Cameron Levins appears to have regained all of, or most of, his prior fitness levels.
Saturday in Valencia, Spain, at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, he finished the race in a near Canadian record and a half-marathon personal best time of one-hour, two minutes and 15 seconds. He crossed the line in 30th position.
His 20-kilometre split of 59:09 appears to be a new national record. The previous record was set in 1978 by Paul Bannon at 61:06.
“I’m really pleased with the race. My foot finally felt perfect the last few weeks; I was able to train both hard and consistently,” said Levins. “I’m really excited to see what I can do in the next month before I start track season. We knew it would be windy/rainy, and so the plan was just to do everything I could to stay with a group. I just found that I was feeling pretty strong, and was able to hang in for a long time and come away with a nice result. I could have maybe finished a bit stronger, but I was just so happy to feel good and I knew it was going to be a great result, for me, no matter what. It was a huge confidence booster for me.”
The Canadian record is owned by Jeff Schiebler at 61:28 set in 1999 at the Tokyo International Marathon.
Levins is the former Canadian 10,000-metre record holder, which he set at 27:07.51 three years ago in Eugene. The record has since been improved to 27:02.35 by St. Catharine’s Mohammed Ahmed during the 2017 London IAAF World Track and Field Championships.
Vancouver’s Geoffrey Martinson finished 79th in the time of 64:34. Toronto’s Sami Jibril crossed the line in the time of 67:11, while Evan Esselink was nine seconds back, top-three score. Team Canada’s men finished 20th out of 23 teams.
The Canadian women had a better day as a team, finishing 10th out of 19, led by Toronto’s Sasha Gollish who crossed the line in the time of 1:11:52. Victoria Coates was the second Canadian crossing in the time of 1:13:35, while Kinsey Middleton was just 17 seconds back. Emily Setlack finished in 1:17:30 – top three counting to team results.
Coates’s finish time was a new personal best performance, while Gollish, who owns a personal best of 1:11:05 had a season-best outcome.
The Canadian record was set by Vancouver’s Rachel Cliff this year at 1:10:08 in Woodlands, TX. She chose to race in the upcoming Commonwealth Games 10,000-metre event instead.
The men’s race was won by Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor. It was his third consecutive win for him and he crossed the line in the time 60:02. He finished ahead of Abraham Cheroben and Aron Kifle.
The world record is 58:23 by Eritrea’s Zersenay Tadese from March of 2010.
Ethiopia swept the team divisions, while Kenya finished second in both. Bahrain finished third in both events, as their teams are made up in part by expat Kenyans.
Ethiopia’s Netsanet Kebede won the women’s race in a personal best time of 66:11. Forty-three second’s back was defending champion Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei and two more seconds back was fellow Kenyan Pauline Kamulu – 66:54 and 66:56, respectively.