CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- She suffered many injuries throughout her career at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, but distance runner Lanni Marchant, an eight-time SoCon Champion, didn’t let that stop her.
“The thought of being a student and not being an athlete didn’t sit well with me, so it probably kept me going though UTC and law school,” Marchant said.
Marchant, a 2007 graduate of UTC, will be representing her home country of Canada on August 10 at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia. She will be running the marathon, an event that was just out of her reach at the 2012 London Olympics. She was just shy of the Canadian qualifying standard of 2:29:55 after running a 2:31:51 in the Rotterdam Marathon in early 2012.
“Rotterdam is where I ran my qualifying time for this championship. I ran the ninth fastest Canadian time ever,” she said. “Obviously I would have loved to have gone to the Olympics, but everything happens for a reason. I just hope to have a really good performance in Moscow at the World Championships and hope it paves the way for me to get to represent Canada.”
This will be Marchant’s fourth marathon. Her first was the Ottawa Marathon in 2011 followed by the Chicago race later that same year. At Rotterdam she ran her best time ever but is hoping to improve on that time at the Worlds.
Marchant’s training for this marathon is much different than here training when she started out with a full time work schedule as a criminal attorney and a part time training slate.
“Comparative to my first two marathons, my training is hugely different,” Marchant said. “I used to be a 60-70 mile-a-week runner. I started working full time here in Chattanooga so I was trying to cram what mileage I could between my work shifts – before work and after.”
Now she put 100-110 miles a week on a regular basis. In January she began her build up then traveled to Kenya to get in altitude training and continue the build. Over the course of her training she participated in half marathons and 10K events. She won a 10K in Toronto with a time of 31:57 and broke Hamilton, Ontario’s course record by 1:25 with a time of 1:44.39. She also claimed the title at the Scotiabank Half Marathon in Vancouver with a time of 1:11:38.
“Everything’s been building till now and I’ve started my taper,” Marchant explained. “I cut down to the mid-80s last week, the mid-70s this week and next week it’s very little running until the actual race, just enough to keep my system moving and my legs feeling fresh.
After that it will be a well-deserved rest.
“My race is on the first day, so I’ll relax and take in the rest of the World Championships as well as some of the sights of Moscow.”
While at UTC, Marchant was a highly decorated athlete despite running alongside All-American Shannon Wommack and NCAA qualifier Kathleen Turchin. Marchant was the 2007 Southern Conference Female Athlete of the Year and recipient of the Scrappy Moore Award in 2006. She was an eight-time SoCon Champion and won both the 5K and 10K at the 2007 league Outdoor Championships.
Marchant qualified for the NCAA Championship three times over her career in cross country and outdoor track and field and was twice named to the NCAA South Region team for her performance.
As well as the athletic accomplishments, Marchant excelled in the academic arena. She was a three time USTFCCCA Academic All-American, a two-time NCAA All-American and received the Dayle May Academic Achievement Award at UTC as the senior with the highest GPA.
Marchant will travel to Germany today to meet up with Team Canada. After a few days of training there, the team will travel to Moscow on August 7. The marathon will be run on the first day of competition on August 10 and opening ceremonies will be that evening.M
“It’s a pretty big deal for me. It’s not something I really saw myself doing at any point in my running career prior to the last year-and-a-half,” Marchant said. “I’ve been on some smaller Canadian teams and I met the girls and guys who had been to the Worlds and the Olympics. I didn’t even put myself in that same category.”
After graduating from UTC, Marchant went on to school in Ottawa and then to Michigan State where she earned her law degree. She is currently employed in Chattanooga with the Speek and Webb Law Firm.