For the first time since last summer’s Olympic Trials, Cam Levins raced on the track, let alone any surface.
The Canadian 10,000m record holder had surgery on his ankle last July to resolve multiple lower leg problems, including stress fractures to his navicular bone and talus, which he had been battling for the year leading up to the Rio Olympics. He did not qualify for the 2016 Summer Games.
On Friday night in Portland, Ore., Levins made his return to the track. He contested the men’s 5,000m at the Stumptown Twilight, a high-performance meet focused on distance events. Sporting the Canadian kit from the 2012 Olympics, instead of the Nike Oregon Project kit like his teammate and race winner Galen Rupp, Levins ran 14:10.92. The IAAF World Championships standard for the 5,000m is 13:22.60.
Levins finished fifth in the heat, one of four Canadians in the race. Rupp, the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist in the marathon, won the event in 13:54.88.
Feels good to be able to race again, but still got a long ways to go. Hopefully shook some rust off.
Next up @BAA 10k on the 25th!
— Cam Levins (@CamLevins) June 17, 2017
“Feels good to be able to race again, but still got a long ways to go,” Levins tweeted out. “Hopefully shook some rust off.” He told FloTrack after the race that he was nervous about what type of shape he was in heading into the twilight race.
Levins, 28, broke the Canadian 10,000m record in 2015 at the Prefontaine Classic running 27:07.51. The Black Creek, B.C. native is a graduate of Southern Utah University. He won bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in the 10,000m.
Levins may make his marathon debut this fall though no plans have been publicly announced. However, he did tell the CBC that “it makes sense that it’s [marathon] something to try this year.”
The 2012 Bowerman Award winner for the NCAA’s most outstanding collegiate in athletics, and Canada’s first winner of the award, is expected to race the Boston Athletic Association 10K. The B.A.A.-hosted event, the same organization which puts on the Boston Marathon, goes off on June 25, two weeks before the Canadian Track and Field Championships in Ottawa.
Meanwhile, in the women’s 5,000m, Canadian Sasha Gollish bested Jordan Hasay, who was third at the Boston Marathon, among other notables to win in 15:24.12, just off the IAAF World Championships standard of 15:22.
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Goal: get uncomfortable and stay uncomfortable. I tried a new 5k strategy vs 5 days ago at the Portland Track Festival where I ran 16:49 in control. Tonight I ran a 11second PR. 16:32! 💪 In a strong field @sgollishruns won in 15:24. @oiselle #sisterhood power! #headupwingsout (📷@jesssbarnard)