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With all the changing seasons of my life, Maybe I’ll get it right next time

July 31, 2007

      Well I’m not going to Worlds in Osaka.  It doesn’t come as much of a surprise as I didn’t make the specific standards set out by Athletics Canada.  To go to worlds I would of needed to run under 13:28(B) and 13:25(B+) or, one race under 13:19.71(A).  I ended up with a 13:21.53 and a 13:29.94. 

      So why did I think they would consider me?  In the 10 000m I actually met the time standard set out by AC to qualify for Osaka with a B+ performance when I ran 27:56.92.  So I actually had two B+ standards, they just happened to be in different events.  But the events aren’t too different and, AC does acknowledge that fact.  If you qualify early in the qualification phase for the 10 000m you need to prove fitness in the latter part of the qualification phase, and that can be done in the 5000m.  Dave did send in an appeal for me and they considered my case when picking the team yesterday, but in the end the selection panel couldn’t justify sending me.

      Looking back I’m still fine with some of the decisions I made such as training for worlds and not cutting my mileage too early.  Because I’ve already been to worlds I had goals I wanted to accomplish there.  I would not of been satisfied with just making the team.  If I did cut mileage earlier would I have run faster in Heusden or Nationals?  who knows, maybe I would have run slower?  But, either way it would have been too long of a taper to hold until the end of August to be competitive at Worlds.  The other big decision was to not compete at Nationals in the 10 000m.  I really wanted to qualify in the 5000m and, another 10 000m at that point would not of helped me, and possibly hurt me, in the 5000m.  The other big decision was to not compete at the Pan-Am games in the 10 000m and risk not making any national team this summer in order to attempt a fast 5000m in Europe.  It didn’t quite work, but I’m still happy I PB’d in the 5000m.

      Its too bad Canadian athletes aren’t given the full time to qualify for Worlds as the official cut-off date is midnight on August 13th (Monaco time).  I’m confident that I could run another 5000m under 13:28 in the next two weeks if I were in a decent race.  That would satisfy AC’s time standards, be in line with the IAAF window for qualifying and also prove that I’m in good shape at the right time (opposed to running fast in April or something).  But no such luxury for Canadian Athletes.

     The world rankings came out again this week and I’m now the highest I’ve ever been ranked at 40th.  14 of the athletes ahead of me are Kenyan and I’m actually the 12th non-African on the list (I count Qatari athletes who were born and live in Kenya as African).  In the 5000m time lists I’m ranked 72nd so far this year but if you only count three per country I’m ranked 30th (a country can only send 3 athletes to Worlds/Olympics).

     Whats next for me?  I’m in my best shape now and I don’t plan on ending my season immediately.  I’m hoping to be able to run a mile on the track or a road race in the next couple of weeks and then I’ll see how I’m feeling from there. 

    I’ve watched the 5000m on flocast way too many times and the last lap of that race still haunts me.  In my head I replay myself going through 4600m with 12:16 on the clock and feeling like I can run a 13:18… 

  This morning I went for a run… I haven’t enjoyed a 30 minute run as much as I did that run.  I don’t know why that was but I think with all the world selection crap going on I remembered that I friggin’ love doing this no matter how frustrating some of this shit can be.

  1. July 31, 2007 12:33 pm

    Hey Reid,
    Just wanted to congratulate you on your new ranking! That’s really great. Also I wanted to say that I really enjoy reading your blog. It gives me insight into a world that I only know through tv. Keep it up!

  2. Finn permalink
    July 31, 2007 12:45 pm

    I’m echoing Matt’s comments. Congratulations on a great season and on your continued improvements. It’s unfortunate to have come up against a body like Athletics Canada where it is less about the athletes than it is about non-athletic concerns, but I am glad to see that, through it all, you still remember why we do this. I’m looking forward to seeing the next heights you reach.

