Coolseat and Gillis celebrate after the race. Photo courtesy Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon.
Reid Coolsaet and Eric Gillis finished their last race before the Summer Olympics in fine form this weekend, coming in first and third at the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon.
Coolsaet broke away from Kip Kangogo on the Burrard bridge in the late stages of the race to win in 63 minutes and 15 second. He fell just five seconds short of Patrick Nthiwa's course record of 63 minutes and 10 seconds, set six years ago.
Gillis came third in 63 minutes and 56 seconds. Both had been training heavily coming into the Vancouver race, logging about 230 kilometres a week on the road and trails.
"It was really tough for Eric and I coming in with high mileage, but I think we got what we wanted out of it, which was a hard effort," Coolsaet told the Vancouver Sun.
The Speed River Track & Field Club teammates will spend the next six weeks training at home in Hamilton and Guelph before running in the Olympic marathon through London Aug. 12.
Both are hoping for a a top-10 finish in front of Buckingham Palace, after racing the winding 42.2-kilometre route.