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5 Quick Questions

with Denise Robson

June 21, 2017

Denise Robson runs like a girl, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Dartmouth speedster had another big year in 2016, which included her 10th win of the Sheila Poole 10K race in her birthplace of Yarmouth in July, followed by a 1:22:57 half marathon at the Cobequid Trail Run in August, where she was the top female finisher.
September saw her set the female course record in the Sunset 5K with an 18:08 second overall finish at Maritime Race Weekend, which she followed up the next day with a blistering 37:00 first overall finish in the 10K at the same event . That finish was the fastest 10K run by a female in the Maritimes last year.
She didn’t slow down in October, when she scored another first place finish with a 1:22:08 half marathon at Sole Sisters , and finished off her racing year by traveling with a few of her Halifax Road Hammer teammates to the California International Marathon , where she ran a 2:49:37, placing 20th of almost 3,000 women.
Maritime Runner caught up with Robson recently for 5 Quick Questions.

Denise Robson of Dartmouth will be seeking her 11th win at the Sheila Poole 10K in Yarmouth on July 15. She is shown here during her record-breaking finish at the Sunset 5K during Maritime Race Weekend last year.

Photo courtesy of Denise Robson

Q: Favourite distance?
A: Definitely the marathon. I just think I get better over the longer distance. I have little or no speed over shorter distances. Then again, you can be in the best shape of your life and anything can go wrong in a marathon. It’s still a daunting distance, but I just seem to be able to maintain my endurance and, the longer I go, the better I get.

Q: Current/favourite shoe?
A: I like my New Balance Zantes to race in, those are my racing flats. Then I go for New Balance 880 for a training shoe. They just have a little bit more cushion, and are a little bit more durable.

Q: Fuel before/during a run?
A: I do the whole ritual, especially for a marathon, of a big carb load. For five days leading up, I start getting more carbs in, and the day before is certainly a big carb load day, with lots of pasta, bagels… Then, on the morning of, my go-to is oatmeal and a bagel.
During the race, I certainly try to fuel at every single aid station, whether it be water or Gatorade. Then I just take GUs (gels). I start at mile five. If I can stomach five GUs, I’m better off, but sometimes that last one at mile 20 or 22... the stomach just doesn’t let you get that last one in. If you can get it in, it serves you well.

Q: Music?
No music. Maybe the odd time, if I’m running by myself, but I’m very fortunate because I probably run five out of my six runs every week with somebody. If it’s the odd time when I’m by myself, I will plug in some tunes, but only on an easy run day, nothing when I’m doing intervals. I want to listen to my breathing, and see if I’m working too hard or not hard enough. So, only the odd time will I listen to music. I don’t get people who do it during races. I love hearing the support of the crowds and everything.

Q: Favourite Maritime race?
A: That’s a tough one, because there are so many. I’d probably have to say the Dartmouth Natal Day six-miler. It’s a unique distance and just so rich in history, and there are some pretty amazing people who have run it. I was pretty proud when I broke that course record. I’ve lived in Dartmouth since I was six, it’s my hometown, and there’s so much history in that race.

Next up for Robson will be appearances in the Run Nova Scotia Performance Series events, including a return to the Sheila Poole 10K in Yarmouth on July 15. She is also planning to run the marathon at Maritime Race Weekend , which will be offering cash prizes for the first time this year, on Sept. 16.