Saturday was the perfect day for the Toronto BMO Pride and Remembrance Run. Eric Bang took the overall title in 15:15 with Paddy Birch following in 15:48 and Gabriel Jarquin in 16:30.
In the women’s results, Rachel Hannah took the win in 16:55 and was followed by former Canadian record-holder Lanni Marchant in 17:10 and Madeleine Davidson in 17:12.
In the trans category, Matthew Ryan was first, in 24:08, with Kinnon Mackinnon in second place with 24:11 and Emmett Lowry third in 24:38.
In the non-binary category, it was Priderman Cosplay in 19:56, with Alex de Pompa second in 22:08 and Patrick Gervais third in 22:19.
Marchant is in the midst of staging a comeback following multiple surgeries over the past three years. She’s been a longtime supporter of the Pride and Remembrance Run and was happy to run her first race in a while at home, in Canada. “I wanted to support the community and wanted a fun race for my first race back. I also needed to see where my body is at. I do most of my training by myself, and it’s a very different program than I’m used to because I’m coming back from multiple surgeries. I’m still walk-running a lot of my workouts and you don’t get to walk in a race, so this event was also to check where I’m at, fitness-wise.”
The former Canadian marathon and half-marathon record holder is happy with how Saturday’s race went. “I had another small procedure done this past May, so that’s three surgeries in three years–it’s been a lot to put my body through. I really have no complaints about how today went. It was a reminder that racing is so fun, but also so dang hard. It’s me, it’s my battle and I’m finding out where my body’s at.”
She continues, “This time last year I was barely walking, so I wasn’t able to run the 2018 event. But it was great being back out there today. So many people know I’m mounting a comeback, and any time it started to hurt during the race there was somebody who recognized me and was cheering. It reminds me that even if it’s not going to be a perfect race, I need to come out here and support the community that’s supported me for so long.”
Athletes are only 13 months out from the 2020 Olympics and it’s on the table for Marchant, but she’s not solely focused on the Games. “I’m having to make peace with the fact that the clock may run out for this Olympics, but that doesn’t mean that running stops. I think that’s what a lot of elites think.” She cites runners like Malindi Elmore and Lyndsay Tessier, who are masters or approaching masters age, and a running personal bests and placing internationally. “Malindi Elmore walked away from the sport and now she’s probably going to take Canadian records. It’s inspiring to me, because here I am thinking that at 35 I’m done, but there are so many examples to prove that’s not true.”