 and has made the podium in all four of his appearances.

The newly crowned World marathon silver medallist Teferi, two-time World silver medallist Mosinet Geremew of Ethiopia, Olympic silver medalist Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands, and the 2021 TCS New York City Marathon champion Albert Korir of Kenya will also be in the mix to stop Chebet from winning back-to-back titles.

Two-time TCS New York City Marathon runner-up Shura Kitata of Ethiopia, North America’s marathon record-holder Cam Levins of Canada, and 2023 United Airlines NYC Half podium finisher Zouahir Talbi of Morocco will also toe the line.

Edward Cheserek, the most decorated athlete in NCAA history, will make his 26.2-mile debut, while the American contingent will be led by 2022 USATF Marathon champion Futsum Zienasellaissie and 2021 TCS New York City Marathon fourth-place finisher Elkanah Kibet.

Meanwhile, along with the previously announced TCS New York City women’s field, last year’s runner-up and two-time Olympian Lonah Chemtai Salpeter of Israel and Gotytom Gebreslase of Ethiopia will be back. 

Kenyans Edna Kiplagat and Olympian Viola Cheptoo will also return. Letesenbet Gidey and Yalemzerf Yehualaw will also line up for the first time.

(08/30/2023) Views: 449 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wafula
TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

The first New York City Marathon, organized in 1970 by Fred Lebow and Vince Chiappetta, was held entirely in Central Park. Of 127 entrants, only 55 men finished; the sole female entrant dropped out due to illness. Winners were given inexpensive wristwatches and recycled baseball and bowling trophies. The entry fee was $1 and the total event budget...


Cam Levins to take on TCS New York City Marathon

Canadian marathon record holder Cam Levins will be tackling the TCS New York City Marathon on Nov. 5, when the 34-year-old will go toe to toe against an extraordinarily deep field that includes defending champion Evans Chebet of Kenya.

This will be the first time Levins, who ran 2:05:36 at the Tokyo Marathon in March to break both the national and North American marathon records, takes on the 42.2-km distance in New York. The Black Creek, B.C., runner, who also holds the Canadan half-marathon record (60:18), ran the 2019 New York Half Marathon in 65:10 to place 18th.

Levins has broken the Canadian marathon record three times: first in 2018, then at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Ore., and again in Tokyo this year. Earlier this year he hinted he would plan on a hilly fall marathon as preparation for his overarching goal: the Paris Olympics.

This time he’ll be facing Kenya’s Chebet, who won the TCS New York City Marathon last year in 2:08:41, seven months after winning the Boston Marathon. He became the eighth man in history to win both races in the same year, and the first since 2011. Chebet already defended his Boston title earlier this year and has finished first or second in 13 marathons.

“I feel very confident as I begin my preparations to defend my TCS New York City Marathon title,” Chebet said. “I understand that nobody has won Boston and New York in back-to-back years since Bill Rodgers in the 1970’s, so making history will be my aim.”

Also challenging Levins will be Geoffrey Kamworor, a Kenyan Olympian and three-time half marathon world champion who is looking to become only the third athlete to win three TCS New York City Marathon men’s open division titles. He won in both 2019 and 2017, and has made the podium in all four of his appearances.

Others toeing the line will also include the 2023 World Athletics Championships marathon silver medallist Maru Teferi, two-time World Championships silver medallist Mosinet Geremew of Ethiopia, Olympic silver medallist Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands (who finished third in New York last year), 2021 TCS New York City Marathon champion Albert Korir of Kenya, two-time TCS New York City Marathon runner-up Shura Kitata of Ethiopia and 2023 United Airlines NYC Half podium finisher Zouhair Talbi of Morocco.

Kenya’s Edward Cheserek–a former New Jersey high school phenom and the most decorated athlete in NCAA history–will make his 42.2-km debut, while the American contingent will be led by 2022 USATF marathon champion Futsum Zienasellaissie and 2021 TCS New York City Marathon fourth-place finisher Elkanah Kibet.

(08/29/2023) Views: 450 ⚡AMP
by Paul Baswick
TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

The first New York City Marathon, organized in 1970 by Fred Lebow and Vince Chiappetta, was held entirely in Central Park. Of 127 entrants, only 55 men finished; the sole female entrant dropped out due to illness. Winners were given inexpensive wristwatches and recycled baseball and bowling trophies. The entry fee was $1 and the total event budget...


Natasha Wodak and Moh Ahmed win top spots at Canadian 10K Championships

More than 6,400 runners took part in the 2023 Ottawa 10K, presented by Otto’s Ottawa. The race attracted some of the best professional runners in Canada as well as thousands of participants from across the National Capital Region and the country. Once again this year, Ottawa played host to the Canadian 10K Championships. 

In the women’s category, 41-year-old Natasha Wodak of Vancouver completed the 10K in 32:51, winning the Canadian Championship for the third year in a row. Wodak took an early lead, leaving Leslie Sexton to take 2nd place, in 33:13. Montreal’s Caroline Pomerleau captured 3rd in 33:16.

Mohammed Ahmed took first place in the men’s category, with a time of 28:21. For most of the race, the St. Catherine’s runner ran neck and neck with Cam Levins, of Black Creek, British Columbia. But Ahmed was able to pull away in the final stretch, leaving Levins to take second in a time of 28:39. Jeremy Coughler, of London, Ontario, took third place in 29:31. 

