For Mother’s Day, Krista DuChene reflects on balancing the marathon and motherhood

Krista DuChene Boston

This Mother’s Day, we present a new video about retired 2016 Olympian, Boston Marathon podium finisher and Canadian 50K record holder Krista Duchene entitled “Seven Years Later,” in which the Marathon Mom reflects on a career spent balancing running and motherhood.

In the video, DuChene, 46, is reminded of some of the highlights (and lowlights, including the injury that could have ended her career) of her life in running, while watching an earlier video produced seven years ago.

“Well, the one thing that’s the same is that I’m still making pancakes every day for the kids,” DuChene laughs, while commenting that her kids are a lot bigger now. (She and her husband dela have two sons and a daughter–Micah, Seth and leah–ranging in age from 17 to 12).

DuChene commented in the earlier video that she got faster after each baby; it was only after she’d had her kids that she competed as an elite runner.

At the Montreal Half-marathon in 2014, the Brantford, Ont. runner suffered a fracture in her femur and had to be carried from the course by Canada Running Series’s Alan Brookes. Less than a year later, she returned to racing and qualified for the 2016 Olympic team in Rio, along with Lanni Marchant. Her six Abbott World Marathon Majors, including a third-place finish at the 2018 Boston Marathon, also came after her injury, which could have ended her career.

Krista Duchene
Photo: Saucony

On one of the nastiest days the Boston Marathon has ever seen, no one was more shocked than DuChene herself to find that she had reached the podium. “Knowing what the weather was going to be like was definitely an advantage to me, because it was going to be cold and wet and rainy and snowy, and I think there was even hail at the start,” she says in the video. “And it was an excellent opportunity for me to go out there and prove that I could be tough in those conditions, when many people dropped out of the course … It wasn’t until I saw it on someone’s phone, in writing, that I believed it! That was a pretty special moment.”

Krista Duchene
Krista DuChene at home with her family a few years ago. Photo: Saucony

Another was the day she broke the Canadian 50K record in Hamilton in 2021. The pandemic was in full force, and DuChene says the enforced isolation took a toll on a lot of kids, including her daughter, Leah, who was overcome with emotion when her mom crossed the finish line. “I held her shoulders, and I’m like, we did it, we did it!” says Duchene. “I really felt like she was part of that moment with me.”

Krista Duchene
Krista Duchene setting the Canadian 50K record in 2021. Photo: André Morgan

DuChene’s last marathon was the 2023 Tokyo Marathon on March 5, where Cam Levins set the Canadian marathon record for the third time. DuChene also broke a Canadian masters record in that race, lowering the mark for women age 45 by more than a minute (2:38:53). It was a great way to end a stellar career–one that means as much to her family as it does to her.

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