Coolsaet and Gollish Claim Toronto Waterfront 10k Victories

By Paul Gains

Two time Canadian Olympian Reid Coolsaet easily handled a competitive field at the Toronto Waterfront 10k leading 8,500 runners across the finish line in a time of 30:13.

The 38 year old Hamilton, Ontario resident earned $2,500 first place prize money at this Canada Running Series race presented by lululemon, after taking the lead in the first four kilometres. He had a gap of around two seconds when he went through the 5km mark in 14:55. Behind him, defending champion Wendimu Adamu, an Ethiopian citizen living and training in Toronto, and Kyle Wyatt bravely kept in touch but once they made the turn toward the finish around 8km, the race was clearly Coolsaet’s.

Adamu finished 2nd in 30:24 with Wyatt claiming third place a second behind. Sergio Raez Villaneuva, who won the Canadian 10,000m title on Wednesday night finished a commendable 4th in 30:46 acknowledging his legs were still feeling the effects of his race three days earlier.

For Coolsaet it was a race which initiated mixed feelings. After stretching his lead to a comfortable margin, he tried to relax as he approached the final hill at 9km. “I wanted to run a lot faster,” he declared. “I am really happy with the win. I ran alone after 3 or 4k so I was just trying to push as much as I could solo. I really thought I would be able to run a lot quicker. It was a lot of fun.

“It’s not a big hill but it’s right around 9k so it’s in a tough spot. I had a sizeable gap by then and I felt I don’t need to suffer because by 6 or 7k my time goal was out the window. I would have liked to have run 29:30.” His wife Marie gave birth to a baby girl three weeks ago but he refused to blame the lack of sleep as an excuse.

Adamu was all smiles paying compliment to his coach at Toronto Olympic Club, Paul Poce. Though he has run well under 30 minutes for the distance he was satisfied today. “I was feeling a little bit of pain in my leg so I couldn’t run at my best today,” he explained. “I tried but he (Coolsaet) was far in front.”

Defending Toronto Waterfront 10k champion, Natasha Wodak, flew in from Vancouver Thursday and for her the 7:30 a.m. start felt like 4:30 a.m. at home. Still, she has become quite used to crossing time zones having represented Canada at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and most recently at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia where she was 5th.

At 5km (16:36) she was a few strides in front of the chasing pack which included fellow Vancouver resident, Dayna Pidhoresky, Ethiopian Anteneh Emebet and Sasha Gollish who recently won the Canadian Half Marathon Championship in Calgary.

The race became a three woman affair by 7km and shortly afterwards Gollish went to the front and quickly opened a gap which she held to the finish. Crossing the line in 33:05 – a new event record – she was delighted with the victory.

“It was awesome. It is so nice to see the level of running in Canada escalating every year,” Gollish said. “By escalating I mean the talent pool is going up. It’s only going to get bigger and better from here.

“Probably just before 8km my alpine ski brain went on and I was like ‘ooh’ I took that corner kind of quickly’ and I just noticed they had dropped back about ten metres and I thought it was a natural place to go from.

“I was worried. I wasn’t looking back. I think you have at some point trust yourself and you also have to know that if someone is going to have a better day they are going to have a better day. But if you are going to test yourself it’s really important to look forward, eyes up, and keep pressing and if someone is faster, they are faster There is nothing you can do to control that.”

Wodak continued to give chase but ultimately finished 2nd in 33:17, a commendable result considering she ran 35 seconds faster today than in winning a year ago. “I just happened to be out in front,” she said of her early front running. “I was trying to run 3:19 – 3:20 (per kilometre) pace which is 33:20 pace and just feel good. I was hoping some of the other girls would do a bit more work but that didn’t happen until they passed me at 8k.

“I have definitely been doing more 1,500m/ 5k training since I have been home from the Commonwealth Games. So I knew today was about having fun and putting in a good effort. I was hoping to run 33 low, I ran 33:17. You know it’s great being out here in Toronto. Alan Brookes always puts on a good race and I get to see a lot of my running friends. All in all a good day.”

Emebet who has been in Canada just a month, finished 3rd in 33:37.

Full race results: