Wednesday, January 19, 2011

2010 Highlight: Simon Bairu

Although Chris Solinsky‘s 26:59 and Shalane Flanagan’s 2nd-place finish in the NYC Marathon may have earned Jerry Schumacher 2010 Coach of the Year honors in the public’s mind, the breakout that Simon Bairu had in 2010 might be Schumacher’s finest achievement from a motivational standpoint.  After a sub-par performance in the Kim McDonald 10,000m at Stanford, Bairu got an earful from his coach, who told the Canadian star that he’d been completely out-worked by his OTC teammates that year.

Bairu took it to heart, attacked his running with renewed dedication, and reaped the rewards in 2010: a win over American Record-holder Ryan Hall in the Rock ‘N Roll Arizona Half, a 12th-place finish at World Cross, and a new half-marathon PB of 1:02:08 in Philly in September.  But the crown jewel, according to Bairu, was his return to Stanford, where he shattered the Canadian Record for 10,000m, running a 27:23.63 to knock 27-seconds off his personal best and 12 seconds off the previous national record.

What would you call the main highlight of 2010 for you?
My 2010 highlight was breaking the Canadian 10,000m record. I thought I was going to get it last year but the wheels came off in the last two miles of the race and I ended up running 27:50. This year I was much stronger and thus was able to finish strong. With the transition to the marathon, I knew 2010 would be my last real chance at the record for some time.

Did you have any sense in the weeks leading up that things would go so well? And if so, why?
Worlds Cross Country [in March] was the biggest indicator for me that I was ready to break the record. After the race Jerry told me I was gonna run 27:20-something.

What are you looking forward to most for 2011?
The biggest thing I’m looking forward to for 2011 is running another marathon. I was really disappointed with the result [in New York] but learned a lot in the process. I know the next time I run a marathon the effort will be the same but the result will be different.

(L to R: Simon en route to 12th at World Cross / winning Rock ‘N Roll AZ / Canadian Record / in Hawaii with Jager)
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3 Responses to “2010 Highlight: Simon Bairu”

  1. [...] Watson are currently ranked #1, #2, #3 and #4 in the Marathon in Canada. Bairu set an impressive new Canadian 10,000m record of 27:23 last May, before dropping out of his much-anticipated marathon debut in New York City in [...]

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Simon Bairu, KIMbia Athletics. KIMbia Athletics said: How does a two-time NCAA champ have a "breakout" season? By doing like Simon Bairu did in 2010. [...]