In his marathon debut, Cam Levins of Black Creek, B.C., shattered Jerome Drayton’s 43-year-old Canadian men’s record on a brisk Sunday morning in Toronto.
Levins, who wanted to debut in the 42.2-kilometre race on home soil and specifically the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, crossed the finish line in two hours nine minutes 22 seconds, 47 seconds ahead of Drayton’s longstanding mark.
“I was feeling good throughout most of the race and I made it through the last 10K,” said an exhausted and relieved Levins, who is taking a cruise with his wife, Elizabeth, on Monday.
“I’m headed to the Bahamas to get some warm weather and then I’m sure I’ll do another marathon after this.”
Levins earned a bonus of $43,000 for his performance $1,000 for each year Drayton’s record stood.
Coming off a gold-medal sweep of the 5,000 and 10,000 metres at the NCAA championships in 2012, Levins competed at his first Summer Games that year in London, England, finishing 11th in the 10,000 and 14th in the 5,000.
He captured bronze in the 10,000 at the 2014 Commonwealth Games before hitting a road block the following season at the Canadian track and field championships in Edmonton.
Levins ran his first-ever half marathon last December and crossed the line in 1:05:07 at the Holiday Half Marathon in Oregon.
He clocked 1:05:00 on Jan. 14 in Houston after signing a sponsorship deal with athletic shoe company Hoka One One and two months later, Levins placed 30th at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in a personal-best 1:02:15, less than a minute shy of Jeff Schiebler’s Canadian mark of 1:01:28 in 1999.