  3. J Dunk permalink
    July 31, 2007 2:48 pm

    Congratulations Reid on a phenomenal run on Saturday, and on all that you’ve accomplished over the past several years. I’ve been able to tell many people over the years that you were a training partner when I was in Guelph a few years back… if only for one interval even. I think you’ve done a lot to help inspire young people coming up, maybe some people who got a later start in running, to believe that it is possible to progress very far with a consistent, focused attitude and commitment to work hard and go for it.
    When you were talking about having a lap to go in your 5k and feeling like you were right on the edge of going under the standard, it put me in mind of a slightly similar experience I had in a race here in Ottawa last week… though I was not aiming for a world standard qualifier. My problem was that I made a mistake, whereas it sounds like you really went for it and just narrowly missed it.
    My guide, still Greg for main races, and I were running a 1500m in which our previous best from back in 2000 was 4:08.2. The wr for blind is 4:05.11, a time which has stood since 1989. We got to 800m in 2:08, and the km in 2:41 or 2:42, and I was feeling good. We were hanging on the back of a couple of guys aiming for 4:00. At the km they opened a bit of a gap and I could hear this happening, and for some reason I let them get away. We were 2:59 at the bell, and all we needed was a 65 to go under the record. By this point we were on our own off the pack. Needless to say, we slowed down. That momentary lapse cost us big time as we wound up running 4:08.94.
    For me, the problem I think was being so focussed on time that I forgot about racing, because I really didn’t hurt all that bad, and got more freaked out by the time and where we were at. Needless to say, I’m haunted by that last lap also. You don’t know when you’ll have another opportunity to be in a good race when you’re in good shape and feeling good yourself. Greg and others have pointed out that this is something we all go through – having the opportunity and then not quite being able to take it for one reason or another.
    I think your comments on loving running and doing it for that reason, and your optimism in looking ahead and trying to find a chance to capitalize on being in your best shape, offer inspiring perspective. Keep up the great work and the very best of luck for the rest of this season.


  4. Martin permalink
    July 31, 2007 8:17 pm

    Great post. Is the team announced? Just going to look.

  5. July 31, 2007 10:17 pm

    For a guy that was nothing more than the OFSAA steeplechase bronze medallist in 1998, I would have to say that I’m sufficiently impressed.

    It’s a shame you’re not going to Osaka. It kind of reminds me of what one Mr. Jason Bunston went through in 96′. You Westdale guys just can’t seem to buy a break! : )

    It’s unfortunate, too, that we can’t have a quality person such as yourself representing our country, particularly when you compare it to what others are getting up to at international meets.

    Keep smiling!

  6. Skuj permalink
    July 31, 2007 11:07 pm

    Yer a class act, Reid. You are “too kind” towards AC. You should be going. Damn!

  7. Jeff permalink
    July 31, 2007 11:10 pm

    Always impressive to watch you race and Heusdan was no exception. Watching on flocasts I was on the edge of my seat screaming at the computor screen. You are a class act and inspiration to us all.

  8. Skuj permalink
    July 31, 2007 11:16 pm

    “So why did I think they would consider me? In the 10 000m I actually met the time standard set out by AC to qualify for Osaka with a B+ performance when I ran 27:56.92. So I actually had two B+ standards, they just happened to be in different events. But the events aren’t too different and, AC does acknowledge that fact. If you qualify early in the qualification phase for the 10 000m you need to prove fitness in the latter part of the qualification phase, and that can be done in the 5000m. Dave did send in an appeal for me and they considered my case when picking the team yesterday, but in the end the selection panel couldn’t justify sending me.”

    I just don’t get it! I just don’t. Sorry Man, I know you are moving on from this. All the best in the remainder of this track season, Reid. Something obscenely fast perhaps!? 🙂

  9. Matt Norminton permalink
    August 1, 2007 12:02 am

    Reid you are my hero. We need a new athletics federation, one that exists solely for the betterment of it’s members: The athletes. Go run some more PB’s and have some fun. Great job this year.


  10. Mike permalink
    August 1, 2007 3:26 am

    Reid it has been a pleasure following your season and in fact your progress over the last few years. I seem to recall (many moons ago) passing a red-head runner from Guelph at a Windsor Cross-Country meet back in the fall of ’98 and at the time I was fortunate enough to crack my squad’s top-ten. By the following fall you ranked as Guelph’s 3rd guy setting in motion the long list of accomplishments (for both your team and yourself) that you continue to rack up.

