iRun because I cannot say no to a second slice of chocolate cakeEmily Shandruk , Vancouver, BC

iRun to stay fit and release those running endorphinsLiliana Plava , Calgary, AB

iRun because I want to qualify for Boston and raise money for charities near and dear to my heartChristine Gracel , Calgary, AB

iRun because it makes me feel good, allows me to spend time with my friends and gives me a feeling of accomplishmentHelen Kolodziejzyk , Calgary, AB

iRun but not enoughMichael Shaw , New Westminister, BC

iRun because I never thought I would be able toGary Morris , Winnipeg, MB

iRun to challenge myself, physically and mentallyKathleen Keenan , Brampton, ON

iRun because people around me inspire mePina Bevilacqua , Caledon, ON

iRun therefore I amDuncan Walsh , Nottingham, UK

iRun because I liveGeorges Schneller , Laval, QC

iRun to be free and enjoy our beautiful countryCheryl Carter , Clearwater , BC

iRun for overall wellbeingTrish McCourt , Halifax, NS

iRun because it makes me a better person, a better wife, a better mother and a better friendNathalie Joncas-Caissie , St-Antoine, NB

iRun because it makes me feel powerfulCarlene Paquette , Carp, ON

iRun because pecan pie, french fries and beer are chasing meTeresa Sterling , Ottawa , ON

iRun because it’s in meMichael Foley , Stittsville, ON

iRun because it reminds me that I am capable of so much more than I have doneJames Sauve , Ottawa, ON

iRun for meKiza Francis , Ottawa,ON

iRun to prove to myself I canLesley McGougan , Brampton, ON

iRun because all the ladies are chasing my sexy runner’s bodyChris Baker , Etobicoke, ON

iRun because I can and I’m gratefulTerry SanCartier , Gatineau, QC

iRun because when I run I feel most aliveMeghan Lynch , Ottawa, ON

iRun to unleash my inner athleteAdelle Densham , Avonmore, ON

iRun because it cleans up my life, because I drink more water, sleep better and eat healthier foodsRobin McIntyre , Ottawa, ON

iRun because of the peace and strength it brings meMichelle Jordan , Ottawa, ON

iRun because I need it to soothe the soul, keep me in shape and for overall wellbeingBeth Neil , Lombardy, ON

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou , British Columbia

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sonsKeith Bradbury , Newfoundland

iRun because endorphins are freeCassandra Chouinard , Ontario

iRun because somebody once told me I couldn’t Heidi Abbey-Der , Saskatchewan

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew , Ontario

iRun because it’s cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter , Alberta

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie , Ontario

iRun slowly!Jason Hoffman , Manitoba

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brainMarie-Claude Gregoire , Nova Scotia

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every kmSteph Mansell , Quebec

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe , British Columbia

iRun and run, and run, and run, and nobody can stop me Andrei Lucaciu , Ontario

iRun because the wall is meant to be broken Jonathan Bird , Ontario

iRun because it has saved my life John Marshall , Alberta

iRun for the challenge to go faster and farther Steven Matejka , Alberta

iRun to my happy place and some days it’s very Doreen May , Alberta

iRun because food tastes better afterwards Patrick Houston , Alberta

iRun because I can’t dance Mario Javier , Ontario

iRun so I don’t say never ever again Linda Klaric , Manitoba

iRun because it makes me whole Denis Ladouceur , Quebec

iRun because it gets my husband out there Tricia LaLonde , Alberta

iRun away from the negative and towards the positive Teri Lepard , Alberta

iRun because running is like breathing to Stephanie McEvoy , Ontario

iRun because I love the solitude Janene Tailleur , British Columbia

iRun for the moment when both feet are off the ground Catherine Anderson , British Columbia

iRun to someday win the race Lindy Dunlop , Yukon

iRun to stay ahead of the weight gainMyra Abstreiter , Alberta

iRun because otherwise I’m grumpy Alexandre Charest , Quebec

iRun because I get foot rubs afterward Kate Howerton , British Columbia

iRun because iLoves my man Beverly Huang , Alberta

iRun because not everyone can Olivia Harvey , New Brunswick

iRun to get to know myself, my strength and my spirit Lisa Groulx , Ontario

iRun whenever I feel the need to escape Iona Hillis , Ontario

iRun because it’s like flying, only lower Glenn Johnson , Ontario

iRun because it makes me feel powerful Sarah Kallaghan , Alberta

iRun because I’ve lost 80 lbs and running has become fun Cheryl Kelly , Ontario

iRun because there is no finish line Claire Kilgour , Ontario

iRun so my daughters know that they can, too Shelley Kirkpatrick , New Brunswick

iRun because it reminds me of how strong I can be Monique Lavoie , Ontario

iRun because it’s a great way to see the world Sherry Mahoney , British Columbia

iRun because my heart tells me to William Martin , Manitoba

iRun to prove to them that iCan Catherine Smith , Manitoba

iRun because it’s fun when it’s done Sue Matte , Ontario

iRun because I am not as clumsy I thought I was Hanna Baer , Quebec

iRun see where my feet will take me todayMegan Dolinskas , New York

iRun for the cool t-shirts! Pina Bevilacqua , Ontario

iRun because I want to be a role model for our six kids Catherine Empey , British Columbia

