© Copyright – 2014 – Athletics Illustrated

One of Canada’s all-time great middle-distance runners – now retired – Kevin Sullivan from Branford, Ontario, ran the Honolulu Marathon today on a whim. He finished the race sporting a kit from the University of Michigan, where he is the head cross country coach.

When asked about his race, Sullivan said, “I was in Honolulu as a guest of the marathon and had a number to go (run) as far as I felt like. When Nick Willis and Will Leer asked if I wanted to join them on their long run, I simply said, hell if I am going to run 16-18 miles and wait to get picked-up, I might as well just run the whole thing.” And that is what Sullivan did, finishing in the time of 2:40:22. Sullivan ran a negative split, passing the half-way point in the time of 1:22:24. He finished in 23rd position overall, however, was bettered by seven women.

The effort, although strong for a casual run, does not come close to the international times that he ran when he specialised the 1500m distance and the mile (1609m).

Sullivan currently holds the Canadian 1500m record of 3:31.71 that he ran in Rome in 2000. He has run the imperial mile as fast as 3:50.26 that same year in Oslo, Norway. Seven years ago he ran the 5,000m distance in the time of 13:19.27. He broke the four-minute mile benchmark at least 32 times and currently holds the Canadian record in the 3,000m indoor event with his time of 7:40.17. He placed as high as fifth in the Olympic Games 1500m final.

Asked what sort of weekly volume of mileage he currently runs he said, “Ha, mileage!  The last month I’ve been lucky to get 40-50mpw (65-80kpw) in. Longest run in the last three months has been 16 miles.” Asked if he will take the marathon more seriously in the future he answered, “There is a zero chance of taking the marathon seriously. I only decided on Friday that I was going to run the full distance.”

According to the IAAF scoring tables, his 13:19.27, 5,000m best projects to a marathon finish time of 2:11:14; however, projecting marathon performances off of 5,000m results that are not an athlete’s specialty, is dubious at best. Sullivan’s 5,000m time is the fifth fastest in Canadian history, only bettered by Mo Ahmed, Cameron Levins and Jeff Schiebler. Schiebler’s national record currently stands at 13:13.96.