Simon Bairu’s Difficult Debut

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Nov. 10, 2010
  • Updated Sep. 12, 2012 at 12:56 PM UTC
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.”

For More: The

FILED UNDER: New York City Marathon / News / NYC Marathon News TAGS: / / /

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

Get our best running content delivered to your inbox

Subscribe to the FREE Competitor Running weekly newsletter