    If memory serves me correctly you never really tackled the 3000m indoors seriously until your third year and by the time you graduated you were threatening the 8-minute barrier and had set the school record, previously held by former national record holder Hugh McLaren .

    This latest test to your resilience reminds of the time a couple of years ago when you were on the cusp of qualifying for the World University Games. You needed to break 14 minutes for the 5000m and you had entered a hot race and came out of it with a PB, unfortunately the time was 14:00.xx. That was not going to cut it so you calmly went about your business and showed up at Nationals and ran 13:53.

    Now obviously when you are running on the happy side of 13:30 your improvements are going to be by smaller increments, but I feel in the near future we are going to see a performance well clear of 13:20 from you. Stay the course Reid


  11. August 1, 2007 1:56 pm

    Great season so far Reid!! You are one of the very few Canadians to break 28min and run in the low (very low) 13;20’s.

    It has, and continues to baffle me why Athletics Canada sets up so many ‘hurdles’ for our athletes to qualify for national teams. Cutting the qualifying time short and imposing tougher standards than what the worlds and/or Olympics demand seems quite frankly ‘stupid and shortsided’ to me. If a country like the US uses the standards and time frames set up by the IAAF, and IOC, why can’t Canada? I respect the way you don’t Blame Athletics Canada, but it would be great if somebody high up in the system stood up and fought for the athletes.

    Doug Consiglio

  12. Harvey Mitro permalink
    August 1, 2007 4:12 pm

    Hi Reid,
    It seems that chasing these standards can sometimes suck the life out of athletes. I’m happy to hear that you feel great about the personal best. You are clearly a man in the pursuit of excellence and that’s what it is all about. Congratulations to you and Dave for taking another step forward in excellence. I will continue to watch your career and be thrilled with every step you take.


  13. James permalink
    August 2, 2007 6:16 am

    Well done, Reid. I echo Doug’s comments. We need to be sending our best athletes to the Worlds and Olympics so that they can get their “arses kicked” by the best in the world, set PBs in fast races and what the hell, represent Canada as the best in Canada. How else are you gonna improve and become world class. You either soar with the eagles or peck around with the turkeys. In this case AC are the turkeys for leaving you out.

    You are a class act and I see many years of improvement ahead for you. Best of luck, stay healthy and go run a 13:18 and rub their noses in it.

  14. August 2, 2007 7:15 am

    Nice title- from Guns N’ Roses Estranged 😀

  15. Martin permalink
    August 2, 2007 11:19 am

    All of his musical references are good starting with the name of his blog:

    Is anyone going to worlds with a lower ranking than 40th?

    And is that 13th reply some kind of award?

  16. Nate Brannen permalink
    August 2, 2007 11:50 am

    Hey buddy,

    Nice post Reid. Glad to see your head is the still up and you’re approaching this in the perfect fashion. Next year is all that matters!

  17. Jacko permalink
    August 2, 2007 4:50 pm

    Awesome runnin and awesome post. They are bloody good times. You’ll always be remembered in NZ for the skateboard mile..guys here still talk about it…


  18. George Muenz permalink
    August 2, 2007 5:12 pm

    Typical of AC through the years, they will always work against the deserving athletes. I remember this from as far back as Jerome Drayton days, and nothing has changed. I am a long time supporter of track in Canada, but I would not give the AC people the time of day. They are a blight on our sport.

  19. Jerry Kooymans permalink
    August 4, 2007 3:44 pm

    Great post and great season, Reid. With performances like that, I just can’t believe that AC isn’t sending you to Osaka, but then again, as my buddy George says, this kind of crap has been going on since at least Jerome Drayton’s days. I remember chasing the CTFA’s tough standards in the early 80s (although I didn’t get nearly as close as you did) and sending my share of letters to the bureaucrats who seemed to delight in denying athletes their dreams and crushing their spirits. It’s disappointing to see that nothing has changed in all these years. Keep your head up and keep cranking out those fast times!

    (And Mike, it’s Grant McLaren, not Hugh McLaren. How soon they forget!)



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