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Goddamn it, things fall apart

August 13, 2012

It’s been busy busy since finishing the race.  Massive recovery mode, then met up with friends and family, team meeting, closing ceremonies, little party, little sleep and packing.

27th (1:06:29) was not the result I was looking for at all.  I’m disappointed that I was not able to get the most out of my fitness.  However I’m not upset at all, I did everything I could under the circumstances.  It simply was not my day and I’ll live to fight another fight.

All summer I was getting sick when I had a workout over 25C, I just couldn’t keep my fluids down.  So each workout I would isolate one variable to see if I could fix it (salt tabs, the % of carbohydrate solution, gels, powders, not eating dairy the morning of…).  I was never able to nail anything down but when the temps were cooler I didn’t have a problem.  I was hoping for a cool day yesterday and I didn’t get it, it was about 26C.

I felt really good early on and was in 42nd at halfway in 1:06:16. That split was a little slower than I anticipated but the course was a bit more challenging than I thought.  At that point I felt I was going to be able to crush the second half.  Already by 22km I was having trouble with my stomach and I was not drinking enough fuel but I knew if I had more it was going to come up.

Dylan caught up to me at about 17 miles and we started to pick off more guys.  From 20-23 miles I trailed Dylan but was was still passing bodies.  And then at 23 miles I hit the wall and knew I was done. I kept on trying to rally and pick up the pace but each time it put me in a bigger hole.  I got up into 23rd place by 40km but then I started the death march and faded to 27th (almost 28th). When Gillis came up to me I just told him to catch some more guys (he did), I wasn’t going to be able to help.  Guys came up to me in the last 400m and I tried to pick up the pace but I didn’t get much out of my body.  I’m not even sure how I didn’t fall in the last 100m.

The race itself was an amazing experience.  Toeing the line with all those other marathoners and being able to race bodies throughout the entire race was great.  The crowd support was unreal, especially when I was running with Lee Merrien (from GB) for parts, it was absolutely bonkers.  The few parts of the course where there were small stretches with no fans my ears were ringing (all the other athletes I talked to said the same thing).

When I crossed the line I was completely spent and just stumbled through the media area mumbling answers.  I then had to lie down for a long time before I could function pretty normally.

For the next two years I’m going to focus on a Spring and Fall marathon, no more hot marathons.  Of course I don’t regret anything but I want to be able to race to my ability/fitness in the future.

The thing I’m most happy with is that if you scored the marathon like a XC race (adding up places of 3 finishers) we finished 3rd behind Kenya and Brazil.  Three Canadians in the top 30 is pretty sweet and a good step in the right direction.

Here are my places and split for each 5km interval.

5km -61st 15:35,
10km -62nd 31:25,
15km -48th 46:55,
20km -44th 1:02:49,
25km -37th 1:18:47,
30km -32nd 1:34:55,
35km -29th 1:51:35,
40km -23rd 2:08:48


1 3113 Stephen Kiprotich  UGA 2:08:01 .
2 2304 Abel Kirui  KEN 2:08:27 .
3 2302 Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich  KEN 2:09:37 .
4 3225 Mebrahtom Keflezighi  USA 2:11:06 .
5 1226 Marilson dos Santos  BRA 2:11:10 .
6 2230 Kentaro Nakamoto  JPN 2:11:16 .
7 3368 Cuthbert Nyasango  ZIM 2:12:08 (PB)
8 1229 Paulo Roberto Paula  BRA 2:12:17 .
9 2672 Henryk Szost  POL 2:12:28 .
10 2139 Ruggero Pertile  ITA 2:12:45 .
11 2971 Viktor Röthlin  SUI 2:12:48 .
12 3147 Oleksandr Sitkovskyy  UKR 2:12:56 (SB)
13 1222 Franck de Almeida  BRA 2:13:35 .
14 2824 Aleksey Reunkov  RUS 2:13:49 .
15 3367 Wirimai Juwawo  ZIM 2:14:09 (SB)
16 1059 Michael Shelley  AUS 2:14:10 .
17 2315 Emmanuel Kipchirchir Mutai  KEN 2:14:49 .
18 2457 Rachid Kisri  MAR 2:15:09 .
19 1593 Yared Asmerom  ERI 2:15:24 .
20 1304 Dylan Wykes  CAN 2:15:26 .
21 2629 Raúl Pacheco  PER 2:15:35 .
22 1288 Eric Gillis  CAN 2:16:00 .
23 2825 Dmitriy Safronov  RUS 2:16:04 .
24 1615 Carles Castillejo  ESP 2:16:17 .
25 2484 Iaroslav Musinschi  MDA 2:16:25 .
26 2760 Marius Ionescu  ROU 2:16:28 .
27 1285 Reid Coolsaet  CAN 2:16:29 .
28 1041 Martin Dent  AUS 2:16:29 (SB)
29 3146 Vitaliy Shafar  UKR 2:16:36 .
30 1822 Lee Merrien  GBR 2:17:00
  1. Emma permalink
    August 13, 2012 6:46 am