Starting at Ottawa City Hall, the 10K course took runners along the famous Rideau Canal before heading across the Pretoria Bridge to an exciting finish in front of thousands of cheering spectators on Queen Elizabeth Drive. But the heat posed a challenge for many runners, as it was 28 degrees Celsius when the race started. 


(05/28/2023) Views: 471 ⚡AMP

Paul Poce, legendary Canadian running coach, dies at 98

On Monday, May 22, the Toronto and Canadian running community lost a historic coach with the passing of Paul Poce. In 1954, Poce founded the well-known Toronto Olympic Club, which still stands as the city’s oldest running club.

Born in Toronto in 1924, Poce began running after participating in boxing during his teens, believing that running was a better sport. His athletic career started under legendary coach Lloyd Percival, who coached him while training with the Toronto Red Devils.

Poce went on to coach 13 Olympians, including former Canadian marathon record holder Jerome Drayton; and held the role of head athletics coach for Team Canada at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and distance coach for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich and the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.

Under Poce, Drayton set a Canadian marathon record of 2:10:09 in 1975, which stood for over 40 years until Cam Levins broke the record in 2018. He also set a world record in the 1970s in the 10-mile race and was sixth in the marathon at the 1976 Olympics. Before Drayton’s accolades, Poce recruited him into distance running and the Toronto Olympic Club.

Poce coached with Toronto Olympic Club into his 90s and was inducted into the Canadian Road Runners Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 2010.

“Poce had a long and full life, living into his late nineties, and was coaching and mentoring right up until the end. I’m sure many will agree that he was universally respected and admired within our Canadian Running community and beyond. He was loved by so many, as he gave so much to everyone within his scope of influence.” – Harvey Mitro (sub-four-minute miler, former national team runner and author).

“I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Paul Poce, not only a former coach of mine, but also a true legend in the world of coaching. His remarkable 60-year tenure with the Toronto Olympic Club is a testament to his unwavering dedication and passion for the sport. I have no doubt that his impact will endure through the countless athletes whose lives he has influenced, both on and off the field of play. Paul’s commitment to his craft, along with his ability to inspire and mentor athletes, will forever be remembered. He was a truly exceptional coach and an extraordinary individual. His legacy will continue to shine brightly, serving as a guiding light for generations to come.” – Paul Osland (Athletics Ontario CEO, former national team member and Olympian)

“In a testament to how good a Paul was, when I joined the TOC junior program to coach in 1975, TOC runners owned all of the senior men’s Canadian records from the 800m to the marathon. Although I was never formally coached by Paul, he was omnipresent if not physically, but in spirit. When you were in his presence, he always was there with a quick pick-you-up quip after a bad race and just as quick with the praise when a good race was run or a PB set. Thank you Paul for all you did for running and Track & Field in Canada. RIP!” – Jerry Kooymans (Canadian Masters Athletics Hall of Fame Member and Former Toronto Olympic Club coach).

(05/25/2023) Views: 717 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson

For Mother's Day, Krista DuChene reflects on balancing the marathon and motherhood

This Mother’s Day, we present a new video about retired 2016 Olympian, Boston Marathon podium finisher and Canadian 50K record holder Krista DuChene entitled “Seven Years Later,” in which the Marathon Mom reflects on a career spent balancing running and motherhood.

“Well, the one thing that’s the same is that I’m still making pancakes every day for the kids,” DuChene laughs, while commenting that her kids are a lot bigger now. (She and her husband have two sons and a daughter–Micah, Seth and Leah–ranging in age from 17 to 12).

DuChene commented in the earlier video that she got faster after each baby; it was only after she’d had her kids that she competed as an elite runner. 

At the Montreal Half-marathon in 2014, the Brantford, Ont. runner suffered a fracture in her femur and had to be carried from the course by Canada Running Series’s Alan Brookes. Less than a year later, she returned to racing and qualified for the 2016 Olympic team in Rio, along with Lanni Marchant. Her six Abbott World Marathon Majors, including a third-place finish at the 2018 Boston Marathon, also came after her injury, which could have ended her career.

On one of the nastiest days the Boston Marathon has ever seen, no one was more shocked than DuChene herself to find that she had reached the podium. “Knowing what the weather was going to be like was definitely an advantage to me, because it was going to be cold and wet and rainy and snowy, and I think there was even hail at the start,” she says in the video. “And it was an excellent opportunity for me to go out there and prove that I could be tough in those conditions, when many people dropped out of the course … It wasn’t until I saw it on someone’s phone, in writing, that I believed it! That was a pretty special moment.”

Another was the day she broke the Canadian 50K record in Hamilton in 2021. The pandemic was in full force, and DuChene says the enforced isolation took a toll on a lot of kids, including her daughter, Leah, who was overcome with emotion when her mom crossed the finish line. “I held her shoulders, and I’m like, we did it, we did it!” says DuChene. “I really felt like she was part of that moment with me.”

DuChene’s last marathon was the 2023 Tokyo Marathon on March 5, where Cam Levins set the Canadian marathon record for the third time. DuChene also broke a Canadian masters record in that race, lowering the mark for women age 45 by more than a minute (2:38:53). It was a great way to end a stellar career–one that means as much to her family as it does to her.

