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Calgary Half

June 1, 2015

Over the weekend I went to Calgary for the national half marathon championships looking for the win. The last Canadian championship I won (or even entered) was the 10km September 2013.  I came up short in the final kick and had to settle for second place.

Heading into the race I knew I wasn’t in great shape. I have no complaints where my fitness is because it’s part of the plan to ease into training in order to peak for a fall marathon. I know I could have been more prepared for this race had I been more aggressive with my training after Rotterdam but I have to choose my battles. Even still, I thought I had a good shot at winning.

When the race started I decided it was in my best interest to keep a consistent pace. Calgary is situated at 1050m (3400 feet) which makes it a little slower than sea level. I was basically reeling off 3:05/km and four of us quickly separated from the rest. After 4km Kelly Wiebe and Trevor Hofbauer were trailing Kip and I. Kelly seemed to be way behind Trevor and then all of a sudden he was back up with Kip and I (turned out Kelly was having stomach issues and stopped three times during the race). I led through 10km in just under 31:00 and by then it was clear it was going to just be Kip and I going for the win.

I decided to let Kip lead for a couple of kilometres and we slowed to 3:11/km. That felt much easier but I was worried at that pace we would get caught. I led another 3:03/km but that was kind of tough and talked myself into trying to win in the last few km instead of pushing hard the rest of the way. The pace became really easy and almost didn’t even feel as though I was racing.

At 18km I decided to surge and drop Kip. But he was one tough bugger that day and I couldn’t shake him so I settled back down. I thought if I could get a jump on him in the final 150m I could maintain that little gap until the end.

With, what I thought was 150m to go, I surged hard. I got a little gap on him and hoped to carry it until the finish line. Then I saw the 42km mark and realized there was still 200m (195m) from that point! I was cooked. Kip passed me and I gave up the fight. A little later I saw Kip tie up but he had a big enough gap for the win.

After the race Kip told me he knew I went too early. He’s raced this course many times and was familiar with the finish.

It was good to see Kip win his first Canadian title (Kip moved to Canada from Kenya many years ago but only became Canadian last year). I was frustrated because I don’t think (even given my fitness) I played my cards right. An honest pace was probably my best bet. Oh well, live and learn.

In general I’m really satisfied with my training, fitness and health. I’ll continue with my base training for two more weeks before I notch up the intensity.

Next up is Scotia Vancouver Half Marathon on June 28th. After that I’m looking at Boilermaker in July and Crim in August.

The race video is archived at HERE (at 1:15:23 into the video I have an interview with John Stanton)

Place Gun Time Name City Chip Time
1/3304 01:06:39 KANGOGO, Kip Lethbridge, AB 01:06:39
2/3304 01:06:50 COOLSAET, Reid Guelph, ON 01:06:44
3/3304 01:07:22 HOFBAUER, Trevor Calgary, AB 01:07:17
4/3304 01:07:25 WIEBE, Kelly Vancouver, BC 01:07:19
5/3304 01:08:41 WINSLOW, Robert Guelph, ON 01:08:41
6/3304 01:09:08 VIAU-DUPUIS, Philippe Montreal, QC 01:09:03
7/3304 01:09:10 LE PORHO, David Montreal, QC 01:09:03
8/3304 01:09:14 SNIDER, Graydon Halifax, NS 01:09:08
9/3304 01:09:22 DEERE, Jeremy Calgary, AB 01:09:17
  1. June 2, 2015 11:14 am

    Good job, Reid, especially considering Rotterdam wasn’t too long ago. I ran the 10k, which was my first race at elevation, and absolutely blew up. Loved watching all the fast half marathoners blow by me though!

  2. June 5, 2015 9:12 am

    I just watched that race online. Didn’t think I’d watch the whole thing, but actually found it to be pretty good, especially with you and Kip running neck and neck. Glad to see Canadian running going to a new level. Awesome.

  3. June 5, 2015 12:59 pm

    Incredibly close – Incredible effort. You will catch it next time.

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