Black Creek’s two-time Olympian, Canadian marathon record holder, and lifetime Comox Valley Road Runners (CVRR) member Cam Levins joined other club members for standout performances at the First Half Marathon Feb. 12 in Vancouver.
After a disappointing Olympic marathon, Levins has been on fire. His fourth-place finish at the World Athletic Championships Marathon in July, with a time of 2:07:07, confirmed he could compete at a world-class level. He backed that up in October in Valencia, Spain with a 1:01:04 half marathon, the second-fastest half marathon ever run by a Canadian.
Levins continued his stellar performances at the First Half with a dominant win, shattering the previous Canadian record by 42 seconds, with a finishing time of 1:00:18. It was all the more remarkable as he completed the feat by running solo for most of the race in less than ideal conditions, finishing more than four minutes ahead of his nearest competitor.
He has already been selected to represent Canada at the 2024 World Athletics Championships. His next event is March 5 at the 2023 Tokyo Marathon. Levins plans to go head-to-head with the world’s best in that race, but his main goal will be to secure a berth in the 2024 Paris Olympics by bettering the qualifying time of 2:08:10.
Roslyn Smith continued her winning ways at the First Half with a dominant performance in the W70-74 age group in a time of 1:49:24. She was 14 minutes in front of her nearest competitor. Even more remarkably, Smith was the third age graded runner out of a field of more than 2,000 runners, finishing after only Levins and women’s overall winner Natasha Wodak. Fellow CVRR runners Wayne Crowe and Rob Kelly also had strong performances. Crowe placed third in the M65-69 age group, in a time of 1:34:27, while Kelly was fifth in the M55-59 group in 1:31:01. These CVRR runners are building towards a spring marathon and this was a great step along that path. They all wish Levins well in his future running adventures.
Feeling inspired? Then get involved in our local half marathon as either a participant or as a volunteer. The Comox Valley RV Half Marathon takes place March 19. More information, including registration and volunteer signup, can be found online. There is also the 5k Fun Run March 18 as part of the CVRR 5k Run Clinic, and is open to the public. Check out both events at cvrr.ca and get involved.