By Paul Gains
Although the official announcement won’t be made for another month, Krista DuChene has checked all the necessary boxes and is poised to represent Canada in the 2016 Olympic marathon.
Now, the 39-year-old Brantford, Ont. native can look forward to racing the Toronto Waterfront 10K on June 25 without the pressure of anyone looking over her shoulder and assessing her fitness. Nevertheless, she will approach the 10K race with a specific target.
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“I think it’s just to throw a bit of a change up in the pace, just try to switch it up from the half-marathons that I have done,” she says. “It will be a tune-up speed workout that’s the way we will look at it.”
She says that she will be happy even if she doesn’t win and would be satisfied with another second place. The runner is thankful to be fit and healthy all year without injury.
“What matters at the end of the day is that I am healthy and fit and ready to put it all out there on August 14,” she says.
DuChene raced several times in the winter and early spring looking to satisfy Athletics Canada’s proof of fitness requirement. She achieved the Olympic marathon standard with 2:29:38 in Rotterdam in April last year. After winning the Banque Scotia 21K de Montreal on April 24, she accomplished her task.
Although her legs will no doubt feel the effects of the extra training miles, she will race and likely win the Toronto Waterfront 10K– the newest race on the Canada Running Series calendar. She chose to run it rather than fly across the country to compete in the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon which is on the same weekend.
“There is a lot to be said for staying close to home, in your own environment, in your own bed, [eating] your own food and everything like that,” says DuChene.
With her on the Toronto start line will be Dayna Pidhoresky who beat her at the Vancouver First Half Marathon in February. Vancouver’s star masters runner Catherine Watkins will also be present. Watkins represented Canada at the 2015 Pan Am Games marathon last summer.
As for DuChene, her plans for Rio are also starting to become more concrete.
Among her fans in Brazil will be husband, Jonathan, and her three children. They have also booked tickets to be at the marathon finish at Copacabana Beach.
For those planning to get a glimpse of DuChene racing at the end of June, the race is scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m.