(05/14/2023) Views: 605 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine

Moh Ahmed, Cam Levins to face off at Ottawa 10K

Two of the fastest distance runners in Canadian history will go head-to-head.

Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend will once again host the Canadian 10K Championships in 2023, and as always, this is an event that no runner or fan will want to miss. Two of the best distance runners in Canadian history, Cam Levins and Moh Ahmed, will headline the men’s race alongside former national champions. And four of the top five women from last year’s championships are returning, making the Ottawa 10K one of the most anticipated races on the 2023 event calendar.

It’s an equally fun and exciting race for non-elites, as the 10K follows a beautiful course through Ottawa, one of Canada’s most beautiful cities. The 2023 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is set for May 27 and 28.

The elite fields

Canadian Olympic marathoner Dylan Wykes has been the elite athlete co-ordinator at Run Ottawa for four years, but due to the pandemic, the 2023 race weekend will mark only the second in-person edition of the event he has worked on since taking over the role in early 2020. Wykes says this year’s race will be a special one, as “the best 10K runners in the country will be hitting the streets of Ottawa.”

Headlining the event are Levins and Ahmed, neither of whom have ever competed at Ottawa Race Weekend. Ahmed, a 2020 Olympic medallist in the 5,000m, holds the Canadian record for 10,000m (26:34.14 on the track), but has not yet raced on the roads in his professional career. Ahmed is amped about the opportunity to kick off his 2023 season at the Ottawa 10K and make his road-racing debut.

Levins told race organizers he’s eager to check the Ottawa 10K off his bucket list. “The opportunity to run in such a competitive field in Canada is really great,” Levins said. “Ottawa has always been an event at which I’ve wanted to race.” Joining Ahmed and Levins in the men’s field are 2:10 marathoner Tristan Woodfine, U Sports cross-country champion Max Turek, Canadian cross-country champion Connor Black and others. 

The women’s field is equally stacked, with four of the top five women from the 2022 Ottawa 10K returning to this year’s championship race. Natasha Wodak, who won last year’s race, will not be back to defend her title, but second-place Leslie Sexton, third-place Sasha Gollish, fourth-place Emily Setlack and fifth-place Cleo Boyd are all in the lineup and ready to fight for the win. “It’s a really great group of women,” Wykes says, pointing out that the field spans more than 15 years in age. “All these women have great stories and are an inspiration. 

“This is a great opportunity for fans of the sport to see [these athletes] in action,” Wykes continues, pointing to Ahmed and Levins, who headline the men’s 10K field. “Levins is performing incredibly well right now, as well as any Canadian ever has on the roads at the world level, so it’s an exciting opportunity for fans of the sport to get to see him compete on home soil.”

Wykes adds that the 10K isn’t the only spectacle for fans who will be in Ottawa on May 27 and 28. “The entire weekend is a great opportunity to see some of the world’s best runners,” he says. “Our marathon is a World Athletics Elite Label event and will have athletes from three of the best marathoning nations in the world: Ethiopia, Kenya and Japan.” 

The race

For runners who aren’t looking to go sub-30 at the Ottawa 10K, this is still a great race. One detail Wykes points out that makes it unique is the race’s start time. “I think it is special because it is an evening race,” he says. “Most road races are held in the morning, so there is definitely a bit of a different feel to things when the race is in the evening.” 

Wykes says fans are “a bit rowdier” than they might be at the crack of dawn, and he says there’s “a bit more of a party atmosphere.” This all adds up to a great night of adrenaline, fast racing and post-race fun. 

The race starts on Elgin Street, not far from Parliament Hill, and takes runners down to the Rideau Canal. “Elgin Street is lined with patios and restaurants,” Wykes says, so there are plenty of people to cheer runners on as they kick off the race. Once at the Rideau Canal, runners follow the water all the way to Dows Lake, then cross a bridge and head for the finish on the other side.

“The final mile of the race is packed with fans along the Pretoria Bridge and Colonel By Drive,” Wykes says. “I’m getting excited now, just thinking about it.” 

(05/11/2023) Views: 548 ⚡AMP
Ottawa 10K

Ottawa 10K

Ottawa's course is fast, scenic and few elevation changes. Considered to be an excellent course for first timers and should provide an environment conducive to setting a PR. The Ottawa 10K is the only IAAF Gold Label 10K event in Canada and one of only four IAAF Gold Label 10Ks in the world. The Ottawa 10K attracts one of the...


Ben Flanagan shatters Canadian record at B.A.A. 5K

For the second year in a row, the men’s Canadian 5K record was shattered at the B.A.A. 5K in Boston. Ben Flanagan of Kitchener, Ont., placed second in the race and broke the previous Canadian record by ten seconds in 13:26.

There was a lot of buzz around the Canadian 5K record heading into Saturday’s race, with Charles Philibert-Thiboutot of Quebec City coming in as the national record holder and defending B.A.A. 5K champion, while Flanagan came into the race as the reigning Canadian 5K champion, holding the second-fastest 5K time in Canadian history. 

