Lioudmila (Lucy) Kortchaguina of Thornhill, ON is one of the world’s fastest marathon runners with a personal best of 2:29:42 (Ottawa, 2006) and Canada’s most consistent. Her success is the product of exceptional dedication and overcoming substantial challenges.
Lucy began running at an early age in her native Yekaterinberg, Russia, as part of the highly-organized, professional and driven Soviet athletics system. Her commitment to this rigorous program led to opportunities with higher-level coaching and training camps.
In April 2001, Lucy immigrated to Canada with Ilia, her husband and coach, and their daughter, Polina. Over the next 10 years, Lucy used her Physical Education degree and the fundamentals of Soviet sport training – combined with information gleaned from a network of elite, Russian coaches – to establish an exceptional marathon training program.
After strong performances at events in the U.S., Lucy burst on to the Canadian running scene, winning the 2002 Ottawa Marathon with a time of 2:33:13, the first of three victories at the Ottawa Marathon, as well as her first title at the Canadian National Championships. In 2004, she won the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2004 in an impressive time of 2:36:52. 2006 was an especially strong year: Lucy ran for Canada at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and placed 6th in the marathon in March; she then won Ottawa in a new PR of 2:29:42 in May – just a minute shy of Silvia Ruegger’s National Record of 2:28:36 set in 1985. Lucy won Ottawa again in May 2007 in 2:31:57.
In January 2009, following two frustrating years of injuries, Lucy stormed back with a great third-place run in Houston with a time of 2:30:43. She followed this up with yet another National title in Ottawa in May in 2:32:10.
In 2013, Lucy smashed the Canadian Women’s Masters Marathon Record and achieved her sixth National title with a time of 2:33:10 in Ottawa, eighteen months after the birth of her son, Anton.
Lucy’s long-term running success speaks for itself; no other Canadian marathoner has been capable of providing such consistent results, and very few athletes demonstrate such longevity in the sport.
Her training philosophy is beautiful in its simplicity – if you properly prepare, you will achieve top results. Lucy’s clients can expect an effective, targeted and streamlined program – the pillars of which include appropriate mileage, strategic racing, fartlek and tempo efforts.