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Goddamn it, things fall apart

Olympic marathoner Reid Coolsaet talks about his race on Sunday.

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