The men’s elite race got out quickly, going through the first mile in four minutes and 12 seconds (13:00-flat pace). Flanagan and Philibert-Thiboutot found themselves in the chase pack after Ethiopia’s Tsegay Kidanu was off to an early lead. Philibert-Thiboutot drove the chase pack to catch Kidanu at the 3K point. 

In the final mile, a large pack of 15 runners was still in contention, lining up for a sprint finish on Charles St. through the Boston Common. Flanagan made a move with his Very Nice Track Club training partner, U.S. miler Morgan Beadlescomb,with 300 metres to go, and held on to finish second behind Beadlescomb in 13:26. Kenya’s Edwin Kurgat finished third in 13:27. 

Flanagan took a glance over his shoulder with one mile to go and couldn’t believe how many guys were in the lead group. “When Morgan made his move, I knew I had to keep myself close to him,” says Flanagan. “He and Charles are 1,500m guys, so you know they are explosive.”

“The race was awesome,” says Flanagan. “Even though I ran there four years ago, it well exceeded my expectations.”

This 5K record is the third Canadian road record Flanagan has broken in the last 12 months. Last June, he broke the long-standing Canadian 10K record at the B.A.A. 10K in Boston, finishing fourth in 28:11. Four months later, he ran the Canadian half-marathon record of 61-flat, beating Cam Levins by four seconds at the Valencia Half Marathon. Levins later took the half-marathon record back, running 60:18 at the Vancouver First Half in February. 

“My goal is to make a world’s team,” says Flanagan. “It annoys me that I haven’t been able to do it yet.”

Flanagan and Philibert-Thiboutot will head back to the track to chase the 2023 world championships 5,000m standard of 13:07:00 at the Sound Running Invitational in Los Angeles on May 6.

Canada’s Julie-Anne Staehli finished 13th in the women’s 5K, in 15:50. The 2022 world championship steeplechase bronze medallist, Mekides Abebe of Ethiopia, won the women’s race in a sprint finish ahead of Kenya’s Agnes Ngetich, in 15:01. American Annie Rodenfels of Boston finished third in 15:12.

(04/17/2023) Views: 734 ⚡AMP
B.A.A. 5K

B.A.A. 5K

The B.A.A. 5K began in 2009, and became an instant hit among runners from far and wide. Viewed by many as the “calm before the storm,” the Sunday of Marathon weekend traditionally was for shopping, loading up on carbohydrates at the pasta dinner, and most importantly- resting. But now, runners of shorter distances, and even a few marathoners looking for...


Cam Levins becomes the first Canadian runner to break 2:06, running to a fifth-place finish in Tokyo

On Sunday morning in Tokyo, Cam Levins of Campbell River, B.C., solidified himself as the fastest marathoner in North American history at the 2023 Tokyo Marathon, placing fifth in 2:05:36 to shatter his previous Canadian record of 2:07:09 and breaking the long-standing North American record of 2:05:38.

The 33-year-old marathoner has put Canadian distance running on the map, once again, nearly winning the Tokyo Marathon. Levins ran the perfect race, staying patient early on and making all the right moves to contend for the victory. 

With one kilometre to go, Levins was in a group of five runners vying for the win, but Ethiopia’s Deso Gelmisa sprinted away with 400m left, winning the 2023 Tokyo Marathon. 

It was an Ethiopian sweep of the podium in Tokyo, with Gelmisa taking the win in his first Abbott World Marathon Major, in 2:05:22. His compatriot, Mohamed Esa, finished one second back for second, and Tsegaye Getachew was third (2:05:25).

Levins said, going into the race, that he was shooting for a time of 2:05 after his spectacular half-marathon record run of 60:18 in early February. 

His time of 2:05:36 (pending ratification), breaks U.S. marathoner Khalid Khannouchi’s North American record of 2:05:38 from the 2002 Tokyo Marathon. American Ryan Hall is the only athlete to run faster than Levins, 2:04:58 at the 2011 Boston Marathon (though Boston is considered non-record-eligible by World Athletics since it is a net downhill, point-to-point course). 

Cam Levins now has four of the six fastest Canadian marathon times in history.

In potentially her last major marathon, Canada’sKrista DuChene ran her fastest time in four years, clocking 2:38:53 for 19th overall. The last time DuChene, 46, broke the 2:40 mark was at the 2019 Berlin Marathon, where she ran 2:32:27.

(03/04/2023) Views: 723 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. Sponsored by Tokyo Metro, the Tokyo Marathon is an annual event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World...


Canadian Cameron Levins will be seeking new national marathon record in Tokyo

Canada’s Cameron Levins is racing the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday, he will be looking to improve his own national record of 2:07:09, which he set last summer during the Eugene World Athletics Championships.

Asked if he will be going after the 2024 Paris Olympic entry standard of 2:08:10 or the 2023 Budapest World Athletics Championships standard of 2:09:40, he told Athletics Illustrated, “I think we’re waiting to see what the pace options are before making that decision, but certainly looking for a personal best and not just standard.”

Levins set a new Canadian half-marathon record on February 12 at the First Half Half Marathon clocking a 60:18. He finished 4:03 ahead of his nearest competitor. Although that time, according to World Athletics’ points performance scale is almost, but not quite, as good as his marathon best, it was run in less than ideal conditions. For example, in Eugene, there was a highly competitive field to race with — to bring the best out of him. Additionally, in Vancouver, although not overly challenging, the weather was cool and windy. The general consensus is he could have run the First Half Half Marathon a little faster, yet. Perhaps right at the level of his national marathon record. So, we know from that performance he is in great shape.

