Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts

It's Marathon Project Week at The XC. Be sure to follow all of our special coverage of Sunday's big race in Arizona, which will feature some of  North America's best marathoners, including those attempting to qualify for next summer's Olympic Games. We'll be releasing daily podcasts featuring interviews with athletes competing in The Marathon Project, plus we'll be doing an instant reactions podcast immediately following the race. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for in-depth coverage delivered right to your inbox, and our Sunday Long Read.

Cameron Levins has gone all in for The Marathon Project. He's been in Arizona for five weeks, putting himself through a solo training camp in Flagstaff, about 90 minutes and several thousands feet of elevation away from where he will be racing this Sunday. He says he will be racing for the win at the elite-only race, but also plans on breaking his own Canadian national marathon record of 2:09:25 in the process.

If he's able to deliver, it should guarantee his return to the Olympics for the first time in nine long years, after he missed qualifying for track events back in 2016. Since recovering from a nearly career-ending injury and subsequent surgery on his ankle, Levins has focused most exclusively on the marathon. He's had one incredible high — smashing the 43-year-old national record in 2018 — and a pair of disappointments, mostly notably at the London Marathon two months ago, where he stepped off the course well before finishing.

In this podcast, host Michael Doyle speaks with Levins, who is now on location near the four-mile loop he'll be running on Sunday. They discuss living with his fiercest rival at Sunday's race, unpack his surreal and tough experience running the London Marathon in October, his quest to not just be a national record holder, but also a world-beating marathoner, and the jaw-dropping workouts he's done in prep for The Marathon Project.

Subscribe to The XC Podcast here for more on The Marathon Project all this week:

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