HUGE ups to @rwatson26point2 for giving it all at #LondonMarathon today. 2:18:45 after a 30:55 first 10k. "I knew by 10 miles I wasn't going to do it (2:12:50 @athleticscanada Rio standard). I wanted to dropout. To stop. I felt a few miles feeling sorry for myself, contemplating life. I was going through a lot of emotions out there. It was tough. You give it your best. If it doesn't happen it doesn't happen. I'm proud of what I've done. I wish I could have made it happen today. It's been a hell of a ride. The journey has been so much to me, and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. This is the end of this chapter. I reckon I'll have a few beers tonight. THANKS to everyone back home. I love you guys." @canadianrunning #ACroad #ACRoadToRio #giveityourall #runcrs #STWM #community #InItTogether #oneinamillion
Canadian Rob Watson knew that the Olympic qualifying standard was out of reach around the 16K mark of the London Marathon on Sunday morning, his final attempt at making the national team in the men’s marathon. Tempted to drop out, Watson, 32, persevered to finish in 2:18:45, off the 2:12:50 he needed to be eligible for Rio.
“I knew by 10 miles I wasn’t going to do it [2:12:50],” Watson told Canada Running Series director Alan Brookes following the race. “I wanted to drop out. I went a few miles feeling sorry for myself, contemplating life. I was going through a lot of emotions out there. It was tough. You give it your best. If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. I’m proud of what I’ve done. I wish I could have made it happen today. It’s been a hell of a ride. The journey has been so much to me, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. This is the end of this chapter. I reckon I’ll have a few beers tonight. Thanks to everyone back home, I love you guys.”
— Thomas Fletcher (@tnf1972) April 24, 2016
“It’s maybe one of my last high level marathons,” admits Watson. His entire career he has had Olympic aspirations, something he alluded to in the post-race interview. The qualifying window for the Rio Olympics in the marathon for Canadians is May 29.
Watson goes on to say that when one sets high goals, there’s always the risk of failure. A few years ago, he made the move from Guelph, Ont. to Vancouver to continue training at a high level.
During Sunday’s London Marathon, he tucked in with the 2:11 pack, a pace that was pre-determined before the race. He was well ahead of running 2:12:50 through the 5K and 10K marks but began to fall back around the 15K mark. He finished 21st overall behind winner Eliud Kipchoge.
Splits (5K unless otherwise noted): 15:25, 15:30, 15:56, 16:17, 03:35 (1.1K), 13:09 (3.9K), 16:34, 17:09, 17:11, 7:59 (2.2K).
The Vancouver resident had put everything into the London Marathon having spent the past month in Europe to prepare for the April 24 race. In late March, he represented Canada at the world half-marathon championships in Wales and opted to stick around for a month to reduce the effects of pre-race travel.
Watson’s interview with Brookes can be found below:
Prior to the race, Watson tweeted that the support of everyone had been outstanding. On his podcast, he’s popularly known as “Canada’s favourite marathoner.”
Full men’s and women’s London Marathon recaps to follow shortly.