Brantford’s Krista DuChene doesn’t mind raising some eyebrows, but she’s not running in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon to say “I told you so.”
There are many eyes on DuChene and fellow runner Lanni Marchant, who were both snubbed by Athletics Canada for a trip to last summer’s 2012 Olympic Games in London, despite beating the international qualifying standard.
“That is old news,” DuChene said. “I’m not in a position to be proving something to people. I’ve moved forward.”
But the 35-year-old marathon mother of three still intends to challenge the Canadian women’s marathon record on Oct. 14 in Toronto.
“I know I am in great shape for this race,” she said. “If everything is good on race day, I know I have a shot at that record.”
Both DuChene and Marchant will be chasing the record set 27 years ago by Canadian running icon Silvia Ruegger in Houston.
The pair of marathoners are the top two women in Canada in their sport and both achieved a strong finish at the Rotterdam Marathon last April – Marchant finished with a time of 2:31.51 and DuChene was right behind her at 2:32.06.
Those times qualified both runners for the Olympic games, but, in an attempt to keep athletes competitive, Canada doesn’t send women’s marathoners unless they achieve an even quicker time of 2:29.55.
Only three Canadian women have ever topped that standard, including Ruegger’s record time of 2:28.36.
DuChene finished fifth this past weekend at the Oasis ZooRun 10 kilometre race in Toronto. It was her final competitive race ahead of the countdown to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.
“The goal was a good, consistent effort in that 10 kilometre race,” DuChene said. “This is my final week of heavy training before we start the two-week taper.”
The plan hatched by DuChene and coach Rick Mannen, will involve a vigorous run on Thursday and Saturday before DuChene moves into increasingly shorter and lighter runs for two weeks leading up to the event.
The idea is to save her best performance for race day.
“The name of the game is to get through training healthy,” DuChene said. “And I’ve just about done that — though I am getting over a cold and a nasty blister on my foot.”
But DuChene feels she has enough time to be in peak condition for the marathon and will be seeking that Canadian record.
“It would certainly raise more eyebrows than (Marchant and I) have raised before,” she said. “But I am definitely not in this to say ‘I told you so’ to Athletics Canada.”
So why all the hard work and training that can sometimes involve 160 kilometres of running per week, on top of part-time work, a husband and three children?
“My faith plays a huge part in what I do,” DuChene said. “God gave me that zeal to go to bed at 10 p.m. and be excited to wake up at 5 a.m. for a 30 kilometre run. I love that feeling on the weekends when I run faster to get home to have pancakes with my family.
“It’s the simple things that drive me. I love the hard work.”
Getting the Canadian record would also help DuChene toward her other goal, which is to be a world champion next year.
DuChene has already qualified for the track and field IAAF World Championships in Athletics, being held in Moscow in 2013.
She is applying for official carding with Athletics Canada which would help lessen the financial burden on her training and travel before Moscow, but a Canadian record at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon would also mean a big pay day.
In addition to the prize money for the marathon, a new Canadian record would come with a bonus of $27,000 – $1,000 for every year Ruegger’s record has stood.
“Money would definitely benefit me in order to take things to the next level,” DuChene said. “But, as my fellow runner Rob Watson put it at the news conference last week in Toronto, we don’t do this for the money.
“My husband works full-time, I work part-time, other athletes are selling cars and living with roommates to make it work. You don’t make money at running. You do it because you love it.”