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I’m a yard off my pace

March 25, 2012

My first Around the Bay was an interesting experience to say the least.  I was very pleased with the win and coming into Copps in first place was amazing.  In the end the record alluded me, in fact I wasn’t even close, almost a full minute behind.  That was a shame seeing as that we were treated to perfect weather (10C with almost no wind), which is a rarity in late March.

David Karanja and Kibet Rutto (photo by Dean Palmer)

Here’s how the race played out.  For the first 5km we had a pack of 6 or so and went through in about 15:15.  At 6km I pushed the pace a little and then Kibet took over for a few kms as the two of us, ahead of the field, passed 10km in 30:17.  At that point Kibet ran a 2:57km and gapped me.  People were telling me to close the gap but I was more than happy to run 3:03 pace knowing to save some energy for the hills in the last 10km.

At 15km (45:31) my hamstring was getting tight and sore and I wasn’t running too smooth but it wasn’t that bad. I was about 7 seconds back at this point.  Over the next 5km I only made up a couple seconds and passed 20km in 60:58.  Pretty much right on my goal split of 61:00 (30:30 + 30:30) and planning to run 31:20 over the last 10km to get the record.

Going up the first hill on North Shore Blvd right before the 20km mark (photo by Dave Landry)

Even though I had an uphill I still covered 20 to 21km in 3:00 as I passed Kibet but then not long after I got a bad diaphragm cramp.  At first I figured it would go away quickly and I only had to tough it out for a bit.  Now it’s my hamstring and this cramp and it’s too much to handle as I cannot take full breaths of air.  I started groaning like I got shot or something (it was quite pathetic) and slowing down to catch my breath to get rid of the cramp.  A few times I thought I had it under control only to have it come back again once I sped back up.  This lasted through 24km really bad and I was running 3:16/km.  It was getting really ugly.  I was not happy at all and when this guy on a bike started telling me to breathe I told him to eff off (if you’re reading this bike guy, sorry).

At 25km (1:17:09) I was already thinking that the record was lost but knew I still had a chance if things turned around and I kept fighting.  Then I hit ‘heartbreak hill’ which is 420m long at a 7.5% grade.  2/3 the way up I passed 26km (1:20:22) and realized I needed to run 3:00/km for the record and I was slogging up the hill.  At the top it took me a while to get going again and at 27km I knew it was over and stopped pushing and finally my diaphragm felt comfortable again.  Now that I was feeling good again, had Copps Coliseum in my sights, running slightly downhill and a good crowd cheering I managed to run 6:02 for my last 2km.  That 6:02 made me feel a little better about myself but also showed me just how disgusting the previous 3km had been to split 16:10 for my last 5km, (did I mention there was a hill in there!).

Running down York street in the lead of the 30km has been something I’ve wanted to do for years and even though I wasn’t going to set the record and had my most uncomfortable racing experience ever I took it all in and was happy with the win.  I was also very happy with 23 of the 30km, haha.


This was a fun day and a big goal checked off my list but more importantly a big wake-up call to get my body back into a healthy state.  If I was to feel like I did today in the Olympic marathon it would be a terribly ugly disaster.  For the next 6 weeks my main goal is to get back to feeling good.  The good part is that I have a lot of things figured out and I’m going to see my physiotherapists (Brenda Scott-Thomas and Ron O’hare) in Flagstaff, Arizona over the coming few weeks.  Gotta start packing, leaving tomorrow.

My neighbour took this great shot on the bridge (just past 27km)

  1. Barbara permalink
    March 25, 2012 10:39 pm

    I like that singlet.

  2. March 26, 2012 12:06 am

    Congratulations Reid! You deserve it. The pusher man didnt show up? All the best in your Olympics Training and upcoming races. You are an inspiration.

  3. March 26, 2012 12:34 am

    Nice one, Reid!

  4. Ron Lariviere permalink
    March 26, 2012 7:07 am

    Great race Reid. Since I couldn’t see you run it, it was almost as good to get a first hand play-by-play. Well done!

  5. March 26, 2012 7:24 am

    You’re a machine!


  6. Robert permalink
    March 26, 2012 8:16 am

    Congrats Reid. Keep pushing!

  7. Catherine Edwards permalink
    March 26, 2012 9:14 am

    I’m one of the people way back in the pack. You passed my sister and I on the Burlington side of Beach Road and it was like you were flying on air!!!
    We were thrilled to see you. I think it was right about the spot where the guy was griddling up bacon – perhaps the smell of the bacon was what threw you off? 🙂
    Congratulations on your achievement.

  8. March 26, 2012 9:43 am

    Reid – You are a source of pride for Canadian runners. 93 minutes is an extraordinary ATB time, especially given what you were dealing with physically. Also, thank you for your honest depiction of what it is like to lead the pack. I think there is a misperception that the elites never suffer like the rest of us mortals do.

    • meh permalink
      April 12, 2012 11:49 pm

      the kind of pain elite runners feel during long races is not comparable to what the “mortals” go through. The average person doesn’t know how to really push themself for that long, When Reid says he feels “good” during a race, that is still very uncomfortable.

  9. March 26, 2012 10:04 am

    Stop reading Running with the Buffaloes, you’re a stud already.

  10. Bridget permalink
    March 26, 2012 10:12 am

    “like I got shot or something”


  11. kyle permalink
    March 26, 2012 12:26 pm

    congrats you smoked the course!!

  12. March 26, 2012 3:13 pm

    I did the 5k and stuck around to watch you come in. I am a beginner runner and was so impressed and in awe of how powerful you looked coming into Copps. And am even more impressed after reading how it went. You are a winner!

    Best of luck in London!

  13. Nizz permalink
    March 26, 2012 4:17 pm

    I love the pace breakdowns. Special talent! Go Speed River/New Balance Team

  14. Kitty permalink
    March 26, 2012 4:44 pm

    GO REID!

  15. gayle permalink
    March 26, 2012 5:25 pm

    I finished about an hour behind you! One of my favourite races, especially “heartbreak hill”. For us rookies there’s nothing like running into Copps and seeing yourself on the jumbotron!

    Best wishes in London, England, all of your friends in London, Ontario are rooting for you.

  16. March 26, 2012 8:48 pm

    You know where you are going. Make it happen. Let it happen. Stick to your plan. I wish I had been there to see your speed. London 2012. Coolsaet Canada !

  17. March 27, 2012 8:35 am

    great win!

  18. Frances Gower permalink
    March 28, 2012 10:30 am

    Just wonderful Reid!!! It has been over 10 years since I ran/completed that race. I said enuf is enuf! :^D Keep going Reid we are all so proud of you!!!!

  19. A2theP permalink
    April 3, 2012 10:51 am

    I was informed there is another AP out there. ^^^^^^

    However there will only ever me one A 2 the P.

    No record but still the same solid result!

    Keep the training rolling…and best of luck with the prep into London.

    Much love

  20. Nikki permalink
    May 31, 2012 3:17 pm

    reid is an amazing runner and he is my role model.


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