One of Canada’s top distance runners has run less than the equivalent of a marathon, on land, in 2017.
Reid Coolsaet, the second fastest Canadian men’s marathoner in history, has been battling injury since the turn of the calendar. After four nearly-complete months off of running because of an injury to his fourth metatarsal, Coolsaet is back on his feet. (He ran on Jan. 1, 2017 and didn’t run again until May 5.)
In January, Coolsaet wrote on his blog that he was diagnosed with “osteonecrosis (lack of blood flow to the bone) and collapsing of the fourth metacarpal head.” On Dec. 6, Coolsaet ran the Fukuoka Marathon, his most recent race, in 2:10:55, one of the fastest marathons in this country’s history.
Fast forward to the beginning of May when Coolsaet once again resumed running after eight solid weeks of cross-training. The New Balance-sponsored athlete tells Canadian Running that a MRI on his foot shows that “the bone is in good health” adding that “there are still some issues with the joint and tendon but hopefully those can be resolved with physiotherapy.”
Nothing motivates me more than the people in my corner supporting me. However, I also get some fire from those who have counted me out.
— Reid Coolsaet (@ReidCoolsaet) April 28, 2017
With the injury, Canada’s marathon team for the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London takes a blow. Coolsaet, 37, says he will not race worlds as he prefers 24 weeks of running before committing the the marathon. (He will be 38 by the time London 2017 rolls around in August.) However, Canada’s top man in Rio in the marathon, Eric Gillis, is expected to race in London after finishing 10th in Brazil.
As any runner who needs to overcome injury, Coolsaet started off slowly. On May 5, his first run since Jan. 1, he ran 1.1K. A week later, he’s up to 4.3K, a fraction of what the marathoner often runs, sometimes upwards of 215K per week. (That’s 30K, on average, per day.) In the interim, Coolsaet has spent time with family including his wife, Marie, and the recent addition of Louis, the couple’s first child.
Had Coolsaet, whose lifetime marathon best is 2:10:28, not fallen victim to injury, he would have raced the NYC Half followed by the Boston Marathon. Going back to Coolsaet’s ’24 weeks of running before a marathon’ requirement, the 2017 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is 24 weeks from when the Hamilton resident resumed running.