Reid Coolsaet Chats with Runners Feed

Earlier this summer I had the pleasure of conducting a telephone interview with Canada’s top marathoner and 2012 Canadian Olympic qualifier, Reid Coolsaet. He was enjoying some down time at his home in Hamilton, ON.  We chatted regarding the upcoming Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWFM), the 2012 Olympic marathon, and his recent training stint in Kenya and much more!

Never Thought I’d be London Bound
On July 27th 2011, the city of London, UK officially marked its one year countdown to the 2012 London Olympic Summer Games. The winter games of Vancouver 2010 saw Canadian athletes win the gold medal count, claiming an unprecedented fourteen gold’s along with an overall medal count of 26.

Sports fans in Canada have good reason to be optimistic regarding the future success of our Olympians. However, the summer games are far more fiercely contested with many more events, athletes and countries taking part. For Hamilton, Ontario native Reid Coolsaet, the Olympic dream is only an incredibly short twelve months away. Reid was Canada’s top ranked marathoner in 2010, (2:11.23 – Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon) and is slated to represent Canada in the Olympic marathon. Coolsaet will also be along the start line at this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon set to go October 16th.

With the field loaded with Canada’s top marathon talent, Reid knows he has to succeed amongst the top national marathoners in this year’s STWM. The A Standard of sub 2:11.30 could be in serious jeopardy from a number of Canadians. Reid made this comment on the progression of Canadian marathoning; “Yeah, well we didn’t really have the kind of numbers that we do now…there was always one or two guys flirting around 2:15-16, and now last year we had 3 guys at 2:13.”

Throughout his years at the University of Guelph, Reid admitted he had no concrete intentions on turning pro let alone appearing at an Olympic games. “I never really thought of running professionally, I just knew I really liked to do it and that I had room for improvement and I wanted to see what I could do with it.” Coolsaet did go on to say that he always knew the marathon would be his strongest discipline.

Reid trains with Speed River Track Club out of Guelph Ont. and is training partners with fellow Canadian pro Eric Gillis. Coolsaet values the benefits of a training partner like Eric and knows it’s an integral part of successful training. “Gillis and I did split every workout together. Something like a 90-minute tempo, doing a workout that long, it’s good to have someone to push you along. You can’t really do it alone.”

Red blood cells and more…in Kenya

Taking advantage of high altitude training has been common practice for most pro distance runners these days. Reid is no different, and when he got the chance to attend a training camp in Kenya he jumped all over the opportunity. However it wasn’t just an increase in red blood cells that Reid took away from the experience. “What we’re doing at Guelph is actually fairly similar to what they’re doing there. It’s more just the inspiration and motivation of watching so many guys really work hard day in day out. Also, just the amount of people really giving it all for the dream to run fast.”

Reid’s down to earth personality enabled him to dive into more than just the distance running side of Kenya. He really immersed himself into the culture by checking out local markets, playing with kids and drawing inspiration off the Kenyan athletes working so hard.  Check out the “Reid Coolsaet in Kenya” video below:

Reid Coolsaet in Kenya

Rapid Fire Questions with Reid Coolsaet:

1)   A vacation isn’t a vacation without “a good book”

2)   Sport played professionally other than distance running: “skateboarding”

3)   Where does the nickname “Coldneck” come from? “The guys with the mullet called me Coldneck”

4)   1st person you’d call after running sub 2:10?  “My parents!”

5)   How often does your last name get screwed up at track meets?  “It gets screwed up quite a bit but it’s not off by much so it’s ok.”

Runners Feed wishes Reid the best of luck at the 2011 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon this October, and hopes to see Reid in London next summer.

Reid will be speaking at the Two Men And A Tent Health & Fitness Expo (packet pickup for Rock the Road 10K) on August 19th at 7 PM in London, Ontario (north parking lot of Masonville Mall).

To learn more about Canada’s fastest marathoner visit




About the Author: Brett Bonisteel resides in Ottawa, Canada and trains with the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club. Brett is a passionate fan of the sport of distance running and enjoys writing about the sport’s elites. He comes from a family of distance athletes and when they aren’t competing out on the roads, winning a fierce game of Jeopardy holds equal bragging rights.


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