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While I’m here I’d like to thank

September 27, 2010

Last summer at the World Championships a guy asked me for my autograph with my personal best.  Under my signature I wrote “27:56.92”.  He said “good luck in the 10km” in which I replied “I’m actually running the marathon.”  I explained to him how I wasn’t happy with my marathon PB (2:17:09) and that PB was going to be obsolete in a few days anyways.  A few days later in 22C heat I could only slightly improve upon my marathon PB and knew it was going to be at least a year before I could do anything about it.

The days leading up to the Scotiabank Toronto marathon I kept thinking that it had been three years since I had been this prepared for a race.  With my two big injuries through ’08 and ’09 I never had a proper build-up for a race until now.  The weather on Friday broke all kinds of heat records and it was pretty windy throughout Saturday but the marathon Gods blessed us with a perfect day on Sunday and I knew I had to make the most of it.

The gun went off and we flew down University Ave and I quickly got into my group of five which included a Kenyan pacemaker (Simon Tanui), my teammate, Rob Watson, who was also acting as my pacemaker, Dylan Wykes who was going to help with the pace as he was running the 1/2 marathon and Thomas Omwenga, a Kenyan who sometimes trains in Hamilton.  We went through the first 10km in 30:40 which was a little fast but I was feeling fine so that was good.

I still had my two pacemakers through the halfway mark (21.1km) which we hit in 1:05:03.  Mathematically, it looked as if the Canadian Record of 2:10:09 could be accomplished but I knew that I was already slowing down by that point and figured that sub 2:11 was now the goal.

Surprisingly, in the next 200 meters my Kenyan pacemaker dropped back which worried me because he was supposed to go to 30km.  So now it was just Rob and myself and I was hoping he could last until 25km.  However a couple hundred meters later I noticed he was labouring and I asked him if he was alright, he wasn’t.  So before the 22km mark I found myself all alone battling the clock. 

Up until 35km (1:48:15) I was running pretty consistently for my km splits, which I was tracking closely on my watch and the KM signs.  And then I started to hit some kilometers in the 3:10 range and knew I had to toughen up to get that Olympic standard of 2:11:29.  Then I hit the DVP overpass which is a decent uphill cresting at the 39km mark and I finished that km in 3:18.  If I continued at that pace I was going to miss the Olympic standard and my legs were starting to get very tired. 

I kept looking at my watch and making calculations in my head to figure out what I needed to.  That extra 200m over 42km makes these calculations a bitch during a marathon.  It was clear at 40km (2:04:20) that I couldn’t be much slower than 7 minutes for my final 2.2km.

The crowd on Bay Street was amazing and it lifted my spirits.  However Bay street runs uphill and that did nothing to lift my spirits.  I then caught an Ethiopian with about 400 meters to go and started to race him.  When we hit 200m I looked at my watch and knew that I was going to break 2:11:29.  With a few steps to go I saw the clock and started to celebrate, I had my time.  It’s hard to explain all the emotions that were going through me because of my injuries back in 2008 so I’ll let this picture do the talking.

2:11:23.  6 seconds under the Athletics Canada Olympic Standard and fastest time ever recorded on Canadian soil by a Canadian.

Now this result doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to the 2012 Olympics.  My time has to hold up as the top three times in Canada going into the Olympics.  Having achieved the standard so soon in the qualifying process gives me the luxury to be more aggressive and chase faster times.  The plan is to improve upon yesterday’s time by the time London rolls around.  I’ll also have to ‘prove fitness’ in the months leading up to the Olympics, which ensures Canada sends fit athletes.

Through the last 10km of the race I thought I was going to be reeling back a bunch of stragglers from the lead pack but I only passed about 3 or 4 as many guys posted fast times.  The winner posted the fasted time ever on Canadian soil.  What I think is amazing is that the my 10th place time was faster than the 10th place time at Berlin (one of the most prestigious marathons in the world).  In fact Scotiabank Toronto is the second deepest marathon (Paris is first) through 10th place in the World this year.  Yes, deeper than London, Berlin, Prague, Boston, Dubai, and Rotterdam.  I kind of feel sorry for the Ethiopian who finished 9th (2:11:21) and didn’t get any prize money.  Thank goodness for Canadian only prize money!

