Simon Bairu of Regina, Saskatchewan has officially retired from competitive running. Although the 31-year-old Bairu retires early from the sport, he is one of Canada’s all-time great talents. He ran in the NCAA for the Wisconsin Badgers under Coach Jerry Schumacher winning two national titles in cross country. After graduation he moved west to run for Nike when he followed Schumacher to the Oregon-based sports giant to run for the Bowerman Track Club and KIMbia Athletics.
Although his strength, some will argue, lies in cross country, he owns the Canadian 10,000m record, which he accomplished at the Stanford University track during the 2010 annual Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational. He ran the race in 27:23.63, finishing behind his training partner Chris Solinsky who, in that same race, took the American 10,000m record with his 26:59.30. Solinsky recently move to the College of William and Mary in the NCAA as an Assistant Coach.
Bairu won a record seven Canadian Cross Country Championship titles. He also ran to a respectable 13th position at perhaps the most competitive foot race on the planet, the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. He finished just 44 seconds from gold. He also won several half marathons including the inaugural Miami Beach Half Marathon as well as the San Jose Half Marathon. He ran his personal best in Philadelphia in 2010, finishing in 62:08.
Bairu tried to transition to the marathon distance, however, a combination of injuries and mysterious sub-par performances conspired against him and he subsequently has raced very little since his two attempts at the distance in New York as well as Fukuoka, neither of which he managed to finish.
His personal bests are:
3000 Metres 7:49.20
5000 Metres 13:25.91
10,000 Metres 27:23.63
10 Kilometres 28:30
Half Marathon 1:02:08