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Eileen LaMontagne
April 13, 2017

10 Questions with Lara Penno of the BMO Vancouver Marathon

Lara Penno

Lara has been the Manager of Runner Services for the Vancouver International Marathon Society for almost three years. Vancouver International Marathon Society is a non-profit Society based in Vancouver, BC, Canada that organizes three events a year, attracting a total of 23,000 participants.

With 20 years of experience as a personal trainer, run and triathlon coach, Lara has also spent time leading The Right Shoe run (and tri) clubs for the last 15 years. Previously, she coached the Momentum Fitness triathlon club and led Westmount YMCA women’s running club.

While helping train and inspire others, Lara also finds the time to get out there and enjoy her passions. Over the last 25 years she has completed over 50 triathlons, including Ironman Canada in 1998, and more road races than we can count. Lara also led her varsity track and x-country running team at Concordia University for 2 years, receiving acknowledgement for rookie of the year and MVP.

Lara is passionate about running and exercise and strives to share this enthusiasm with others. She has shared a little of her passion and experience with us. Without further ado, here is 10 Questions with a Manager of Runner Services, Lara Penno.


If you could have invented anything, what do you wish it was?

The running shoe!


What's the craziest thing a participant ever said to you?

I just registered my husband and I to run the Half Marathon and now I don’t know what we’ll do with our 2 ½ year old, Can you help?


Favorite thing about imATHLETE?

Monica Manning and all the friendly staff.


What do you enjoy most about being an event organizer?

Meeting so many incredible people.


Your biggest fear on event day? Your greatest joy?

Biggest fear: Messing up the bib order

Greatest joy: Seeing all the runners sweaty and happy at the finish.


If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice when organizing your first event, what would it be and why?

Write everything down because there are a lot of little details and stay calm.


Where is your favorite place to host events?

Right here in Vancouver, the perfect venue with ocean and mountains.


What was the most bizarre experience you’ve had with an athlete?

A runner was dancing by himself at our post event party and was pretty out there. Dancing to his own tune for sure!


What does winning look/feel like?

I have been fortunate enough to actually win a running and triathlon race before. It feels amazing and surreal all at the same time. Winning however doesn’t always mean coming first, but also achieving a goal. In my mind, all racers are winners every time they step onto the start line.

Trail or Road? Cake or Ice-Cream?

Trail and ice cream. Can chocolate be a choice? (Yes!)


Thanks, Lara!

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