Krista DuChene raced a lot this past spring. Her goal was Boston, but after a disappointing race she reconsidered her spring plans to make room for the Ottawa Marathon, where she ran a season’s best of 2:38:46. On Sunday, the runner will race Berlin for the first time.
DuChene achieved the World Championship marathon standard of 2:37:00 at the 2018 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. There she ran a 2:36:46 for 10th place and put herself in the running for the 2019 championship. While DuChene admits that making the team was a long shot (nine Canadian women achieved marathon standard, more than any other running event, and no more than three could go), she still needed to be prepared in case she was named. “There was a very slight chance I might race at the World Championships in Doha, so it made sense to pick Berlin and make the end of September my fall race weekend. Additionally, that weekend was ideal because of my commitment to coach my daughter’s hockey team.” Berlin falls only two days after the World Championship marathon, so DuChene was able to prepare for either outcome.
DuChene says she’s coming off what might be her best marathon build to date. “This marathon build has perhaps been one of my best. I entered with a strong base from my spring training and two marathons, so it was about getting in the quality training without a big emphasis on high mileage. During some peak training weeks in August, I was able to rest a lot, as we spent time at our cabin. I also continued to keep my one weekly complete rest day in my routine. I did most of my interval training on the track and a paved road with some rollers, which I believe helped with both speed and strength.”
When asked about who she’s most excited to watch at the upcoming World Championships, DuChene says obviously her marathon ladies (Melanie Myrand, Lyndsay Tessier and Sasha Gollish) but also pole vaulter Alysha Newman, who has had a killer 2019. “My daughter and I were able to watch Alysha when she competed in the pole vault in Guelph [at the Speed River Infero] earlier this year. That is both a fun and fascinating event to watch, and something I could never do, given my fear of heights. She keeps breaking her own Canadian record, so obviously she’s having a great year with potential to be on the podium.”
This Sunday, DuChene’s main objective is to enjoy the race, but she says that Olympic standard also isn’t out of the question. “I knew that if I ever did Berlin, it would be significant. Travelling the distance and being away from my family for nearly a week is a big commitment. Obviously hitting the 2:29:30 Olympic standard would be ideal, but truly I’m just enjoying getting the most out of myself while having fun without any pressure. I’ll run within my capabilities, trusting the process that got me there, and go by feel.” The race starts at 3:15 a.m. EDT on Sunday morning.