TORONTO, ONTARIO: A Black Creek athlete made Canadian men’s marathon history Sunday in Toronto.
Cam Levins smashed Jerome Drayton’s 43-year-old Canadian men’s record at the 2018 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.
Levins, 29, ran the last 10 kilometres of the race virtually alone to cross the line fourth overall in a time of 2:09:25.
Drayton ran 2:10:09 to win the 1975 Fukuoka (Japan) marathon and since then numerous Canadians have targeted his standard.
“I went through the half fast and when I got to the last 10k I knew it was all good,” Levins explained. “I tried to hang in as strongly as I could. The reality is that with 3k left I knew I could do it and with a kilometre left I was certain it was going to happen and I was enjoying the moment.”
Scotiabank will pay out a bonus of $43,000 – $1,000 for each year the record has stood.
Levins also took the Canadian championship gold medal as this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is also the Athletics Canada national marathon championship.
Reid Coolsaet ran 2:17:37 to take silver and Aaron Cooper 2:18:00 for the bronze.
“It felt great honestly,” Levins added. “I was expecting it to get hard at some point. It started hitting me more that last 7k, but I was thinking this isn’t something I have not experienced before in races – that feeling. It’s good to know what that is now and to not have any fear of it.”
On his Twitter account, Levins said “The list of people to recognize from today is countless. This was a decade in the making and I want to say THANK YOU and express my gratitude for all the people and process that made this.”
With temperatures only slightly above freezing and a pesky wind blowing from the northwest, Benson Kipruto of Kenya and Mimi Belete of Bahrain won their respective races.
Both winners won $30,000 in prize money, while Belete won an additional $40,000 bonus for breaking the course record.