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November 4, 2016

Lanni Marchant

New York, New York

Q. Are you ready for the marathon?
LANNI MARCHANT: I'm as ready as I'll ever be.

Q. How long did it take you to recover from Rio?
LANNI MARCHANT: I actually didn't take that long. I took a full week off and just enjoyed Rio and watched my teammates compete, and then I went to Argentina for about five days. So that was my introduction back into running. I just ran easy a couple of the days that I was there. And then by the third week, I was back to just running every day. And then by the fourth week, we introduced workouts and doubles again.

So we took a good four weeks to really ramp it up. We wanted to make sure physically I was fine, but also mentally. We were waiting kind of to see if there was going to be a big slump post-Olympics, especially with the double that I did. The physical wear and tear is one thing, but it's also just the mental prep that went into it. So I wanted to make sure I was really, really ready to commit and sign on for training for this.

Q. When did you decide to do the New York City marathon?
LANNI MARCHANT: It was pretty soon. They approached me leading into Rio, and David Monte is great. I said, you have to let me know first if I'm doubling in Rio or not because that will really dictate what I do in the fall. Once I knew I was doubling, he still gave me more time. It was right around my races in Rio that I did the final commit, and I said, sure, why not? Just tack it on.

Q. What's the biggest challenge that faces you in the New York City Marathon? Are you familiar with the course?
LANNI MARCHANT: I've watched the race for the last several years, and I've followed along with the course itself. I've never done it. I've raced here twice. I've done the half marathon and the New York mini 10K. Other than that, it's going to be a brand new experience for me. That's what I was looking for. Everyone in Canada obviously knows I've done Toronto waterfront several times. Lined up four times, competed it three times. It was time for a change this fall.

New York's been on my bucket list, and it's, from what I've been told, the best experience. So I'm hoping to go out there and share that experience.

Q. [ No microphone ].
LANNI MARCHANT: I usually don't start thinking about that until like tomorrow night. There's definitely a lot of girls. There's a lot of talented women here that I think I can be competitive with. So I'm going to -- the women's only start and having come off the Olympics with a championship women's only race, I'm actually excited for that. I'm going to try and approach it very similarly mentally.

It's not like Toronto. It's not like Berlin. There's no male pacers. There's no time I'm going for. I want to put myself around whichever girls I can and compete against them.

Q. [ No microphone ].
LANNI MARCHANT: No, women's only start.

Q. It seems in women's only start, you do better.
LANNI MARCHANT: It's great. Obviously, I like both. Races like Toronto waterfront marathon when you have the mass start, you feed off the energy of the crowd. You have your pacers there. You have your competition there, and there are pacers.

A women's only start is something special. I'm 32. The first women's marathon in the Olympics was in 1984, which was the year I was born. There's something different and special lining up solely against your competition and knowing that the first person to cross that finish line is going to be a woman. Like this is a huge field they have here for the international elites, but for the rec runners as well. I always think it's a cool thing when the women get to be the one to lead the charge of 50,000 people.

Q. You work full-time?
LANNI MARCHANT: I work part time for a law firm.

Q. You doubled in Rio, and you're running here why?

Q. Why stack it all up?
LANNI MARCHANT: My coach and I were looking, and it just seemed like too long of a break to go from Rio, and if I don't race, there's nothing until February or March. If there's going to be a lull after the Olympics, why extend it and be aimless? Yes, I'd be working. I'd be running. But I do well having goals, and I've always wanted to do New York. There's no guarantee what I can do next year, what I do next fall. So it seemed like it fit well. My body and my mind was ready to build a little bridge to get to there, and then I'll take a good chunk of time off and then start building again in December.

Q. Was it a quandary whether to double in Rio, or did you know you were going to do it all along?
LANNI MARCHANT: Oh, it was a quandary in Canada for a while there. I absolutely knew I wanted to double. As soon as I had qualified in both, my coach and I, again, thought why not? My mom's always said, you're a girl. You can change your mind. It's not to mean you're wishy washy. It just means don't lock yourself into one goal. My goal had always been to make it to the Rio and make it to the Olympics. Then I went and qualified for two events, so why limit it? Why can't I change my mind and do both?

It became a bit of an issue with my Federation in Canada. It was a bit of a political -- a lot of politicking. It's funny because I got out of figure skating because of the politics that was in it, and I'm finding it in running. It was a stressful six weeks there in May, June, and early July. I found out with the rest of the nation that I was able to compete in both events when they announced the team.

Q. Are you glad you did it?
LANNI MARCHANT: Absolutely. The 10,000 was -- it will probably be the only Olympic experience I have for the 10,000, and to be in the stadium and have the crowd support that way. And then I'm a marathoner. The marathon is what I envisioned the last four years. So people are asking me to try to pick an experience, I don't think I could because they're so vastly different.

But that marathon and running and crossing the finish line, it's everything any Olympic marathoner or Olympic hopefully dreams of. It actually happens. You see the banner, and it's the longest journey of your life, but you want to relish it and want it to last even longer. It's definitely something, if I could do it again and have that experience again, I would take full advantage of all of it.

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