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I told you I’m just like a clock when I tick and I tock

October 29, 2012

Bupa Great South Run 10 Miler

I thought I had a great plan to run a smart race but it ended up backfiring.

The night before the race we watched last year’s race on a big screen.  In that race Leonard Komon opened up with a 4:12 mile with the lead pack somewhere around 4:25 for that opening mile.  I knew a sub 4:30 mile was not in my best interest and I also knew that second place last year was 46:40 (4:40 per mile pace).  My plan was to run 4:40 per mile until I caught the front pack (which in hindsight wouldn’t have really worked anyways, 4:37 per mile would have worked to catch them by 3 miles).  From the gun the race split into two distinct groups and I plopped myself into the second group thinking they would roll the first mile in 4:40. About 1km into the race I realized we were running too slow and I went to the front of the pack and noticed the leaders already had a huge gap. We split 4:49 for the first mile and I was already 20 seconds back! At that point I took off from the second pack and tried to focus on the leaders.

At 5km I was 30 seconds back of the leaders and catching Alistair Cragg who had fallen off the front pack.  I went by him and then saw Rui Silva fall off and started working towards him.  I passed Rui just after the 10km mark, which I hit 40 seconds back of the leaders (I wasn’t running much slower than the lead pack).  What made it even harder for me was that the lead pack of 6 stayed intact this whole time and I was running solo, on a blustery day. I never caught anyone else. The seventh place finisher, Johnny Mellor, had a 15-18 second gap on me the whole way.  My final time was 47:50 (2:58/km or 4:47/mi) for 8th place.  I ended up 40 seconds back of where I wanted to be by the end of the race, so I kept the pace honest but was just out of it the whole way.

It’s a long way to travel to run a solo time trial and in hindsight I wish I had been more aggressive from the gun.  I still think my plan to not break 4:30 off the front was good, but 4:49 was way too slow to give myself a shot of catching the leaders. At least I can feel good about my fitness and I have more races this fall.  The event, as a whole, was fantastic.  The guys at Great Run took good care of us and made sure everything ran smoothly.

My splits 5km 14:51, 10km 29:33, 15km 44:24

Leaders 5km 14:21, 10km 28:53, 15km 43:28

Position Athlete Country Performancee
1 Stephen Mokoka (RSA) 46:40
2 Ayam Lamdassem (ESP) 46:44
3 Tariku Bekele (ETH) 46:45
4 Daniele Meucci (ITA) 46:50
5 Andrew Lemoncello (GBR) 47:08
6 Abel Kirui (KEN) 47:12
7 Jonny Mellor (GBR) 47:35
8 Reid Coolsaet (CAN) 47:50

Thanks to Pierre Landry for the generous offer of his Air Canada eUpgrade points! I was able to fly executive class on the way over and get in a solid sleep on the overnight flight. I got him a signed bib from two 2012 Olympic medallists, Tariku Bekele and Abel Kirui.

Portsmouth is a cool place, here are some pics I took while I walked around.

Along the course

Spinnaker tower


  1. October 29, 2012 9:22 am

    Great race and great performance, even though it wasn’t exactly what you wanted. Have you had the chance to watch the broadcast? Mokoka basically toying with everyone before destroying Lamdassem in the final 400. Was entertaining to watch! How were those winds along the water?

    • reidcoolsaet permalink*
      October 30, 2012 3:41 pm

      The winds were pretty bad. It was funny watching the 4 guys break off from Lemoncello and Kirui and right away swerve to the other side of the road to get them off their slipstream.

      > Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2012 14:22:56 +0000 > To: >

  2. October 29, 2012 10:11 am

    Love the title today

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