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Canadian marathon and half-marathon record holder Cameron Levins will be racing the Royal Victoria Half Marathon on Sunday, October 8.

The 34-year-old Vancouver Island native, now living in Portland, OR, will be racing Victoria in preparation for the New York City Marathon happening five weeks later on Nov. 5.

For Levins, Victoria is convenient as the island city is located directly north of Portland where he lives, so, he will be racing in the same time zone and can drive straight up the I5 highway. His coach Jim Finlayson also calls the provincial capital home.

Levins announced over X (fmr Twitter) that “unfortunately, I have withdrawn from the World Road Running Championships,” due to the significant travel involved.

He shared with Athletics Illustrated why he is racing Victoria, “We like that the course has some rolling hills so it should be good practice for managing my effort in prep for the NYC marathon. Still looking to run a good time if conditions allow though.”

Levins improved upon his own national marathon record clocking a 2:05:36 in Tokyo this March — it is also the North American “area record.” Levins set the national half-marathon record of 1:00:18 in Vancouver, the month prior. He is a two-time Olympian and bronze medallist from the Commonwealth Games.

Levins grew up on Vancouver Island in Black Creek, near Campbell River. He went on to compete in the NCAA for Southern Utah University under coach Eric Houle. He won the NCAA 10,000m championships and subsequently went on to the 2012 London Olympic Games. Levins held the national 10,000m record at 27:07.51, which he set at the former Hayward Field in 2015. Since then Moh Ahmed has improved that time to 26:34.14.

In Toronto, Levins clocked a 2:09:25 performance to break the long-standing national marathon record in 2018. The previous record was set by Jerome Drayton in 1975 at the Fukuoka Marathon at 2:10:09. Many Canadians had tried to improve the time, and several came close but were not able to break the barrier. Levins did so, then improved the record again. He improved it twice having finished fourth in the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, OR with a 2:07:09 performance.

The Royal Victoria Half Marathon record is currently 1:02:32, which was set by three-time Olympian Jon Brown of Great Britain. He later ran for Canada. Brown resided in Victoria when he set the record. Brown finished fourth in the Sydney and Athens Olympic Games in the marathon.

The Royal Victoria Half Marathon is part of the Royal Victoria Marathon weekend happening on Thanksgiving Sunday, Oct. 8. There is also a fast 8K and a 5K on Saturday in neighbouring Oak Bay, which much of the marathon passes through.

More information can be found here.