Duchene comes home talking faith and marathons
“I just wanted it to end.”
Those aren’t the words you expect to hear from an Olympic marathoner about her latest race, but it was exactly what Krista Duchene was feeling last weekend during the London Marathon.
Duchene, who represented Canada at the Rio Olympics for the marathon, finished well back in the pack after suffering from gastrointestinal problems. But she used the difficult moment as a way to illustrate that even Olympians have ups and downs.
Duchene grew up outside of Alvinston and attended Zion Free Methodist Church north of Dresden. She came home Friday night to talk about some of the trials she’s faced and how her faith has sustained her.
Duchene says often people look at athletes and expect their lives are easy, but she says London’s Marathon was an example of how things can go horribly wrong. Duchene didn’t get her regular water bottle and fuel at the 30 km mark of the race and that’s when things went downhill. Her stomach started roiling and it was nearly impossible to run.
“I just wanted it to end,” she says. “I was thinking how many more kilometres are left so this misery can end?”
She made it to the end of the race, well back of her normal pace. While it was difficult, Duchene says it was another learning experience.
“It reminds me of Proverbs 16:9 (in the Bible). We can make our plans but God determines our steps,” she says.
While it is frustrating to have a setback, Duchene says what is more important is “how we respond to it… we thank God for the great races but I am also thankful for the bad races.”
The London Marathon is not the most difficult race Duchene has ever run. Nearly three years to the day of her speech, Duchene was running the Canadian Half Marathon Championship in Montreal – defending her title – when she limped across the finish line in third place. She’d broken her leg.
With the Olympics just two years away, Duchene worked hard to recover from the break and the surgery that followed. She made it to Rio.
And she’s had other challenges on her journey to the Olympics. “I’ve had three babies, three broken bones and collapsed in the heat… this race didn’t go well but I always try to see the glass as half full and I’m grateful for the blessings in life.”
Duchene was particularly honoured to run the London Marathon in support of mental health.
“Life is not perfect and everyone can have a great win…or struggle with their emotions and not want to get out of bed.”