Cam Levins will embark on his debut marathon at the 2018 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. In all likelihood, it will be a noteworthy performance. All eyes will be on the Vancouver Island native and former Nike (now with Hoka) athlete as he seeks to take down the 43-year-old national record time of 2:10:09 from Jerome Drayton’s run at Fukuoka in 1975.
Levins is the most likely candidate to take down the record after a trio of Canadians came heartbreakingly close several times including the uber-consistent Reid Coolsaet of Guelph, ON, who ran several marathons within seconds of the record. His best is a 2:10:28 in 2015 at the Berlin Marathon. Dylan Wykes and Eric Gillis were the other two to came close.
Coolsaet believes Levins is capable of breaking the record, citing his ability to handle large volumes in training and his fast 10,000-metre personal best – a former national record at 27:07:51.
Levins has not yet had the half-marathon race to indicate this, but in fairness, he spent two years in and out of injury including having foot surgery. Levins believes he is in the best general fitness since surgery and will seek to take advantage of it by peaking for Toronto.
Last Sunday, he ran the Philadelphia Half Marathon and acquitted himself well, however, did not run a time that is equal in performance to a Canadian marathon record. Perhaps his effort was partially at marathon pace, if so, the 63:10 finish time would be a strong effort. He ran a 62:15 in Valencia earlier in the year. Both races were warm, both run off of general fitness.
Asked if he is happy with his performance, Levins told Athletics Illustrated, “Yup I’m happy with my result. [I’m} In a good position as I continue to build to Toronto, and in my best shape I’ve been in since surgery.”
His 2018 half-marathons suggest a 2:13 to 2:14 marathon time, according to the IAAF scoring tables, which are considered reasonably accurate for predicting performance. His 10,000-metre best suggests a 2:07 to 2:08. Levins has not been in peak-sharp form since well before his surgery – simply his running has been driven by a very strong aerobic base.
He plans to peak for Toronto on Sunday, Oct. 21 where he may take Jerome’s record or just run a top-level debut event. Either way, he is likely to have a noteworthy performance.