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Cam Levins shatters longstanding course record at Royal Victoria Half Marathon

The Canadian marathon record holder broke the course record at the Royal Victoria Half Marathon by more than a minute

Cam Levins Victoria Photo by: Royal Victoria Marathon/Billie Design Co

On Thanksgiving Sunday, Cam Levins raced close to his home of Black Creek, B.C., winning the Royal Victoria Half Marathon in a new course record time of 61:18 in front of his friends and family in preparation for the TCS New York City Marathon on Nov. 5. Levins broke the previous record of 62:32 held by two-time British Olympian Jon Brown, which stood for 21 years.

Running close to home meant Levins was able to race in front of his 94-year-old grandmother, Fern, and his parents, Barb and Gus, who came down from Black Creek. “I am so proud of him,” said Fern Levins of Esquimalt to the Victoria newspaper Times Colonist. “It’s not very often I get to see Cameron race live.”

“Vancouver Island will always be my home, so racing here is extra special,” said Levins. His finishing time on Sunday was a minute shy of his Canadian half-marathon record of 60:18, set at Vancouver’s First Half last February.

Cam Levins to take on TCS New York City Marathon

The 34-year-old marathoner was slated to race in the half-marathon at the 2023 World Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia, on Oct. 1, but changed his plans two weeks before the championships, opting to race the Victoria half instead, rather than travelling internationally.

Levins finished nearly three minutes ahead of the second-place finisher, 2020 Olympic marathoner and reigning Canadian marathon champion Trevor Hofbauer, who ran to a personal best of 64:07. Kip Kangogo of Lethbridge, Alta., rounded out the podium for third in 67:46.

“I felt good about my effort today,” Levins told the Times Colonist. “It [Victoria] was definitely a hard course, much like New York, helping me to gauge, making me feel pretty good about my marathon.”

Makenna Fitzgerald of Calgary won the women’s half marathon in 1:17:30, beating second-place finisher Vancouver’s Eriko Soma by 58 seconds. Victoria’s own Carley Gering took the final spot on the podium for third in 1:18:57.

The 2023 TCS New York City Marathon will be Levins’s second marathon of the year. Last March, he broke his Canadian record in the marathon for the second time in less than a year by running 2:05:36 to place fifth in the Tokyo Marathon. This marked the fastest time ever recorded by a North American marathoner, beating Khalid Khannouchi’s mark of 2:05:38 from the 2002 London Marathon (which remains the American record). Levins’s Tokyo time was under the Olympic standard of 2:08:10 and qualified him for his third Olympic Games in Paris next July.

For full results from the Royal Victoria Marathon weekend, click here

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