Following a 15 year hiatus from amateur track/cross country running, in 2005 a co-worker encouraged her to come out for a lunch time run. While she enjoyed the fresh air, time away from her desk and the social side of this it was difficult to run even 3 miles. Denise stuck with it though every lunch hour and a short 5 months later Denise found herself on the start line of her first marathon. To everyone’s surprise, including her own, she ended up finishing as the top female in the 2005 PEI marathon and qualified for the prestigious Boston marathon by greater than ½ an hour. Needless to say she has been addicted to running ever since and has never looked back. In 2008 after only three years of returning to running she placed 11th female overall at the Boston Marathon. In 2010, Denise won the Master’s (40-49) female category at the Boston Marathon in 2:43:16, her proudest running accomplishment to date. Her personal best at the marathon is 2:41:12 at the California International Marathon where she finished 4th overall and 1st in the master’s category.
Denise qualified at the 2009 Canadian 10K National Championships one month from her 40th birthday with a time of 34:58 (PB) to be part of the Team Canada to race in the International Ekiden relay in Japan and went on to place 4th in her 5,000 track event with a time of 16:55 another PB at age 40.
Locally she is proud to hold the course record 34:21 and being undefeated with 6 titles at the Dartmouth Natal Day 6 mile road race an event that has a lot of history with it’s 107th running coming up in 2013. Denise ran the fastest 5 miler by a Nova Scotian woman on NS soil at the Berwick Gala Days event in 27:44.
Denise is in her 3rd year of volunteering with Start2Finish, a running and reading program at Harbour View Elementary in Dartmouth who’s mission is to break the cycle of child poverty by providing ongoing educational support to Canada’s at risk children throughout their school years, nurturing mind, body and social health so they are empowered to succeed and become role models for change. Denise sees the benefits of this program first hand when she is able to encourage a child to have a goal/dream and work towards it and provide them with the tools to get there, it changes the direction of their lives. It is very rewarding to her to be able to give back to her community. Team work makes a dream work.
It is rewarding for Denise to be a role model to her girls, children and woman. She's passionate about running and fulfilling dreams that she thought were elusive now that she's older. However, she believes it is important to never give up on your dreams and that they can come true at any age. Denise is running faster now in her 40’s than she did in her 20's. Dream big at any age!