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Antigonish’s Gillis unable to complete marathon at world championships

A cranky stomach ended Eric Gillis's marathon run on Sunday at the IAAF world championships in London.
eric gillis pic
Antigonish native Eric Gillis, seen in this file photo, was unable to finish the marathon at the IAAF world championship in London on Sunday. (Courtesy of Eric Gillis)

London has offered three-time Olympian Eric Gillis some great days. Sunday wasn't one of them.

Due to illness, the Antigonish native was unable to finish the marathon at the IAAF world championship in London, a city where he placed 22nd in the 2012 Olympics.

Gillis, 37, was 33rd at the halfway point in a time of 1:06:10. He was in 32nd place at the 30-kilometre-mark in 1:35:24, but didn`t post a time at 35 kilometres.

He was disappointed he couldn't demonstrate his fitness.

"I'm OK," Gillis said in an email. "Norwalk. Thursday. Felt good enough to give it a go today but in hindsight not my usual self."

Kenya's Geoffrey Kirui won in a season-best time of 2:08:27. Ethiopia's Tamarat Tola was second in 2:09:49.

Gillis placed 10th in the Olympics last summer in 2:12 and ran a 2:13 eight weeks later in Toronto.

He had planned to run the Boston Marathon this spring, but came down with an injury after a half-marathon in New York in March.

He has since moved back to Antigonish after years in Guelph, Ont., to become an assistant coach in track and field and cross-country at St. Francis Xavier, where he was an all-Canadian a decade ago. He will become head coach when Bernie Chisholm retires following the 2017 season.

Gillis continued to train despite moving his family back to Nova Scotia. His wife is expecting their third child next month.

He said last month he is not planning to retire from competitive running and will seek out a marathon in the spring of 2018.


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