Looking at his options in Tokyo, Levins has a fast course and runners looking for a fast time and prize money.

The field is led by Ethiopian Lemma Sisay who has run as fast as 2:03:36 back in 2019 at the Berlin Marathon. He has also run at least three other sub-2:07-marathons. As it has been four years since Sisay set his best, anyone of Kenyans Bernard Koech (2:04:09), CyBrian Kotut (2:04:47), Titus Kipruto (2:04:54), Ugandan Stehen Kissa (2:04:48), Ethiopian Deso Gelmisa (2:04:53) could challenge for the win. There are also several fast Japanese runners led by Kengo Suzuki with his 2:04:56. He holds the national record from Otsu, Japan two years ago. There are six others who have run 2:05 to 2:07 — right in Levins’ range.

The 24-year-old Kipruto finished second in the Amsterdam Marathon last October — less than five months ago. He was beaten only by Ethiopian Tsegaye Getachew by five seconds. Gelmiso, just 25 and Kipruto won the 2022 Valencia and Milano Marathons respectively. If the weather is ideal expect a couple of 2:03 marathons in Tokyo. Currently the forecast is trending in the right direction with projected highs of 13-16 degrees.

Prior to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, Levins ran several marathons that ended in disappointment. These included the London Marathon in poor weather as well as Chandler, AZ, where he looked fresh at 32 kilometers into the race, running with the lead pack, only to fade to a 2:12:15 clocking. At the 11th hour, he boarded a plane for Fürstenfeld, Austria and ran a small marathon event just fast enough to qualify for the Olympics at 2:10:14. However, by the time he go to Sapporo, where the event was held, some 800 kilometers north of Tokyo, it was hot at 34 degrees celsius, and perhaps he had run too many marathons leading up. The standard was 2:11:30 at the time.

The 33-year-old Vancouver Island native has had big highs with breaking the Canadian marathon record three times, competing in two Olympic Games and at one time holding the national 10,000m record. Anything can and often does happen in a marathon event. Expect Levins to improve his own national marathon record and perhaps run 2:06 plus or minus a few seconds if all works out for him.

It was not long ago that the 43-year-old Canadian record was stuck at a modest 2:10:09 by Jerome Drayton from his run in Fukuoka, Japan in 1975. Excellent Canadian marathon runners Reid Coolsaet, Dylan Wykes, and Eric Gillis among others had led the Canadian Marathon resurgence. Levins has taken the mantle from there and has run with it to repeat records. The standard he has set and will likely continue to, will be a benchmark for up and coming Canadians to follow. Perhaps to put Canada back on the global marathon map.Levins recently signed with Asics as his new shoe sponsor. Until 2021, he was with HOKA and prior to that Nike with the now defunct Nike Oregon Project that was led by the now banned Alberto Salazar. Levins is now coached by fellow Vancouver Island runner Jim Finlayson.

(03/02/2023) Views: 605 ⚡AMP
by Christopher Kelsall
Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. Sponsored by Tokyo Metro, the Tokyo Marathon is an annual event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World...


Cam Levins has signed with Asics

It is official–Canada’s fastest marathoner, Cam Levins, has signed a sponsorship deal with the Japanese sporting brand Asics.

The 2:07 marathoner spent the entire 2022 season unsponsored, after leaving Hoka in late-2021. His fourth-place finish in the men’s marathon at the 2022 World Athletics Championships was the highest finish by a Canadian in the men’s marathon at a major championship in the IAAF/World Athletics era.

Levins’s time of 2:07:09 shattered his previous Canadian marathon record of 2:09:25 from the 2018 Toronto Waterfront Marathon. 

The 33-year-old continued his string of solid performances earlier this month when he smashed the Canadian half marathon record by 42 seconds at the Vancouver First Half, running 60:18. This was the first time a Canadian runner has gone under the 61-minute mark over 21.1 kilometers.

Levins is on the elite list for the 2023 Tokyo Marathon on March 5, and indicated to Kate Van Buskirk on Canadian Running’s The Shakeout Podcast that he’s “ready for something really special there.” 

“I am excited to head back to Japan for another opportunity to compete in a major marathon,” Levins said on Instagram.

The last time Levins was in Japan, it was for the 2020 Olympic marathon in Sapporo, where he ended up finishing a disappointing 72nd. “The Olympics were a low point for me,” Levins said in an August 2022 interview. “I felt I was right there, but I realized I was so far behind the best in the world.”

The men’s field for Tokyo features nine sub-2:05 runners, including 2022 Amsterdam champion Tsegay Getachew; London 2021 champion Sisay Lemma and his former training partner and Japanese 5,000m (and formerly, marathon) record holder, Suguru Osako.

Levins currently lives and trains in the Portland, Ore. area, and is coached by Victoria’s Jim Finlayson.


