WHY run for change?
I have been running since the fourth grade. Having lacked eye-hand-ball coordination this was the only sport that welcomed me. Just put your shoes on and move forward! Back in 1993, my older sister, Debbie ran the Chicago Marathon. By doing that she made what I thought was a Super-Human feat Human. I remember telling myself after I saw her with her medal, "If she can do it, so can I". She was my RunSpiration! In 1994, I ran my first Chicago Marathon. I can whole heartedly say that that finish line changed my life. Doing something that I didn't think I could do, it empowered me to face other fearful start lines both in and out of running!
Having completed a handful of marathons, I then wanted to qualify for the Boston Marathon. This again seemed Super-Human. Until, I met coach, Greg Domantay. He believed in me until I believed in myself. My first season training with him I qualified for Boston! After 7 more seasons he helped me set a PR of 3: 15 in the marathon.
Running gave me the confidence that I had always lacked, improved physical health, friendships and mental strength I didn't know that I had. At that time though, I was so focused on the statistics of my running that I took for granted these gifts until August 16, 2009.
August 16, 2009 became my Re-Birthday. That day, I was running to Central Park to do the New York City Half Marathon. I never made it to the start line. Instead I made it to the emergency room of New York Presbyterian Cornell. I was hit by a car and broke 5 vertebrae. My body weight shattered the windshield of the car. I can’t even count how many thank God moments occurred that moment and even up to today.
Once I was mentally and physically healed I kept thinking that there was a bigger reason and purpose of why I survived and survived in the shape that I was in. You see, that is why I started “Run for Change”. I personally wanted to give back to running, for what running has given to me.
Whether that is by being your RunSpiration and or believing in you until you believe it yourself!
Coach Denise, Marathon Whisperer
Certified Running Coach-Road Runners Club of America
Certified USATF Coach Level 1
7 Continents Club Finisher
117 X Marathoner| 24 X Chicago Marathons |31 X Boston Qualifier
25-Time Chicago Marathon Finisher
Co-Founder Girls on the Run-Chicago
RunCierge™ Run My City Tours
Abbott World Marathon Majors Six Star Finisher
2 X Wisconsin Ironman Finisher
Abbott World Marathon Majors Ambassador
5 X 50 mile Ultra Marathon Finisher
2 X 100 Mile Ultra Marathon Finisher
2 x Comrades Ultramarathon Finisher
250+ races completed
" Denise is the coach you think about wanting, and needing, when you first realize you want to do this crazy thing called marathoning"
"If you are one of those people who sit on the sidelines during races wishing you could be one of the runners, well you can with Denise"
"Denise was an awesome running coach. Professional , easy going and full of energy."
"Denise's passion and enthusiasm for running is infectious. I was a new runner at the age of 42, recently quit smoking and had never run a race before. Denise was with me every step of the way"
"Denise inspired me to start running again. If it weren't for Denise, I'd probably still be on the couch!"