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Well I’m just a voice in your earpiece

November 26, 2007

I did a little talk at the Niagara Olympic Club banquet last night.  It was a lot of fun and the local paper covered it so I wouldn’t have to write about it, haha.  Stay tuned for a National XC Speed River preview later this week.


Words of inspiration for local track club

After an impressive medal haul at the Ontario Track and Field Association (OTFA) Championships last Sunday, the Niagara Olympic Club celebrated one of their most successful running seasons with an awards banquet and heard words of encouragement from a guest speaker Sunday night at the Russell Avenue Community Centre.

“We had nine kids in the Top 20 and five Top 10 finishes at OFSAA, and five athletes earned U.S. scholarships,” said Niagara Olympic Club coach Stuart Galloway.

Mohammed Ahmed, Esther Vermeer and Megan Rempel were among the St. Catharines track standouts that earned awards after having prolific years.

Accomplished Canadian long-distance runner Reid Coolsaet was invited to speak to the group of young athletes and shared his stories of the many highs and lows in the world of running.

The 28-year-old from Hamilton owns a remarkable resume that includes a world ranking of 44th from 5,000 to 10,000 metres and four straight 5,000-metre national championship titles; a feat no one had previously accomplished.

Impressive, seeing that he didn’t start running until the age of 19 and his best OFSAA finish was 18th in his OAC year.

“I didn’t run all that much in high school. I started my last year of high school and didn’t realize my potential until I reached university.”

Coolsaet ran for the University of Guelph, and from there, he competed for the Canadian national team at the World University Games, Commonwealth Games and World Track and Field Championships.

However, after university, he struggled to become a full-time runner. He worked at a bank 30 hours a week to make ends meet, yet still managed to train twice a day.

With backing from the Quest for Gold athlete assistance program and the carding system, Coolsaet finally made running his profession.

His message to the Olympic club athletes was that of “not setting limitations,” consistent training, working hard versus resting and recuperating and goal setting.

“Most distance runners won’t realize their potential until they hit 24. It’s important to regroup after hitting a goal and after not hitting a goal. It’s important to re-shift and keep aiming higher.” Coolsaet’s next goal is to qualify for the 5,000-metre and 10,000-metre races at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. To do so, he’ll need to drop two seconds off of his 5,000 metre time and 10 seconds from his 10,000-metre time, tasks that should be easily accomplished considering he has a reputation of cutting 20 to 30 seconds each year.

Saturday, he’ll be competing at the Canadian cross-country championship in Guelph, a race he’d like to win for the first time, and a race he’ll be running with Ahmed.

Both Ahmed and Vermeer deemed Coolsaet’s insight into the running world “inspirational.”

“It motivates me to keep going and stick with it,” said Vermeer. “If he can struggle, it makes sense and means we can struggle too.”

Niagara Olympic Club awards:

Mohammed Ahmed finished first in the senior boys OFSAA championships, the OTFA cross-country juvenile race and the Canadian championships 5,000m junior race. He placed second in junior 3,000m at OTFA outdoor, second in 3,000m at the Royal Canadian Legion (RCL) Provincials and third in juvenile 3,000m at the OTFA indoor.

Esther Vermeer was selected to the Canadian national team for the 2007 World Youth Track and Field championships in Czech Republic this past summer. She finished second in the junior 800m and third in juvenile 800m at OTFA indoor and fourth in senior 800m at OTFA outdoor.

Anthony Romaniw finished first in 800m at the RCL Provincials and third in 400m, first in 800m at the RCL Nationals and second in 400m.

Emma Sluciak came first in the midget tetrathlon and second in high jump at OTFA outdoor, first in senior high jump at Minor Track Association (MTA) indoor, first in senior high jump, second in 200m and third in 300m at MTA outdoor.

Avery Thomas set two Ontario records for indoor pole vault, 2.95m in under 17 juvenile girls and 2.95m in under 16 midget girls. She was first in pole vault at the District B Legions 17 and under and third in pole vault at the RCL Ontario championships 17 and under. sports

  1. November 27, 2007 6:20 pm

    Reid, what impresses me most about your career is that you “didn’t start running until the age of 19” but finished 18th at OFSAA.

  2. reidcoolsaet permalink*
    November 27, 2007 7:52 pm

    A little bit of a mis-quote…I’ve actually been running XC since the sixth grade. I didn’t get serious until I was 19. My first year of training all-year-round was 1st year University when I was 19.

  3. uclueletofino permalink
    November 28, 2007 11:00 am

    “To do so, he’ll need to drop two seconds off of his 5,000 metre time and 10 seconds from his 10,000-metre time, tasks that should be easily accomplished considering he has a reputation of cutting 20 to 30 seconds each year.”

    YIKES!!! It’s just so easy, eh? 🙂

    You prefer the 5 to the 10, Reid? The 10 is still “newish” for you, eh?

  4. uclueletofino permalink
    November 28, 2007 11:01 am

    Dammit. That’s me, Skuj.

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