It’s official, Simon Bairu has announced that he will chase the Canadian Olympic standard at the Houston Marathon on Jan. 15.
Bairu, who pulled out of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon citing fatigue, has until the end of April 2012 to qualify for the Olympics in the marathon. He must run under 2:11:29 and be among Canada’s top three ranked marathoners to make the team. Currently, Reid Coolsaet and Eric Gillis have both run the standard. Dylan Wykes is the next fastest marathoner, with a 2:12:57 from the Toronto Waterfront race.
Training in Oregon under Jerry Schumacher, Bairu admits to overdoing a few aspects of his preparation in the lead-up to a fall marathon. The decision to skip Toronto has allowed his body to recover and he feels good about his preparation for Houston, he told Canadian Running.
Bairu plans to run a half-marathon in San Antonio, Texas, on Sunday. “The goal is just to run marathon pace,” he said. He’ll race another half-marathon in the coming months, before Houston.
Wykes, meanwhile, hasn’t announced yet which marathon he’ll run before the qualifying window closes.
Bairu, who is one of Canada’s greatest all-time cross-country runners, was recently in Ottawa to watch the OFSAA championships. Here’s a video interview courtesy of RunnersSpace.