Simon Bairu’s Difficult Debut

Simon Bairu hit the wall at the ING New York City Marathon last Sunday. Photo:
Simon Bairu hit the wall at the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday. Photo:

One of Canada’s best distance runners hit “the wall” at mile 22 on Sunday.

Simon Bairu was highly touted going into the 2010 ING New York City Marathon. He is the Canadian record holder in the 10,000 meters and had expected to do well in his first marathon.

He had trained two years for the race, compiling multiple 120-mile weeks of preparation. But on Sunday, he ran into trouble after the 21-mile mark.

“My head got light, and it was almost like a drunken stumble. I was conscious, but I wasn’t in [the race],” Bairu recalled. “The next thing I knew, I was on the ground and my legs were just shaking uncontrollably. They were just twitching.”

Spectators called 911, and Bairu was eventually loaded into an ambulance that ended up getting into an accident on the way to the hospital. After a long ordeal, Bairu made it to the hospital and was eventually released.

He intends to dust himself off and try the marathon again.

“I hate dropping out of races. It’s probably the one thing I can’t stand,” Bairu said. “But I gave it all I had.”

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