Racing The Lanni Marchant Guide to Around the Bay

The Lanni Marchant Guide to Around the Bay


In 2013, Lanni Marchant ran the 30K Around the Bay race in Hamilton in 1:44:40, setting the women’s Canadian record that still holds today. Last spring, we surveyed the ATB Expo, asking runners if they questions for the Olympian, and this is what they asked, and what she said.

My hip has been hurting since Wednesday night. I’m hoping I’m going to make it through—I’m going to run it no matter what. What should I do tonight, or tomorrow morning, more ice? 

It depends on the type of pain. If it is achy at night then I wouldn’t advise racing or running on it. If it is more so just tight then stretch it out and try to get on a Physio or lacrosse ball to roll out. If you are absolutely committed to finishing, be willing to walk-run if necessary. One race or run today missed is always better than six weeks off.

What does Lanni say to herself when it’s tanking? The muscles are screaming. People are passing you and it’s not going according to plan?

“What’s your form like?” “Don’t worry about pace, just remember your cues (given by Physio etc) and keep moving forward.”

Jenn and I are medical shit storms. How do you plan your races around injuries and keep your mood and moral up?

If I am lining up with some mini issues … Aka niggles…then I have a completely different race plan and completely different goals. I try to remember there will be ups and downs and that no low lasts forever.


What am I supposed to do if I signed up for the race but have a cold? Can you outrun a cold or do you think sneezes and sniffles will really hinder performance?

I am not a doctor so take what I say with a grain of salt. If it’s just in your head then race through it, but yes, it will likely have some sort of an impact on your performance. You might feel like junk up top but your body will be pretty much fine—make sure and hydrate well since you’re making extra mucus. If it is in your chest then do not line up.

How do I get up that big final hill? 

It’ll be over quicker if you run up it faster.

What’s the best way to keep your mind from going into the bad place?

Take a deep breath and refocus. Sometimes you have to get a bit angry to push it out of you. Sometimes I see signs held up for other people’s loved ones and I remember that “Tim” or “Diane” have put in the work and are out there getting it done and I should too.

I’m a first time 30K Around the Bay runner. What’s your race week nutrition plan and also, now that I didn’t eat great all week and the race is tomorrow, what should I eat for dinner and breakfast? PS: this is so cool. I’m such a big fan!

I generally try to eat a bit cleaner race week but that’s not anywhere near perfection. For tonight you want to try to get in a good amount of carbs but keep them simple. No multi grain foods and do not load the veggies now to try and offset the week. Tomorrow keep it simple w some toast or oatmeal and a banana (maybe some pb to keep you a bit more satiated).

How do I dress for this weather? I don’t have the gear! This is my first race, the 5K, and how do I dress? I haven’t convinced my husband I need the expensive gear yet. 

Too many layers will make you feel heavy (especially if it’s raining) and you will warm up through the race, so keep that in mind. Don’t worry about the expensive gear—garbage bags and a quick trip to the thrift store for throw away gear always works.

What can you do to protect yourself from the wind? 

Tuck in behind someone bigger than you and if not then I tell myself: “It’s just the wind… Relax and keep pushing.”

The course is so hilly and there can be so much wind. Is this the kind of event where it makes sense to try and run a negative split? Is that what you did? And to do that, does that mean speed up at the halfway mark or speed up at the final 5K?

When I raced it I ran relaxed the first 10-15 km with a pack of people. The first portion was flatter so we were able to be a bit quicker without expending too much effort. That allowed me to start pushing through the half way point even though the hills balanced out the pace and effort. When I am trying to negative split I start ramping it up at the half way point but keep it controlled. Then each small segment (1km, 3km, 5km depending on the race distance) speed up.

Say you want to go to a party afterwards. Whats the recommended amount of time to wait from finish line to first sip of beer? 

As soon as I can get my hands on one the better… Isn’t that why beer gardens are at the finish line?