There are so many people I’d like to thank because they helped make my result possible.  My coach, Dave Scott-Thomas, was obviously a huge part of the equation as was my training partner Eric Gillis who ran 2:12:07 yesterday in the marathon.  Hopefully next marathon we’ll actually work together in the race too.  Rob Watson did an amazing job as a pacer and kept the other pacer, Simon Tanui in line.  We had a good support crew for many of our road workouts who handed us water bottles (Cal, Moulton, Rob, Lee).  Trent Stellingwerff who is my nutrition/fuelling coach.  Speed River dudes, Josephat, Karanja, Paul Felix and and everyone else accompanying me through the training.  My physical therapy support group is top notch… Brenda Scott-Thomas, Marcell Meresz, Dr. Galvin, Dr. Mountjoy, Lance,  Jay Ball, Gloria and Sue from McMaster, Dr. Kvedaras, Dr. Gamble and Ron O’Hare who helped us through the race weekend.  My parents, family and friends for the support.  It was great having them and everyone else who was cheering for me on the course.  Alan Brookes and Ian Ladbrooke put together a great event and made sure we had a good set-up to run fast.  Inspiration and advice from great marathoners such as Gord Dixon, Sylvia Reugger, Bruce Deacon and Jon Brown.  New Balance has been a great sponsor.  PowerBar (kept me fuelled during the marathon), CEP socks, Zanagen (I’ll be using the anti-inflamatory cream today!) and Quest for Gold.

New Balance!

Dave Chappelle Daniel Rono finished 3rd yesterday in 2:08:14 (his PB is 2:06:58)

Now it’s time to rest my weary legs and get after some cookies!

  1. anthony davey permalink
    September 27, 2010 9:40 am

    Awesome result yesterday!It was wicked seeing you and Gillis kicking ass on home soil!
    Inspiring,even to a 40 something yr old like me!!

  2. September 27, 2010 10:06 am

    Congratulations on an awesome marathon, Reid. You’ve worked hard for this. Thanks for such a great race report!

  3. September 27, 2010 10:46 am

    Awesome job! I was following the updates on facebook and holding my breath – I know you’re not off to London yet, but it’s great to have that checked off the to-do list! I agree with Jennifer – great race report, thanks for sharing!

  4. Mark B. permalink
    September 27, 2010 11:11 am

    Congrats — always knew you had it in you.

  5. September 27, 2010 11:20 am

    Dude its good to have you back in the game!

    Must feel great. Congrats! Can’t wait to see what your

    gonna do next. I’ll be rooting for ya.

  6. paul Trebilcock permalink
    September 27, 2010 11:21 am

    relish in the glory dude, you deserve every bit of it….

  7. Brent Smith permalink
    September 27, 2010 12:56 pm

    Congrats on the great run! Very inspiring!

  8. September 27, 2010 1:15 pm

    Congrats Reid, I have been following your progress ever since you set your sub 4 minute skateboard mile.

    Loved the Dave Chappelle comparison

    to the future


  9. September 27, 2010 1:53 pm

    Congratulations on an absolutely superb performance, you must be incredibly proud of yourself. Thanks for sharing your trials and tribulations along the way. I’m looking forward to following your performances throughout the following months/years. Enjoy some well earned recovery!

  10. leonard stotch permalink
    September 27, 2010 2:33 pm


  11. Nathaly permalink
    September 27, 2010 2:56 pm

    Congratulations to you both! Those are some great results and we’re all so proud of you. You were awesome before….but now….watch out world!

  12. Bill Bentley permalink
    September 27, 2010 3:23 pm

    Reid, saw you and Gillis at the 30k and 35.5k aid stations yesterday and you guys looked way hungrier out there than the rest of the field.

    Congrats on popping a big time and I look forward to watching you and Gillis continue to rip up the roads.

  13. Bruce Deacon permalink
    September 27, 2010 5:52 pm

    AWESOME RUN!! Way to go friend! You deserve it!