    Reid, you still did an amazing job! We are all so proud of you, Eric and Dylan! We all have good days and bad days, but kudos to you for sticking it out even when it got ugly. There were so many guys who didn’t even finish. Canada has tough guys! I was so surprised that the whole Ethiopian team dropped out though…

  2. August 13, 2012 7:23 am

    Congratulations on a hard fought battle. Apologies to the good folks at New Balance but the Nike slogan for London2012 was Give Your Everything. Seeing you cross the finish line it was obvious, you gave it everything.

    Our sport is alive and well in Canada with representation from three of the best running ambassadors a country could ask for. You did us proud.

    Again congratulations!

  3. Phil Mosher permalink
    August 13, 2012 7:57 am

    Hi Reid,

    You, Dylan and Eric have inspired me and many other Canadians. Thank you for representing Canada and giving it everything you had. I think that you displayed true grit and the Olympic Spirit out there. Congratulations, and thank you again.

  4. A. Reid permalink
    August 13, 2012 8:42 am

    That’s true Canadian grit! To be feeling terrible and STILL finish in 27th place in 2:08 is pretty amazing. Thanks for the inspiration and the example of not being a quitter!!

    • A. Reid permalink
      August 13, 2012 8:43 am


  5. Gary Roversi permalink
    August 13, 2012 8:47 am

    Great stuff Reid. Wasen’t your day end of story. Clear your mind and nail your next one.


  6. Christine permalink
    August 13, 2012 9:14 am

    A very proud morning for all Canadians to be sure! The three of you fought to the end and for that you’re all champs! Congratulations!

  7. Miki permalink
    August 13, 2012 10:09 am

    I don’t care what you say. You are amazing to do what you just did. Not many can run the Olympic Marathon and finish it. Two US guys DNF’ed. We can’t control the weather so we just have to give it our best and you did just that! Amazing! Let’s now all go protest Global Warming or else we’ll just have hot marathons all over the place…!

  8. August 13, 2012 10:44 am

    You made it, you finished…you are still my hero! Kudos to you, Dylan and Eric. I was so proud of you!

  9. August 13, 2012 12:04 pm

    that’s very tough. thanks for the full explanation. yes, you looked wasted at the finish. could tell something went really wrong. when the marathon bites, it doesn’t let go, does it? doesn’t matter — lots to be proud of this past year for you. the weather is so out of your control — week before, cool and rainy — perfect! good job. very proud to see you all finish in top quarter of race.

  10. Sean permalink
    August 13, 2012 1:39 pm

    All 3 of you guys made us proud. I thought on a perfect day you’d be top 20 and struggling a little you made 27th. It’s the first time in so long I could chear for someone wearing the maple leaf and you certainly didn’t disappoint. Can’t wait to see you to 15 in Brazil!!!

  11. Terry Manning permalink
    August 13, 2012 4:21 pm

    You did us proud Reid. Your very right that it is fantastic to have 3 Canadians in the top 30 runners. You all have every right to be very proud of this accomplishment!

    Good luck in all your future races!


  12. August 13, 2012 5:50 pm

    Fantastic, courageous run, one to remember. Like everybody else I’m inspired by what the three of you accomplished. Better than gold, in my opinion.

  13. Paolina allan permalink
    August 13, 2012 9:23 pm

    It’s not just about medals….you are an inspiration, and what a day it was, 3 Canadians in the top 30. I bought your running shoes (red New balance) and feel like they give me your powers!!

  14. LisainTO permalink
    August 13, 2012 9:58 pm

    It’s because of you and your teammates that so many now strive to be better, stronger, faster … myself included. We could see the struggle and knew that it wasn’t your best race but damn! It was still a hell of a race. Y’all finished top 30, you left everything out there and you ran for Canada in the Olympics!!! Holla! And congratulations, man! Always proud!

  15. Alex permalink
    August 13, 2012 10:11 pm

    27th is an amazing accomplishment; even making it to the Olympics marathon is, and you and the other Canadians absolutely killed it. Congratulations.

