Cam Levins brought new meaning to the phrase “go the extra mile” at the Armory Track Invitational on Jan. 31 in New York.
The 25-year-old Black Creek distance runner was the star of the meet on Saturday, winning the mile race, taking a brief rest, then winning the two-mile event.
Levins won the mile in 3:54.47 (a world-leading time for this season that missed Nate Brannen’s Canadian indoor record by about four-tenths of a second and was a personal best by three seconds). Chris O’Hare was second in 3:57.26.
In the 30 minutes between races, Levins said he, “changed my shoes, sat down for a second, went downstairs for a jog and basically got some water. I then put on my spikes and got back on the track. It went by pretty quickly.”
Levins then completed the double by defeating 2012 Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp, his Nike Oregon Project club teammate, in the two-mile race. Rupp had the lead entering the final lap before Levins made his move.
“When I got to there, I’m like, ‘Oh, man, Galen’s not pulling away from me; maybe I got a shot at it,’” Levins told reporters afterward. “I thought he was just going to start hammering that last lap, frankly. And when he didn’t, I’m like, ‘Oh, I’m still here; maybe I can make a move on him.’ And then he didn’t really respond,” Levins said.
Levins’s winning time was 8 minutes 15.38 seconds, with Suguru Osako of Japan second in 8:16.47 and Ben Blankenship of Nike Oregon Track Club third in 8:16.53. Rupp, the runner-up in the 10,000 metres at the 2012 Olympics, finished fourth in 8:17.24.
“I feel the strongest and fittest I ever have,” Levins told reporters after his second race. “I felt fresh and good, I knew I was fit, but I don’t know if I was expecting to come back and run a good two-mile after my mile, that’s for sure.”
Levins, who won bronze in the 10,000 metre race at last summer’s Commonwealth Games, has run doubles in the past. While at Southern Utah, he won both the 5,000 and 10,000 metres in his final NCAA season, earning the Bowerman Award as the U.S. college’s top track athlete. He also ran both events at the 2012 London Olympics.
Next up, Levins is scheduled to run the 5,000 metres at the Millrose Games, Feb. 14 in New York.