(02/25/2023) Views: 726 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson

Two-time Canadian Olympian Lucas Bruchet hangs up his track spikes

On Feb. 14, two-time Canadian Olympian and multi-time national champion Lucas Bruchet announced on Instagram that his journey in track and field is over. The 31-year-old schoolteacher and third-fastest Canadian over 5,000m will retire from competitive racing–but he has plans to stay in the sport.

Bruchet posted on Instagram:

“It’s been no secret to many, but to everybody else that’s followed my journey in athletics it’s time I tell you it’s over. I mean it’s not totally over, I’ll always run, but it’s no longer the thing that drives my life.

The goals will be different and I hope to continue to inspire the Canadian running community and explore ways to continue growing this awesome sport. I am looking forward to connecting everything I’ve learned to teaching and coaching.

Much love and thank you to my team of people who guided me and helped me achieve every goal I ever set. To all those who have supported me over the years, I appreciate y’all, these were some damn good times.”

Bruchet represented Team Canada in the men’s 5,000m at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where he finished 19th in his heat. At the 2021 Harry Jerome Classic in Vancouver, Bruchet ran a 12-second PB to become the third-fastest Canadian of all time, which earned him a spot on the Tokyo Olympic team alongside Moh Ahmed and Justyn Knight.

Bruchet ended up placing 12th in his 5,000m heat in 13:44.08. He also collected several national championship titles over the 5,000m, 10,000m and cross-country. Until 2022, Bruchet never finished lower than fourth at the Canadian XC Championships (ACXC), and he is the only male athlete in the last decade with more than one ACXC win.

He finished his career with personal bests of 3:58.60 (mile), 7:46.89 (3,000m), 13:12.56 (5,000m), 27:56.12 (10,000m) and 63:12 for the half-marathon.

Many icons in the Canadian running community paid homage to Bruchet in the comment section:

“Congrats on a great career Luc. Had a lot of fun races lining up next to you and was inspired by all the times you stepped up with big performances when you needed them. All the best moving forward!” – Cam Levins (Canadian marathon record holder and Olympian)

“You’re an inspiration man… congrats on an exceptional career. Good luck on your next chapter!” – Ben Flanagan (Canadian 10K record holder)

“Mudtruck, we love ya! what a career. Now let’s go coach some athletes and ride some bikes.” – Rob Watson (Mile2Marathon Coach and Olympian)

Bruchet plans on continuing to coach with Mile2Marathon’s Vancouver group, which offers services and training communities to runners and endurance athletes of all abilities.

(02/16/2023) Views: 621 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson

Athletics Canada names five athletes for Budapest 2023 team

On Tuesday, Athletics Canada named the first five athletes that were selected to represent the country at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, which will take place from Aug. 19-27, 2023. The team is headlined by two Canadians who broke the national marathon record in 2022, Cam Levins of Black Creek, B.C. and Natasha Wodak of North Vancouver.

Levins broke his previous national marathon record of 2:09:25 by over two minutes at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore., where he placed fourth overall in 2:07:09. His finish was the highest ever by a Canadian male or female marathoner at a major championship. Levins will be competing at the 2023 Tokyo Marathon in the lead-up to the 2023 World Championships this March.

At the 2022 Berlin Marathon, Wodak achieved the Canadian women’s marathon record, running 2:23:12. This was not only an improvement on the previous national record, but also a three-minute personal best for Wodak.

The other three Canadian athletes joining Levins and Wodak in Budapest are the second-fastest Canadian female marathoner and the reigning national champion, Malindi Elmore, Olympic silver medalist Mohammed Ahmed, and race walking bronze medalist Evan Dunfee.

Levins, Wodak and Elmore will all be participating in the marathon at worlds, while Ahmed gained early selection for the men’s 10,000m and Dunfee for the 35 km race walk.

In Oregon, Dunfee finished sixth in the 35 km race walk in a North American record time of 2:25:02, and Ahmed was fifth in the 5,000m and sixth in the 10,000m.

These five athletes were named to the team before athletes of other events because the first selection meeting for the marathon, 10,000m and 35 km race walk took place in early February. More marathon, race walk, and 10,000m athletes could be named to the team in June as part of subsequent selection meetings.

The final selection for Team Canada in all other events will take place on Aug. 3.

(02/08/2023) Views: 565 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
World Athletics Championships Budapest23

World Athletics Championships Budapest23

Budapest is a true capital of sports, which is one of the reasons why the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023 is in the right place here. Here are some of the most important world athletics events and venues where we have witnessed moments of sporting history. Throughout the 125-year history of Hungarian athletics, the country and Budapest have hosted numerous...


Canadian Cam Levins to headline 2023 Tokyo Marathon

We are just over a month away from the first Abbott World Marathon Major of the calendar year, the 2023 Tokyo Marathon on March 5, and headlining the list of elites is none other than Canadian record-holder Cam Levins

Last year, Levins had a season to remember, setting personal bests in the half-marathon and the marathon. His record-setting 2:07:09 performance came at the 2022 World Athletics Championships, where he shattered his own record by two minutes to finish fourth overall—the highest-ever finish by a Canadian male in the marathon at a major championship.

He followed that up with a half-marathon personal best at the 2022 Valencia Half Marathon, where he finished 19th in 61:04.

“I am excited to head back to Japan for another opportunity to compete in a major marathon,” Levins said on Instagram.

