[Editor's note: Meet Krista DuChene. Last year, she conquered tough weather conditions to finish third in Boston. Now, Krista is back for more and talks about what motivates her.]
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always had a lot of energy. My mom would say I was the most active of her six children and she'd send me to run laps around our farmhouse when it was better that I expend that extra energy outdoors. Consequently, my parents entered me in ice hockey when I was four years old. They were pleased to see my passion for it, and then for track and field, shortly thereafter. Fast forward nearly forty years, with three children of my own, and I’m just as passionate about being active now as I was then.
After retiring from over 20 years of competitive ice hockey, I qualified to compete as a recreational runner in 2005 at Boston. I thought it would be incredible to return some day to compete in the elite field. That opportunity presented itself 13 years later when I decided I could enjoy a race with a focus of strength over speed, compete closer to home in order to continue coaching my daughter’s hockey team and meet other commitments, and potentially provide for my family with the appealing masters prize purse. I entered the race with the goal of being top-three masters and top-15 overall. Once we knew the weather would be miserable, or incredible in my case, I suspected I could improve on these goals. To pass the world’s best in the final kilometers of the race had me thinking something must have gone wrong for them. I focused on my capabilities and realized it may not have been their day, but it could be mine. I crossed the line having no idea of my place. Once I was told, it took some time as I had to see it writing in order to believe that I placed top-three overall, not just masters, but in the entire women's race. To say it was beyond anything I had ever imagined is a definite understatement, but it has me believing more than ever that anything can happen, and we can always expect the unexpected.
Training for Boston this year, my 17th marathon in as many years, has me again feeling excited to race the marathon of all marathons, and grateful that I can continue juggling life as a mom, registered dietitian and professional athlete. There have been tiring days and busy weekends, but we’ve enjoyed giving back to our community while appreciating the help from others in getting our children to the rink or the pool. At home each member of our #TeamDuChene contributes to complete the mundane household chores of cooking, cleaning and laundry. And like they were rewarded for it in the summer of 2016, they will again get to see me finish another marathon, when I run toward them down Boylston Street on April 15. At 42 years old, I will cherish every moment like it is my last 42 km. Yet with that same passion I had as a little girl, I’m sure there will be another.