Marchant sets course record at Around the Bay 30K

Speed River's Terence Attema won a close one at North America's oldest race.

Lanni Marchant continued to show that she’s one of Canada’s best runners by setting a new Around the Bay 30K course record on Sunday.

The native of London, Ont. crushed the previous record, which was set back in 2004 by Lioudmila Kortchaguina. Marchant cruised through the demanding, hilly course in 1:44:39, pushing the course record down by 1:25.

Krista DuChene, who along with Marchant had a big breakthrough in 2012, placed second in 1:51:40. Duchene is coming back from an hip injury, which flared up during the 2012 Toronto Waterfront Marathon. “I’ve only been back training for seven weeks now,” said DuChene after the race. “I came to the race wanting to just run sub-2:00, so I am really happy with what I ran.”

Orilla’s Lisa Avery placed third in the women’s race, in a time of 1:53:10.

The men’s race came down to an exciting finish. Young Speed River product Terence Attema just out-paced Josephat Ongeri by six seconds for the win. The two ran virtually the entire race side-by-side before Attema was able to pull away as they approached the finish line, which is inside of the Copps Coliseum.

Attema’s 1:35:44 was actually just off of his 2012 finishing time, when he came in second to Olympian and club-mate Reid Coolsaet. Coolsaet opted not to race Around the Bay this year, as he will be running in the Rotterdam Marathon in just three weeks. Local Lionel Sanders came in third in 1:36:53.

The 5K, which fielded a record 2,500 participants, was won by Toronto’s Peter Corrigan in 14:41. The women’s race was won by Chantelle Groenewoud of Guelph in 17:03.

Around the Bay declares itself as the oldest continuous road race in North America. The event has taken place every year since 1894. One of its eccentricities is an occasional train crossing that forces runners to wait for the train to pass. This year, a train did interrupt the race at around noon, after many in the race had already passed. CN police officer Mike Zajczenko, who was assigned to the crossing, said that most runners weren’t upset by the stoppage. “A lot of people are just happy for the break,” he noted.