  16. August 13, 2012 10:19 pm

    It seemed like a tough course just watching it – but an interesting one. Glad to see all three of you finished the race and in the front 3rd of the pack no doubt. Love how you scored it like a XC race – it’s cool seeing it laid out that way. In that regard, third overall is great!

    Interestingly, only the top three athletes (those on the podium) were under the Canadian record, and only the top six even under the Canadian Olympic qualifying time… Looks like most people were at least 5 mins. off their best times.

    Hot weather can be brutal to run in – surprised even the Ethiopians dropped out though… Super cold weather is no fun either (at least not for me because of asthma), and then there’s ice to contend with – good plan to stick to spring and fall races. 😉 Around 11°C is nice to run in. Looking forward to seeing what you do next. Congrats on running (and completing) an Olympic marathon!

  17. Jacob Aliet permalink
    August 14, 2012 12:11 am

    Great work Reid, you will have a better outing soon. Gotta go for that sub 2:10. All the best!

  18. August 14, 2012 6:43 am

    Forward our thanks to however was updating the @Speedriver twtr, those were the only race updates we could get about you.. Vacationing in New Brunswick and CTV aired bronze medal basketball and handball. Grrr!!! We should have told them you were Acadian; You would be on every channel. Super happy that even though things weren’t going well you push through. No DNFs for our team! Looks like New Balance will need to design some ear protection for its athletes. “Revlite Buds: Minimus ear- ringing guaranteed!”

  19. Cooks and Carter permalink
    August 14, 2012 7:56 am

    We’re so proud of you and Eric. We’re glad you went to London and look forward to when you train with us again.
    High fives!

    Cooks Mill and Carter Roads

    Ps. We’ll be here before Rio too

  20. Matthew permalink
    August 14, 2012 8:58 am

    Congrats to the Canadian team. Considering the terrible weather for a marathon you and your fellow runners did a fine job. I’m happy to see that you did not let a race like this get you down. Looking forward to seeing you and other Canadians running, and winning, marathons in normal weather.

  21. Jim permalink
    August 14, 2012 9:10 am

    Be proud Reid ! Hard race but i’m sure it will give you a huge step forward in your next marathon..

  22. bombj permalink
    August 14, 2012 4:22 pm

    Reid…I was at the 30 km mark flying the flag and screaming at the three of you cats…I also had a roll of toilet paper for you at the ready…got pretty smug when Abdi DNF’ed right in front of me…agree with erincorrado above…everyone seemed to be at PB + 5 minutes due to the heat…wonder if DST is aware of Benji Durden’s “double sweats” workouts…still,incredible effort by you Eric and Dylan…hats off…after you looped for the last time my gf and I caught the last few km in a pub and discovered it was a gay bar with the race on a telly framed by photos of various drag queens…brilliant…

  23. August 14, 2012 8:32 pm

    Congratulations Reid. 27th in the world is something to be very proud of! You, Dylan and Eric have done a fantastic job putting Canadian running back on the map!

  24. Delilah permalink
    August 15, 2012 2:00 am

    Congrats on your grit and determination Reid! Was in NYC during your marathon and watched it live after only a few hours sleep there. You did us PROUD and I couldn’t be more proud to be Canadian after watching ya tough it out under brutal conditions. Now enjoy some well deserved relaxation and recovery time!!

  25. Mike Staples permalink
    August 15, 2012 12:36 pm

    Hey Reid,
    You make all Canadians very proud and I find your positive attitude inspiring. Like you said you live to fight another day and you did really well. Three Canadians in the top 30… thats amazing!

  26. August 15, 2012 1:14 pm

    You are a true inspiration, Reid. The three of you did absolutely amazing! What a strong finish, despite how ugly it may have been. A tough course with the heat and all those turns. I got excited every time I heard you were picking guys off and getting ahead. No small feat at all. As someone training only for her 2nd marathon, and needing twice as long as you to complete it, reading about you and seeing you run makes me aware of what greatness is possible, and helps me push myself. You are a true, great athlete. And a real inspiration to me. Thank you for this!

  27. August 17, 2012 2:01 pm

    I got up at 4am to watch you guys run and teared up a little when I say you guys cross the finish line. Big congrats to you! So proud of what you three accomplished!! Good luck with your future races.

  28. Dude permalink
    August 20, 2012 9:36 pm

    You should put some of that fitness to use in smashing the skateboard mile record if the haven’t already put the rubber down in the new Guelph track.

  29. Craig permalink
    August 21, 2012 8:57 pm

    Have really enjoyed the blog dude. You are an inspiration. Thanks for letting us ride (run?) along.

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