After a difficult 2012 season — which included a marathon PB, a failed Olympic appeal and a DNF while making a run at the Canadian record — it appears Lanni Marchant has turned the corner. Consistency has been the theme for Marchant in the 2013 spring racing season.
Her latest triumph came on Saturday when she finished as the top Canadian — sixth overall — in the Ottawa Race Weekend 10K in 32:45. Marchant held off a fast-charging Krista DuChene, claiming the $2,000 prize as the best Canadian in the field. DuChene crossed the line in 32:52.
“I was running scared,” Marchant said of the final 2K. “I thought Krista was going to come back on me.” Marchant had to make up a gap on DuChene in the second portion of the race and managed to hold on.
Marchant and DuChene are both preparing for the world championships in Moscow in August. “Everything that happened last year is helping me. The Olympic appeal, my life circumstances, getting injured and coming back from that injury only to get hurt again. From last April until January this year was nothing but a learning experience,” says Marchant, who won the Around the Bay 30K and Yonge Street 10K earlier this spring.
“I think I finally have a handle on it.”
Malika Assahah of Morocco was the overall women’s winner in 31:46, just outkicking Ethiopia’s Firewhat Dado in the final sprint.
El Hassan El Abassi of Morocco won the men’s race in a brisk 27:37, just edging Ethiopian Adugna Bikila, who finished less than a second behind.
The top Canadian was Regina’s Kelly Wiebe, eighth overall in 29:22, in a race that was devoid of much of a Canadian story. Rob Watson, who finished 11th at April’s Boston Marathon, was a last-minute scratch from the Ottawa 10K, opting instead to run Sunday’s marathon. Running two top-level marathons in the span of a month is rarely part of a training plan, but there is more prize money at stake in the longer race.
More than 10,000 runners took part in the Ottawa Race Weekend 10K on Saturday on a windy, overcast evening with temperatures hovering around 15 C. The elite 10K races are an important part of the schedule for many of Canada’s top distance runners.