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Posted: April 22, 2009  : Add to Mixx!

Athletics: Reid Coolsaet To Return To Action At Billy Taylor, Announces Marathon Debut In Ottawa

Reid Coolsaet will make his long awaited return to competitive running Sunday at the Billy Taylor 15k in Guelph, Ontario. Coolsaet has missed the last year with two major injuries the first of which, a nerve injury, forced him to miss the 2008 Olympic Games and the most recent a fractured foot, caused him to miss the 2008 AGSI Canadian Cross Country Championships. The four time Canadian 5000 Meter Champion will use the race as a tune up for his marathon debut which will take place May 24th in Ottawa at the Ottawa Marathon. The Ottawa Marathon will serve as the selection race for the Canadian team at the 2009 Berlin World Championships. Coolsaet posted a few comments about his decision on his blog.

Why run a marathon?

RC: My cross-training volume has been high since the beginning of the year and that type of training is physiologically closer to Marathon training than 5000m training. Also, my tempo runs and longer intervals are at a higher level relative to my track workouts right now.

The standard for the marathon to make the World Championships (2hours 18 minutes) is easier relative to the track times (13:20 for 5km and 27:47 for 10km). The reality is that I've never run a marathon before, so although it is theoretically easier there will not be anything easy about it.

I have been interested in running a marathon for the past couple of years and with the possibility of Canada sending a full marathon team this year to Worlds it seems like a good time to take a crack at it. Even if it doesn't go well I know the training and experience will help me down the road in later marathons.

Why not just train until June and by then your track times should be better?

RC: I've never had a layoff as big as I have in this past year, so either way there are going to be some unknown variables. It's also still possible to run fast on the track come July if I run the marathon on May 24th (the last day to qualify for the World Championships on the track is July 26th).

Did you decide to run a marathon after watching Boston on Monday?

RC: No, I had been thinking of this for a while but I didn't think Dave (Scott-Thomas, Coolsaet's Coach) was going to go for it so I didn't mention it. It turns out Dave had been thinking about it as well when looking over my training and when he brought it up a couple of weeks ago I was all over it. I just needed to make sure I could handle the longer stuff and then commit before I bothered telling people.

Why do a marathon so soon?

RC: The last day to qualify for the 2009 World Championships is May 24th in the marathon. Waiting until later is not an option for the marathon.

Why run a marathon when you won't have the optimal preparation?

RC: In an ideal world I would of had a longer training block for the marathon however, I am also not trying to run as fast as I would with an ideal build-up. My 5000m and 10 000m times rank me in the top 4 in the All-Time Canadian rankings, to break into the top four for the marathon I would have to run 2:11:15. I'm not aiming to go that fast on this outing.

What are some of the challenges you will face in running the marathon?

RC: The first of course is 42.2km. I've never run that long. So far I have a 35km run under my belt and with 4.5 weeks remaining I'll have one more long effort this weekend.

Figuring out what to drink and eat during the event and practicing taking it in while running 3:12/km. Thankfully, Dr. Trent Stellingwerff has been advising me on what to take and when to take it. I'll practice taking in fuel on the run this weekend at the Billy Taylor road race. I've also been practicing, a little, already with gels and water bottles.

I'm going to have to get used to running on pavement. So far the majority of my mileage has been on soft surfaces. I'll have to train more on the roads to get my legs used to the impact.

Reid Coolsaet's Bio

Hometown: Hamilton, ON
Birthdate: July 29, 1979 
University: University of Guelph '03
Coach: Dave Scott-Thomas
Agent: Chris Layne

Personal Bests:
1500m - 3:40.38 
3000m - 7:53.51i 
5000m - 13:21.53
10 000m - 27:56.92

Best placing at Canadian Championships:
2000 - 6th 3000m S/C
2001 - 4th 5000m
2002 - 4th 5000m, 4th 1500m 
2003 - 2nd 5000m, 4th 1500m, 2nd Cross Country
2004 - 1st 5000m, 3rd Cross Country
2005 - 1st 5000m, 5th Cross Country
2006 - 1st 5000m, 2nd Cross Country
2007 - 1st 5000m, 1st Cross Country
Chris Moulton
Director of Communications
Speed River Track and Field

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