Krista DuChene is a Canadian track and field athlete who represented Canada in the marathon at the 2016 Rio Olympics, at the age of 39. Married to her husband Jonathan and with two sons and one daughter, Krista has juggled family and training for many years. She is a graduate of the University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada) with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Human Nutrition. Krista has a strong faith in Jesus Christ and reportedly always travels with her Bible and a photo of Team DuChene, the family of five.
Q&A with Krista
Q – As a Christian Athlete, looking back at your time in high school and college, what do you look back at and are happy you did (i.e. something that positively affected you in your Christian growth, or things that allowed you to be a positive witness to others)?
A – I valued taking care of my physical body. Nutrition, sleep, hydration and training were more important to me than the other activities commonly participated in by others. Being athletic was a joy and a priority, and although I sometimes attended the occasional party, I was the designated driver who had practice the next morning! Some of my peers expressed their admiration for me because of this, and hoped they too would live a life more like mine…so I guess I was a positive witness to them.
Q – As a Christian Athlete, looking back at that same period, do you have some regrets, maybe something you wish you could do over if you could go back to that time in school?
A – Yes but I think we all have regrets in our life and must move on, continuing to remember that we are forgiven for the wrongdoings and poor choices we have made.
Q – What advice do you have for young Christian Athletes from your experiences?
A – Enjoy the balance and juggling act of academics and athletics as you strive toward your goals. In particular, savour the social aspect by having fun with friends and teammates. Many of my great high school memories were made at hockey tournaments and track meets.
Q – Some of the readers may follow in your footsteps and have the opportunity to compete in their sport professionally. Can you provide some advice to them?
A – When in high school I enjoyed hockey in the winter and running in the summer. The variety allowed for enjoyment in the training sense (skating inside vs running outside), team vs individual focus, and prevention of sport-specific overuse injuries and potential burn-out. I peaked later in my career and I think much of it had to do with not picking one sport too soon. The other advice is that it can be very difficult for “professional” athletes in many sports (like distance running) to make significant money so it is important to get an education and a career to provide for yourself and family.
Q – What would be the highlight of your athletic career and why?
A – Crossing the finish line at the 2016 Olympics after completing the marathon and running over to my family to celebrate!
Q – Finally, can you think of a really low period in your athletic career, and let the readers know how you dealt with that time, and perhaps how you grew from it?
A – I’ve had several low periods in my athletic career: fractured bones (femur, ribs, right foot, left foot), collapsing in the heat at the 2013 World Championships, and Gastrointestinal (GI) distress at the 2017 London Marathon. During my injuries, I have focused on these statements, which have helped me immensely:
I will choose joy.
I will run again.
I will be thankful.
I will do all I can to heal and stay fit.
God’s plan is better than mine.
I have grown deeper as a person, far more during my low periods of injury and disappointment than during gruelling marathon training blocks resulting in successful performances.
Q – Anything else that you would like to share with the readers?
A – Here are some quotes that have special meaning to me:
“I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast!
And when I run I feel his pleasure.” ― Eric Liddell
“It takes more grace than I can tell, to play the second fiddle well.”
– Author Unknown
Favourite Bible Passages
1 Peter 4:10
10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’