Known as a superstar in the marathon, Lanni Marchant added to her remarkable status by adding a bronze medal in the Pan Am Games. Showing national pride, she wanted to compete on home soil in the Pan Am Games, opting to compete in the 10,000m race.
The presence of an international superstar like Marchant only added to the momentum of what continues to be a memorable event in Canadian sporting history. Day 13 proved to be lucky for Canada as it set a new national record for gold medal at the Pan Am Games. Winning five, the gold medal total rises to 69, breaking the previous record of 64, also set on home soil at the 1999 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg.
Capturing the bronze in the women’s 10,000m, she posted a time of 32:46.03. Considering that she is accustomed to much longer distances, she adapted really well to the shorter distance, adding to the remarkable medal haul at Toronto 2015.
Prior to the Pan Am Games, she already reached a remarkable milestone in 2015. After a second place finish in 2014, she would capture this year’s Canadian 10 km championship in a winning time of 31:48. Just four seconds off the record, she would also capture the 2015 Half Marathon Canadian crown.
Marchant does have experience representing Canada in major multi-national events. Making her IAAF World Championship debut in 2013 at Moscow, she was the first woman to represent Canada in the marathon since 2009. She followed it up with competition at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, where she placed fourth in the marathon event, the only Canadian that participated. Bronze medalist Jess Trengrove from Australia finished only 0:01:02 faster.
Of note, Marchant currently holds the Canadian record holder in both the marathon and half marathon. Coincidentally, the national marathon mark was also set in Toronto. Back in 2013, she finished the Toronto marathon with a time of 2:28:00. That time also held emotional impact for Marchant when she was competing in Houston’s Waterfront Marathon. Setting a new record time of 2:28:00, she broke the mark set by fellow Canadian, Sylvia Ruegger by 36 seconds.
Fast forward one year later, and the half marathon mark was actually set south of the border. Competing in Nashville, she posted the fastest time ever by a Canadian in a half marathon, finishing at 1:10:47. It would only be fitting if she had the chance to add to her growing legend with an opportunity at the 2016 Rio Summer Games.
Proving that it is never too late to pursue one’s dreams, Marchant began competing in elite marathons at the age of 28. As a side note, she did have experience competing in high school. Highly educated, Marchant holds degrees from the University of Ottawa, Michigan State University (where she ran for the MSU Spartans) and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Currently, she resides in Atlanta but works in Chattanooga as a criminal lawyer.