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Ben Preisner’s marathon

Ben Preisner is now the second-fastest Canadian marathon runner of all time behind only Cam Levins. On Saturday at the Beppu-Ōita Marathon in Japan, Preisner finished in fourth position and clocked a 2:08:58 finish time.

The marathon runs the 42.195 kilometres from the cities of Beppu and Ōita, on the island of Kyūshū, Japan.

Preisner competed in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games finishing as first Canadian in the time of 2:19:27 — the temperatures were too warm for fast results. Levins of Black Creek, BC holds the current North American marathon record of 2:05:36, set during the Tokyo Marathon in March 2023.

Preisner, the 27-year-old Milton, ON native, lowered his former best of 2:10:17, which he set during the one-off Chandler, AZ race called The Marathon Project in Dec. 2020. Preisner finished 28th at the 2023 Budapest World Athletics Championships in August, clocking a 2:15:02 finish time.

The 2024 Paris Olympic marathon standard is 2:08:10. Athletics Canada may send up to three male and three female athletes if they are ranked globally top 80 and have run faster than the standard during the qualification period. Levins is it so far. Shades of the Tokyo Olympic qualification period, where Levins ran an 11th-hour event in Austria — his fourth marathon in 12 months — to take the third team spot, bumping Tristan Woodfine who would go on to protest the selection based on his bettering Levins head-to-head in London. To no avail. Levins may have had to run too many marathons to qualify and didn’t have a great Olympics. Preisner is now faced with the same dilemma: run again soon or watch the Olympics from home.

Natasha Wodak is also facing the same issue. She is the national record holder with her 2:23:12 from Berlin 2022. During the Houston Marathon in January, she attempted to run the Olympics standard of sub-2:26:50, however, did not make it. She will announce Wednesday, where her next marathon will be. It will be an attempt to qualify for Paris and it won’t be in London.

Marco Arop’s Canadian record

On Sunday at the New Balance Grand Prix, Edmonton’s Marco Arop improved the Canadian indoor 1,000m record. He clocked the second-fastest indoor time in the world with an impressive 2:14.74 performance. This is his fourth Canadian record and his second of 2024.

Arop led from the gun at the New Balance Grand Prix in Boston. He went in with the plan to improve the world record of 2:14:20.

The Budapest World Athletics gold medallist in the 800m performance was a two-second personal best, beating the previous national record of 2:16.87 which was previously held by 1500m specialist Nathan Brannen.

“My agent asked me a few months ago if I wanted to break the world record here. I thought it was on the cards, but to come close shows I am in great shape,” said Arop, post-race.

Arop’s national records are 800m 1:42.85 from Hayward Field, Eugene, OR, 800m short track in 1:45.50 at the Randal Tyson Indoor Center, Fayetteville, AR, 1000m in 2:14.35 Stade Louis II, Monaco and 1000m short track 2:14.74 The Track at New Balance, Boston.

*Indoors is now termed “short track” by World Athletics when the track is shorter than 400m. Most indoor tracks are 200m in length.