iRun to inspire my kids to tryGlen Johnston , Nunavut

iRun so I can eat ice cream Sandy Bolan , Ontario

iRun because I want to live to be 100! Colette DeJean , Ontario

iRun for health, i Run for life Pat Cheung , British Columbia

iRun because it gives my day a boost of energy Sara Campbell , Nova Scotia

iRun because it’s better than almost everything else Nathan Carey , Ontario

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldn’t Peter Cicalo , Ontario

iRun because it's better than almost everything else Nathan Carey , Ontario

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldn't Peter Cicalo , Ontario

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou , British Columbia

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sons Keith Bradbury , Newfoundland

iRun because endorphins are free Cassandra Chouinard , Ontario

iRun because somebody once told me I couldn't Heidi Abbey-Der , Saskatchewan

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew , Ontario

iRun because it's cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter , Alberta

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie , Ontario

iRun slowly! Jason Hoffman , Manitoba

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brain Marie-Claude Gregoire , Nova Scotia

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every km Steph Mansell , Quebec

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe , British Columbia

iRun for my heart, so it runs for me! Cathy Brzoza , British Columbia

iRun to inspire my children! Wendy Bowen , Manitoba

iRun because it sure beats the bus Robin Robbins , Alberta

iRun for the challenge and to remember to fully live Pascale Synnott , Québec

iRun to kickstart my day Sharon Strueby , Saskatchewan

iRun for me! Judi Wearing , Saskatchewan

iRun because it's a great stress release Brooke McKenzie , Yukon

iRun because i love to Mirella Petriello , Ontario

iRun because it helps me see things more clearly Jennifer Pitts , Ontario

iRun to eat Maureen Tritscher , Alberta

iRun to correct years of sedentary living! Mike Scott , Ontario

iRun away from the abyss Charlene Thomas , Ontario

iRun all the livelong day Pierre Saint-Laurent , Québec

iRun to challenge my perceived limitations Cassandra Williams , Ontario

iRun to maintain a strong physical and mental state Tammy Rainville , Ontario

iRun so that I can live longer and stronger Derek MacPhail , Ontario

iRun to feel great Kathryn Rachar , Saskatchewan

iRun because I like to be healthy Melanie Oickle , New Brunswick

iRun to eat more, especially sweet potatoe fries Joanna Skomra , Ontario

iRun for the fresh air and adrenalin Charlyn McGregor , Saskatchewan

iRun for the individual pursuit Robert Pelletier , New Brunswick

iRun to satisfy the irresistible urge Tim Nixon , British Columbia

iRun because I love the sense of accomplishment Amber Moase , Nova Scotia

iRun to challenge my mind, body and soul Sonia Mendes , Ontario

iRun because walking is too slow Barry Knapp , Ontario


Feminist in Front of the Camera: Lanni Marchant Deconstructs Gender

While the skill and talent of elite athletes is appreciated, there’s still a double standard for female athletes at the top of their game. Lanni Marchant writes candidly about the perception of women in sport and how she deals with those who seem to say female athletes can’t be feminine and taken seriously.

Long Beach Comic Con - 2016

I learned something unpleasant when I was asked to speak to the Canadian government about women in sport. My arguments, well received by government officials, were dismissed by some because I didn’t wear enough clothing when I became the fastest Canadian woman to ever run a marathon

Can’t I be feminine, including sexy, and be an advocate? Above I mimicked the cover from the March 2009 iRun, featuring Adam van Koeverden half naked—sorry, shirtless, fondling his runners.

Did van Koeverdan have to think about whether his picture was too sexy? Did he worry that it would undermine his role as a strong athlete, an advocate, or a feminist? I can’t answer that. But I know I have to and that’s BS.

Apparently female bodies are more sexual than males, so my shot isn’t on this issue’s cover. A man showing skin is OK. My picture is not appropriate for the “future is female” edition; the aim of which is to speak out against the double standards women face. I’m not shirtless—I’m half naked.

We chose a different “look” for my cover–powerful, not playful–because being too playful might mean I’m not taken seriously. Being playful may even come across as flirty or sexy and not send the right message. But what is that message? The “future is female” but please be careful not to be too feminine. Be strong, but please do not be too confident. Be a role model, but cover up.

Be you…but not really.

During the cover shoot we paused because—according to the men in the room—the images were becoming too sexual. I was fully clothed. Was kicking my legs out on a chair too lighthearted to depict a powerful woman?  Was me standing with my hand on my hip too simple to convey strong? Was me staring at the camera too sexy?

It’s easier to set Canadian records than to take a stupid photograph.


Sex and skin sells (see: March 2009, van Kayak). Does my advocacy no longer mean as much if you think I’m sexy? If I’m sexy, does that make me a sell-out? Does a guy have to think these same thoughts or is his sexiness powerful and masculine?