The last time Levins was in Japan, it was for the 2020 Olympic marathon in Sapporo, where he ended up finishing 72nd place. “The Olympics were a low point for me,” Levins said in an August 2022 interview. “I felt I was right there, but I realized I was so far behind the best in the world.”

With his time of 2:07 at Worlds, Levins ended the year as the top North American marathoner in the world, according to World Athletics. 

Levins will need another magical performance to contend with some of the world’s best marathoners in Tokyo. The men’s field features nine sub-2:05 runners, including 2022 Amsterdam champion Tsegay Getachew, London 2021 champion Sisay Lemma and his former training partner and Japanese 5,000m (and formerly, the marathon) record holder, Suguru Osako.

The 2023 Tokyo Marathon is scheduled for Sunday, March 5. On Feb. 12, Levins will compete in the Vancouver First Half in the lead-up to his marathon. 

(01/31/2023) Views: 700 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson

Ben Flanagan snags Canadian record at Valencia Half Marathon

Two Canadians ran to national records and personal bests at the Valencia Half Marathon on Sunday morning. Ben Flanagan, 27, continued his winning ways on the roads, setting a new Canadian record in the half-marathon in 61 minutes flat. Fellow Canadian and national record holder in the marathon, Cam Levins, 33, finished right on Flanagan’s heels in a new personal best of 61:05.

Levins’s time was the second fastest in Canadian history, and the two athletes finished in 18th and 19th places, respectively. The previous Canadian half-marathon record of 61:08 was set by Rory Linkletter in January, besting a national record that had held for 22 years. Valencia’s record-breaking run was also a 38-second personal best for Flanagan, who became the 2022 Canadian 10K champion in May and 5K champion in September.

The Valencia Half Marathon is known for its fast course and deep elite fields, and heading into the race, speculation abounded about a possible new world record. The men’s race kicked off slightly slower than expected, with unseasonably high temperatures (17 C) and humidity.

Kenyan’s Kibiwott Kandie and Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen captured the overall victories in the half-marathon. Kandie, who broke the world record here two years ago, broke away from the lead pack to finish in 58:10, followed by Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha in 58:32 and last year’s third-place finisher, Daniel Mateiko in 58:40.

Klosterhalfen finished with a kick in the last kilometer, winning her half-marathon debut in 65:41.The European champion and 2019 world bronze medalist over 5000m told World Athletics: “I chose Valencia because of the fast times set over the previous years and my decision proved to be right today.” She was followed by Ethiopia’s Tsigie Gebreselama in 65:45 and Hawi Feysa (also from Ethiopia) in 66:00.

(10/24/2022) Views: 1,001 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon has become one of the top running events in the world. Valencia is one of the fastest half marathon in the world. The race, organized by SD Correcaminos Athletics Club, celebrated its silver anniversary in style with record participation, record crowd numbers, Silver label IAAF accreditation and an atmosphere that you will not find...


3 Ways to Be a Better Marathoner, From the Fourth-Place Finisher at Worlds

Cam Levins took two minutes off his own Canadian record. He has thoughts

At the Tokyo Olympics last year, Cam Levins had a rough time of it. He finished in 72nd place—out of 76—in 2:28:43. 

Fast forward to July 17 in Eugene, Oregon, and Levins had a vastly different result at the World Championships marathon: fourth in 2:07:09, breaking his own Canadian record from 2018. 

“I would only have been happier if I was one place higher,” Levins, 33, said in the moments immediately after the race. “But it was the best race of my life. I couldn’t be disappointed with it.” 

It wasn’t by accident. Levins, who lives in Portland, Oregon, came away from his Tokyo experience, determined to overhaul his approach. 

“I needed to be better in every way, across the board,” he said. “I changed myself completely as an athlete last year to this year. Training harder and better in every conceivable way.”

A few hours after his race, Levins stood outside Hayward Field and explained his transformation to Runner’s World, while jubilant Canadian track fans stood by to listen, take photos, and congratulate him. 

How did Levins do it? And what can runners who aren’t in the elite ranks take from his lessons? He shared three tips. 

Take an objective look at training

Levins broke the longstanding Canadian record when he debuted in 2018, running 2:09:25. Then he had a series of sub-par races over the next three years. 

After Tokyo, Levins decided he needed to return to his high-mileage ways. (When he was an undergraduate at Southern Utah University, where he was a two-time NCAA champion, he was notorious for putting in 150–160 miles per week.) 

For this marathon, he got up to 170 miles per week in March and held it for several weeks, sometimes working out twice per day. (About once every three weeks, he’d do 5 x 2,000 meters in the morning, and 20 x 400 meters in the evening.) 

The point isn’t that Levins runs high mileage and everyone else should, too. Keira D’Amato, the American record holder in the marathon, rarely breaks 100 miles per week. 

Levins’s lesson is about channeling frustration into change. Last summer, “I think I was really disappointed in myself,” he said. “I think it's important to just take a look at your training and kind of think, ‘What am I missing?’” 

Don’t neglect strength 

Levins was getting injured frequently, and he struggled late in marathons. Since Tokyo, he has been religious about his strength training, which allows him to maintain his epic volume and finish strong in races. 

“I think it makes such a huge difference late in the marathon,” he said. “It's not like you've been breathing that hard. It’s your body. You’re so worn out from running that much.” 

