Marathon and Ultra-Marathon Runner
CARA Pace Group Leader
Running for Kicks Sales Associate
How long have you been a runner? Why did you start?
I started running in 1995 because I wanted to get into shape and I wasnít seeing results from walking. I actually entered my first race on a bet. It was a 5K fun run. I was working at a hospital at the time, and I trained on the treadmill in their adult fitness center. I remember pushing myself to run 5K on the treadmill, and thinking it was harder than I anticipated. Then, one day I realized the machine had been set to miles instead of kilometers! So, Iíd been running five miles every day rather than three.
When race day arrivedóI surprised everyone (including myself) and won. Since then, running has been a passion of mine. Itís an amazing way to stay fit and minimize stress.
How many marathons have you run?
Iíve run 15 marathons, including Boston, Big Sur, the Flying Pig in Cincinnati, the Quad Cities in Davenport, Iowa, Detroit, Lake Front in Milwaukee, Las Vegas, St. Louis, Sunburst in South Bend, Indiana and Chicago. I ran my fifth Chicago Marathon in October for Childrenís Memorial Hospital. Iíd love to one day be in the 50 State Club, having completed a marathon in every state.
Iíve also run two ultra-marathons. Both were 50Kís in Chicago.
Which marathon was your favorite and why?
My favorite was the Flying Pig in Cincinnati. I mean, whatís not to like about Flying Pig? There were horses dressed as pigs, dogs dressed as pigs, people dressed as pigs, inflatable pigsóthey know how to support a marathon down there.
How many miles do you typically run each week?
I generally run 35 to 40 miles a week. For the past few years, Iíve been a pace group leader for CARA (Chicago Area Running Association), so I regularly run with other marathoners training at the 9 minute pace.
What advice do you have for other athletes hoping to achieve their running goals?
Always remember, the first mile is the hardest. Keep your focus, make it past that first mile and it only gets easier.
I also advocate running with a group. The other runners can help so much with motivation and support.
What is your role at Running for Kicks?
Iím available to advise customers on selecting the right shoes and technical apparel for their needs and Iíve been involved with the Beginnersí Running Program and the Ladiesí Night group runs.
Deniseís family includes her husband, Blaine, daughter Ally and son Barrett.