News & Releases >> Sep 30 2010
TORONTO. September 30th. Reid Coolsaet, Eric Gillis and Matt Loiselle did Canada proud at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Sunday. Reid's time of 2:11:23 was the fastest time ever by a Canadian on Canadian soil, and eclipsed the mark of 2:11:34 run by now-Minister of Labour, Peter Fonseca in 1995. Fonseca was at the Finish line to congratulate the 31 year-old Hamiltonian who trains with Dave Scott-Thomas and the Speed River Track Club in Guelph. After an aggressive first half [65:03], Coolsaet hung on to finish jubilantly, 6 seconds under the Olympic Qualifying standard for the London 2012 Games, set by Athletics Canada just last Wednesday. "It was quite emotional when I crossed that finish line," said Coolsaet. "Right away I was ecstatic. All that hard work over the last two years paid off.”
He thanked the race organizers for putting together "a fantastic field," and noted that "my 10th place on Sunday was faster than any other 10th place this year except Paris. Yep, faster than Prague, Berlin, Rotterdam, Boston, London, Dubai..." He said the results at this year's Scotia Toronto Waterfront Marathon were good enough to put the race in a league with other major marathons like Boston, Chicago and New York. "This year's results kind of put this marathon on the map. This marathon's got a lot of momentum going forward."
While club-mate Eric Gillis just missed punching his Olympic ticket, his 2:12:08 for 11th place was a huge 2-minute personal best. "I finished really strong," said Gillis, originally from Antigonish, before moving to Guelph. "It's given me a lot of confidence. I'll be a bit more aggressive next time out, and nail that qualifying time [2:11:29]." Gillis also commented on the crowds. "The crowds were fantastic," he said at the Press Conference. "So many people came in from Guelph, and so many Torontonians were cheering for me. When I ran my first marathon in Houston in January, I must have got 5 cheers the whole way round. Here, I got maybe 5 every minute! That's the hometown advantage. It was just awesome."
And while he had been hoping for something a little faster, Matt Loiselle's 2:19:03 marked a solid debut for the member of the Brooks Canada Marathon Project in Toronto. The Canadian Half Marathon champion in 2009 and 2010, Matt needed a decent, solid performance his first time out for the 42k distance. He got that, plus some valuable experience. Perhaps starting out a little ambitiously, Matt ran his first 10k in 31:32, and passed halfway in 67:05. His second half was almost 5 minutes slower, as he suffered a little over the last few kilometres. In contrast to his first 10k, he took 34:41 to cover the distance between 30k and 40k. It was a valuable learning outing, and like Eric Gillis, Matt has all of 2011 to build and improve and get to that Olympic qualifying mark.
"We are all just so proud of them," said Race Director Alan Brookes. It was a very emotional day. This was a world-class race today. Canadians took on some of the best in the world and ran faster than any Canadians have in 15 years. Bravo! Canadian marathoning is back!" And Martin Goulet, Chief High Performance Officer for Athletics Canada added: "Fantastic! Congrats to Reid and Eric and Matt; congrats to coaches Dave [Scott-Thomas] and Hugh [Cameron]; congrats to meet director Alan Brookes as well. You have all worked so hard to bring back Canadian marathoning to a respectable level. All your work is paying off now".