His routine consists of four parts—single-leg exercises, mobility work, core strengthening, and deadlifts, and he does it with the help of David McHenry, a strength coach in Portland.

“Of everything I’ve done, that's been the single most important change that I’ve made,” Levins said. 

Marathoners need speed, too

Levins trained his track speed during the marathon build. He ran 27:53 for 10,000 meters on the track in April, and occasionally, he incorporated elements of mile speed into his workouts, he said. 

He’d do repeats as short as 200 meters and short, 30-second hill repeats, as a way of “recruiting different muscle fibers,” he said. Like strength training, it’s easy to neglect amid the long runs and marathon pace work.

It paid off: In Eugene, Levins ran his final kilometer in 3:01 and outlasted Kenyan great Geoffrey Kamworor for fourth place.

(07/23/2022) Views: 1,026 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World

What does strength mean in distance running?

If you have ever watched a distance track event or marathon, you’ve probably heard an announcer mention a runner’s strength. We can see a sprinter’s strength in their muscle size and explosive power–but what does strength refer to when we’re talking about distance runners, who are typically longer and leaner? 

Simply by looking at Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, five-time world champion, we can see strength embodied.  Distance runners, who are often leaner and less obviously muscular than sprinters, also get called strong, but it’s less obvious what observers are referring to.

Canadian half-marathon record holder Rory Linkletter, whose body is trained to carry him at a fast pace (but not a sprint) over many kilometers, is clearly a very different type of strong than Fraser-Pryce. It can be hard to determine what the word “strength” is meant to encompass when it’s used to refer to athletes like Linkletter, or Cam Levins, who broke his own Canadian record in the marathon on Sunday morning.

We asked commentator and writer Cathal Dennehy, whose distinctive voice you may have heard broadcasting many an exciting track event. “For distance runners, the term strength has little to do with muscle strength but everything to do with endurance and how effective they are at running distances above their race distance,” Dennehy explained. “It’s the ability to maintain pace and, specifically, the ability to put rounds back to back and repeat their optimal performance day after day–a key component of success at championships.” 

For distance and middle-distance athletes, the term strength has far more to do with consistently running at top paces over long periods of time. Stamina, often used interchangeably with endurance, is that ability. While athletes who run everything from the 1,500 meters to the marathon may not be touted as endurance athletes, it’s stamina, or endurance that they are using as they log fast miles, over and over. 

To work on your own strength (or speed endurance) as a distance runner, try incorporating fast-finish long runs into your training: run the last, shorter portion of your long run at a slightly faster pace than the rest of the run. If you’re an experienced runner, try back-to-back workouts to finesse your ability to run hard and long.

(07/21/2022) Views: 858 ⚡AMP
by Keeley Milne

Cam Levins shattered his own Canadian record in the marathon

It was a morning to remember for Canadian distance running at Alton Baker Park in Eugene on Sunday July 17.  Cam Levins shattered his own Canadian record in the marathon at the World Championships, running 2:07:10 for fourth overall behind winner Tamirat Tola in 2:05:35 and Mosinet Geremew (2:06:43), both of Ethiopia, and Bashir Abdi of Belgium (2:06:48). Levins beat his previous record of 2:09.25, which he set at the 2018 Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

Cam Levins outkicked Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor for fourth in the men’s marathon in a new national record time of 2:07:10. 

After the race, an elated Levins said he realized after the Olympics that he “needed to be better in every way, across the board,” and that he had worked hard to improve his training in every way–and we all witnessed the results on the course. (In Sapporo last year, Levins faded in the extreme humidity, finishing 72nd in 2:28:43).

After a very sedate first 30 km, with runners still in a large pack, Levins could be seen near the front, though never leading. When Tola, the eventual winner, kicked hard after an hour and 40 minutes, no one went with him–but Levins continued to look comfortable in the chase pack of five or six runners, only becoming separated from Geremew and Abdi in the last few kilometres.

This is the best-ever performance in a world championship marathon by a Canadian male; Peter Maher’s 10th-place finish at the 1993 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany was the previous best.

(07/19/2022) Views: 746 ⚡AMP
World Athletics Championships Budapest23

World Athletics Championships Budapest23

Budapest is a true capital of sports, which is one of the reasons why the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023 is in the right place here. Here are some of the most important world athletics events and venues where we have witnessed moments of sporting history. Throughout the 125-year history of Hungarian athletics, the country and Budapest have hosted numerous...


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: 1,015 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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. ...


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: 1,029 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson

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: 1,142 ⚡AMP

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: 1,012 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton

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: 870 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine

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: 1,019 ⚡AMP
by Canadian Press
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. ...


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: 1,078 ⚡AMP
by Canadian Press
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. ...


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: 1,264 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine

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: 1,401 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath

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: 1,033 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath

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: 1,145 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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. ...


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: 775 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine

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, 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: 1,088 ⚡AMP
by Sarah Lorge Butler (Runner's World)

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: 978 ⚡AMP
by Lets Run

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: 1,059 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly

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: 1,803 ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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...


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: 1,732 ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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...


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: 1,832 ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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...


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: 1,904 ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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...


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: 1,775 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly

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: 1,929 ⚡AMP
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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