Male athletes receive unwanted attention for how they look with their shirts off. Are they told to shut up if they complain? Would a male face backlash if he said, See me as an athlete? Or would people agree that—no matter how many magazine shoots he’s done half naked—he’s an athlete and should be appreciated as such?

Women deserve—and I demand—the same latitudes.

When a man is asked to take his shirt off, does he think: Can I be a role model if I’m shirtless?

Are my messages worth less in less clothes?

Does Mr. Kayak’s  sexy cover mean he’s no longer a good feminist? Sorry Adam, your intentions might be pure but we have stricter standards. Feminism requires that you wear a shirt.

I deal with these thoughts daily. I’ll receive backlash for writing this. Cowards online will tell me what I’m supposed to do with my body and male friends will man-splain why I’m wrong and how they too share in this experience. They might have received cat calls. Try being a 13-year-old girl knowing it’s going to happen for the rest of your life.

I argued with iRun about the cover, and I lost. But I demand to write this. This conversation is important.

I am an athlete. I am an advocate. I am a woman. I have to be me.

December 4th, 2016

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8 Responses to “Feminist in Front of the Camera: Lanni Marchant Deconstructs Gender”
  1. Ian Carter Says:

    The double standard is horse s@&$. You are an amazing athlete, a powerful runner and a strong women. How the rejected cover was inappropriate is beyond me – except if you’re a prude I suppose. Keep fighting Lanni, the world needs more women like you with the courage to call BS.

  2. Pedro Ibarra Says:

    Being a dad to 3 very energetic, smart, athletic young girls, I am not sure why your cover would have been rejected. I am sorry that we still live in a world where women are not equals. Hopefully, with models like you and reinforcement from parents like me, young girls will grow up to expect and demand and finally break this glass wall. Thank you for forging ahead and being the model you are for the younger generations.

  3. Stephanie Morand Says:

    Lanni you are an amazing athlete and super sexy and I am very happy to hear that you are assuming that position. I think the female body is sexy and even more so when there is substance behind it. A great athlete, an intelligent mind, an artistic flavour, or all of the above combined. Why is sexy so taboo when it’s in a female version? Why can’t we be sexy while being strong is beyond me and I will immediately jump on board with you to continue to fight for it!
    Thank you!

  4. Ron Says:

    Why cant everyone simply realize that different IS equal? Do men give birth to children? NO, but we are equal. Can men feed babies with their nipples? NO, but we are equal. Just because women have more intimate/sexual body parts that many believe to be private, doesn’t mean that men are not equal. Start defining yourself as an equal and you will find that the things you don’t understand begin to make sense. The differences between everyone is what makes us all stronger together… and equal. Stop trying to measure yourself against others and simply realize that differences are good. Embrace who you are and you will find comfort and strength inside… and find that you do not need to compare yourself to others.

  5. Tim Says:

    Well said

  6. Jennifer Elllis Says:

    As Helen Reddy said
    “I am woman, hear me roar”.
    Continue to be sexy, to be strong and to be you.

  7. Jennifer Says:

    Ron is very wise. I find it difficult to improve on his thought. Your complaint seems to be two fold: 1) Freedom to communicate whatever message you wish to convey.
    2) equality

    No doubt there are many dimensions to who you are. A photo that makes others consider other dimensions of your personality may be what you want to communicate. Your success has allowed you in a very powerful position to send whatever messages you want to send. As I see it, women and girls have plenty or roll models communicating their sexuality. Young girls have very successfully received the message. So much so, that they think if they are sexy looking they will be successful.

    In the argument for equality: men never have to take off their clothes or convey a sexual message to be able to communicate their ideas or prove that that dimension exists within them. So why should we?

    Empower the next generation. Show them the power of commitment to a discipline. Show them their dreams, God given talents and purpose in life, whatever they are, are achievable!

    No two people are equal by any comparison. We are creatively diverse. There is no human standard. Many foolishly think there is a standard and are horribly discouraged to find they don’t measure up! (I’ve lived on both sides of that fence). Equity is desired when we submit ourselves to be judged by a prearranged standard for a specific task. (i.e. Law, employment, education, etc) inanimate objects and ideas are also measured by standards. (i.e. Lumber, produce, science)

    Suffice to say, you will never be compared to the standards of a piece of 2×4 lumber to see if you are long enough, thin enough or strong enough. In the same way, you should never compare yourself to another human. Your standard is for you alone set in your purpose, like your DNA from the moment of your birth. Celebrate you and encourage others to celebrate their God given purpose, not how they compare to others or convey their sexuality. We are meant for soooo much more! (I know what your thinking…no I am not old or ugly by any standard, lol. That shouldn’t matter anyway if there is substance to my comments. They should stand on their own merit)

  8. Phil Says:

    You are an amazing athlete, the best female marathoner Canada has seen in a long time and yet you have to put up with this bias from our own government! Shame on them. It has bothered me for some time that you have not received the funding that you should, that’s another sore spot for me. I have three daughters, all very good athletes and all professionals now. You are a great role model for them and all women (and men for that matter). It’s about the sport, can we all not be a little sexy and be great athletes at the same time?

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