TORONTO, Ontario – On Sunday of Oct. 20, 2013 Torontonians saw Lanni Marchant, 29, setting a new national women marathon record of two hours, 27 minutes and 59.6 seconds.
The previous 28-year-old mark of 2:28:36 belongs to Sylvia Ruegger and was beaten by Marchant during Scotiabank WaterfrontMarathon.
Marchant, an Ontario born, took the third place in the marathon finishing right after Kenyan racer Flomena Cheyech (2:25:13) and Ethiopia’s Sechale Adugna (2:26:43).
Marchant’s time is good to go for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. So when the window opens she plans to qualify for it. “Hopefully my body will keep cooperating with me and I can get into the Canadian team,” she said in the interview three days after the race.
Her calves cramping was a concern for the race. Even during the last metres Marchant worried something could go wrong. The memory of the German marathon is still too fresh: two months earlier because her leg cramped up, she could barely walk when approaching the finish. “Until you cross that line nothing is guaranteed,” she says.
“When I planned to do the race I didn’t expect it to go the way it did,” Marchant confesses. She knew she was going fast, but only when she saw 40 k marker, Marchant realized it was going to be a good result. “Keep going, cross that finish line, then it’s mine,” she was telling herself over the last two kilometers.
Marchant’s plan after the marathon was to hop back into her normal life in Chattanooga, Tenn., U.S.A., where she currently lives and works. But the Fortuna decided differently affecting her personal life with her appearance on the front pages and the outpouring support in social media. “I’m still in awe of all the attention I get, but I don’t feel I’m so special. I understand it’s a huge record and I’m more than grateful to be given the talent and the opportunity to break it,” – she says.
After a celebration week with indulging into extra cookies and extra beers Marchant will go back to her routine which is balancing between her job as an attorney and training. She keeps her training schedule consistent, between 140 and 170 kilometres per week adding swimming and biking once a week. Her workout routing also includes strength training, a huge point for distance athletes that, she believes, can be overlooked. In winter she takes a month off to train in Kenya.
The secret to such an amazing time management, Marchant says, is in knowing what is important and knowing what sacrifices to make. With such a tight schedule she has “to take advantage of every single moment.”
“Luckily I run into people who know what’s important too, so I don’t feel any pressure to go outside of my comfort zone too much. I can train, I can work, I can go for my beer when I want to. But I know everything is in moderation. It’s about balance, about making sure the things that are important to you are the things that you enjoy.”
Enjoying what you do is the advice Marchant gives to those who plan to take up running seriously. She suggests finding the way to make it fun and be OKwith giving yourself a break sometimes. “Running is something that is supposed to cheer your life,” she says and warns against sacrificing who you are, your dreams and aspirations in other aspects of life.
Racing in the Waterfront Marathon Marchant “enjoyed every moment of it,” and set her personal and Canadian best. Keep it up, Lanni!