  14. Kel permalink
    September 27, 2010 6:08 pm

    Reid, fantastic job me man. Dealing with constant injury is simply one of the most difficult aspects of the game. Your run was very inspirational! Enjoy the downtime.

  15. Tara permalink
    September 27, 2010 7:26 pm

    Congratulations Reid on an amazing race! I was standing in the finishing chute after having just finished the half marathon waiting with many other runners to see you cross the finish line and break a Canadian record…seeing you drape your shoulders with the Canadian flag brought tears to my eyes. My fingers are crossed for you for 2012!!!

  16. Johnny permalink
    September 27, 2010 7:57 pm

    Congrats, Reid. Didn’t recognize you at first with the mustache…

    I’ve uploaded some of the videos I took of the race yesterday.

    Marathon start

    Reid’s finish
    Eric’s finish
    Matt’s finish

  17. Johnny permalink
    September 27, 2010 7:58 pm

    Darn. I messed up that second link:

    Runners at York and Lakeshore

  18. Kevin Dooley permalink
    September 27, 2010 8:00 pm

    Just awesome! I wish I could have watched you cross the finish line, but I was over an hour behind you. We did get to see you and all of the other leaders coming back along Lakeshore at about 13K. It was really impressive seeing so many world class runners tearing up the road. Between you and Gillis and Simon Bairu, along with Matt Loiselle and Dylan Wykes, it’s been a long time since Canada has had such a deep field of marathoners. Congratulations on a great run!

  19. Nevin permalink
    September 27, 2010 8:01 pm

    Congrats Reid, awesome run and wicked picture there!

    Looking forward to reading about it in the Spec. Oh, wait. They only write stories about pre-season AHL.

  20. September 27, 2010 9:24 pm

    What a great day in Canadian marathoning – congrats!

    p.s. Amazing that you ran so much of it solo. I was out for my own training run along the course (not on the course, beside it of course) and saw the pacer behind you just after the halfway mark … I was wondering why he was running alone.

  21. STEVE JEANNETTE permalink
    September 28, 2010 7:35 am

    We are SO PROUD of you Reid, and hounoured to know you.
    Take care of REID and No more injuries, okay?
    Fondly Steve & Jeannette

  22. Skuj permalink
    September 28, 2010 3:57 pm

    C’mon Dude, you know you want to post in there as you recover/party/and all! 🙂

    Also, obviously you had a good buildup, but when you look at 2010 as a whole, and the end of 2009, this certainly wasn’t a perfect lead-in, was it? The sky is the limit after a couple of injury free years!!!

  23. Skuj permalink
    September 28, 2010 4:03 pm

    Your May 12th entry is very interesting to read now.

  24. Skuj permalink
    September 28, 2010 9:48 pm

    I bet yer gonna do Nat XC aren’t ya?

    AREN’T YA? 🙂

  25. September 29, 2010 12:01 pm

    Thata boy Reid!! Congrats!!

    I guess a throwback Whitehern session is out of the question now???

  26. September 29, 2010 3:22 pm

    Reid, you are da bomb! Congrats on such a stellar accomplishment and for sharing so much on your blog. You’re amazing! Best is yet to come.

  27. reidcoolsaet permalink*
    September 30, 2010 8:47 am

    Thanks y’all!

  28. September 30, 2010 10:50 am

    Great job, Reid. I was at the Eload booth Saturday and met your mom. Like many moms, I’m sure she’s extremely proud. Way to go. I’m taking a break from running right now to have our 3rd baby but look forward to my return to marathoning.

  29. September 30, 2010 11:12 am

    Awesome and congratulations! It’s wonderful to see all the hard work paying off!

  30. MikeG permalink
    October 2, 2010 12:32 am

    Great work Reid! Now all you need to do is fix a glaring mistake in your About Me section. One particular stat needs to be trimmed by about 5.5 minutes.

  31. John Gibson permalink
    October 21, 2010 11:38 pm

    You’ve given an entire nation – a really big one at that – every reason to be proud. As per the finishing photo; I’ve got to say that this is quite simply the greatest running photo I have ever seen, hands down. A profoundly powerful photo of a profoundly talented and powerful runner. Please, New Balance, put this extraordinary work of art on a promotional poster!

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