It’s been just about 4 years since Cam Levins final ran a highway 10K, however on Saturday night within the country’s capital, Canada’s biggest marathoner will tackle a stacked box on the Canadian 10K Championships.
Levins has long past thru so much within the final 4 years, converting coaches and sponsors and rewriting the Canadian nationwide document e-book for the half-marathon and marathon. The Ottawa 10K might be a international enjoy for Levins, who hasn’t ever competed on the iconic race weekend, however he gained’t be on my own–he’ll be joined by way of Tokyo Olympic 5,000m silver medallist Moh Ahmed, working his first highway 10K.
Ahmed holds a non-public very best and Canadian document of 26:34 for 10,000m at the observe, however in his eight-year skilled profession, he has but to check himself at the roads. The final time the 2 Canadian working titans went head-to-head was once on the 2016 Canadian Monitor and Box Championships in Edmonton over 5,000m, with Ahmed taking the win in 14-flat, profitable the nationwide name and incomes a place at the 2016 Rio Olympics group. In that race, Levins was once a far off 7th, 16 seconds in the back of Ahmed, maintaining a serious ankle damage, which in the long run held him again from qualifying for the Olympics.
A mutual appreciate
The 2 icons of Canadian distance working proportion a mutual appreciate. After Levins’s fourth-place end within the 2022 International Athletics Championships marathon, Ahmed referred to as his efficiency “a gold medal for Canadian distance working.”
Ahmed noticed Levins’s outcome on his solution to get ready for the International Championships 10,000m ultimate, the place he completed a good 6th. “To wreck the Canadian document by way of two mins–that’s particular,” Ahmed mentioned post-race. “That man has labored in point of fact laborious. He’s long past thru so much and stored himself in it. It’s inspiring.”
The two:05 marathoner says he had no thought Ahmed was once competing till the general public announcement previous this month. Levins stocks that, like every folks, he was once shocked to look Ahmed was once making plans to run a highway race, but it surely wasn’t a possibility he sought after to go up. “I’m thankful that I am getting to check myself towards an athlete of his calibre,” says Levins.
Saturday’s Canadian 10K Championships might be Ahmed’s first race of the 2023 season prior to he heads to Italy to compete within the 5,000m on the Florence Diamond League on June 2. For Levins, those championships were rotated on his calendar for months.
“We made up our minds to do that race now not lengthy after the Tokyo Marathon,” says Levins. “I’ve had time to center of attention and get ready for this shorter tournament.” The 34-year-old says he and his coaches have made some delicate adjustments in coaching for the 10K that he hopes to include into his subsequent marathon construct.
It’ll be a hectic weekend for Levins in Ottawa. He plans to race the 10K on Saturday night and to tempo the lead staff within the ladies’s marathon the next morning. “I’m unquestionably maximum excited for my very own race, however the weekend must be a a laugh enjoy general,” says Levins.
Each males will first have their eyes at the nationwide name, but additionally the Canadian nationwide 10K document of 28:11, set by way of Ben Flanagan final yr on the B.A.A. 10K in Boston. Flanagan, the protecting Ottawa 10K champion, will pass over this yr’s race because of a scheduling warfare. The 27-year-old might be racing within the 5,000m on the L.A. Grand Prix in Los Angeles on Saturday night time.
“I would like another 5,000m race to solidify my rating place for Worlds, and it’s sadly at the similar weekend as Ottawa,” says Flanagan. “I’ll be rooting for those guys, and I’m certain we will be able to see a sub-28 time.”