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Caleb Beland takes his shot at sub-68 minute half marathon
2024-01-20
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We are but three weeks into a new calendar year and already folks with strong Sudbury ties are accomplishing some pretty cool things.

Distance runners in town will very much appreciate just how fast a clocking of 1:08.00 in the half-marathon would be. So when Bishop Carter and L.U. grad Caleb Beland targetted a sub-68 minute time at the 2024 Aramco Houston Half-Marathon, he knew that goal was super aggressive.

Still, this was the place to give it a shot, last weekend.

“It’s historically known for being an extremely fast course,” said Beland. “The American record is still on that course. The women’s American record was set in the race that I ran. The men’s Canadian records have often been set there. It’s known for being really fast and temperatures at that time of year in Houston are usually very runner-friendly.”

And so the 26 year-old stepped up to the line, his previous best time of 1:08.57 definitely at risk of being bettered. “I was perfect through the first 15 kms,” said Beland. “My A+ goal would have been under 68 minutes and I was on pace for that for the first 15 kms.”

In the end, a new PB of 1:08.33 warranted an “A” grade from the current chiropractic student, knowing there remains room for growth. “I feel like I haven’t quite cracked the code, 100%, for the half-marathon,” said Beland. “When I think of a complete race, I think of a race that is evenly paced the whole way – and you leave a little bit for the end.”

The race was good news, to be sure, especially as the young man who has continued to get faster and faster over time looks to a very busy 2024 ahead. “Coming into this new year, I really want to focus on getting my 10km as close to 30 minutes as possible,” he stated.

“I feel like I have lots of time to get my half marathon and marathon in a good spot, in the future, but I feel like I have to take advantage of my youth while I can on the shorter distances.”

That said, there was little doubt the Beland and his team were trying to position him in just the right place for the best possible showing at the 21km distance.

"This was my longest build up to a race - ever," he said. "I started back in July. Darren (coach Darren Jermyn) and I really, really focused on making sure that I was rested coming into it."

"My taper for the race was very aggressive."

That will not be the case on March 3rd in Burlington when Beland tackles the 2024 Chilly Half Marathon. "We're not going in with any expectations - just want to get a good effort in."

Beyond that, the now Toronto resident is toying with doing the inaugural 15km version of the legendary Around the Bay race in March, and is definitely committed to both the Spring Run-Off in High Park on April 6th and the Mississauga Half-Marathon on April 28th.

Sudbury Wolves