Canada’s second-fastest marathon runner of all-time will be in the field for the 2016 Fukuoka International Marathon. Reid Coolsaet, who represented Canada at the Rio Olympics, is on the official start list for the Dec. 4 race.
Former world record holder Patrick Makau headlines the field for the popular Japan race. Though not one of the six World Marathon Majors, Fukuoka regularly draws a strong international field. In 2015, Canada’s Dylan Wykes ran the event though he did not finish.
The Fukuoka Marathon is notable for Canadians as the national men’s record was set there 41 years ago. Jerome Drayton’s 2:10:09, set in 1975, has withstood the test of time. Coolsaet, by virtue of his 2:10:28 clocking at the Berlin Marathon, has been the biggest threat to Drayton’s record as he is ranked second all-time among Canadian men. Drayton has held the Canadian record since 1969.
“I can tell you my training isn’t at the same level as my best build-ups but with five weeks to go, I can still make some progress,” he wrote on his blog, dated Oct. 30. Coolsaet, 37, resides in Hamilton after spending many years in Guelph, Ont. He became a father on Sept. 30.
Coolsaet revealed the news in his latest post and confirmed his participation with Canadian Running on Monday morning. It was recently announced that Coolsaet will not be receiving financial assistance from the country’s governing body despite being one of the nation’s top marathoners.
Start list confirmation
The 37-year-old finished 23rd at the 2016 Olympics in the men’s marathon. There he clocked 2:14:58.
As of Sunday, the Speed River athlete has not yet booked his flights to Japan for the race. The flight is approximately 16 hours from Toronto. In the meantime, Coolsaet plans to race at the Hamilton Road2Hope 10K on Nov. 5.
Editor’s note: Canadian Running originally reported that Coolsaet will be chasing the 2017 World Championship standard in Fukuoka. However, he tweeted that he will not represent Canada if he qualifies as Athletics Canada is not funding him in 2017.
@CanadianRunning thanks for the coverage. Just so you know, if AC isn't going to card me I'm not going to race Worlds.
— Reid Coolsaet (@ReidCoolsaet) October 31, 2016