Denney Set for Bridge & (Way) Back

by EJN Comments (0) Articles, Racing

With the Bridge & Back 10k approaching fast, it’s time to introduce you to the featured runner for this event. As with the previous two installments of the 2014 New England Running Company Road Race Series, we took to Facebook/Twitter to get word out. Andrea Denney showed off her social media clout and rallied her friends & family to help raise her to the front of the pack.

Although the Masco grad is now living in Japan (hence the ‘way back’ reference in the post title…it’s long way to get back home!), Denney has deep roots in the North Shore area (especially in Beverly). Andrea explained in her own contest entry:

Getting excited for the bridge & back! I’m here (with my 6 month old daughter) visiting all the way from JAPAN where I am stationed with my husband, an active duty Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps! I trained over there for my 1st road race ever which was your 10 miler in June, which was less than 5 months after having my first baby and finished strong! Completely committed to running now and it has now become part of my daily routine, but more importantly my lifestyle. These footsies are mighty tired from the trip and could totally benefit from some new sneakers!

For her part in winning, Andrea gets a fresh pair of Brooks running shoes and the superstar treatment from Level Renner. Here’s our pre-race interview with the international runner:

How many years have you been running for?

I have been running regularly since 2012 when my husband was deployed to the Middle East. I didn’t miss a day while he was gone. It was my stress relief/meditation to help keep me sane during his 8 month tour. I kept running every day up until the beginning of my pregnancy when I found out that I had some complications, making it difficult to keep running and unfortunately had to stop.

How many miles a week are you doing?

Usually I average around 20-25 miles/week.

How often do you race?

The NERC 10-mile Classic was my first race. I had just started running again about 2 and a 1/2 months before the 10-mile Classic. In late April I had casually mentioned to my sister that I was finally starting to run again. Since my flight back from Japan put me back in Boston two days prior to the race, she invited me to do it with her. She helped to organize an 8-week training regimen for me, which I did everyday at 4:30 AM, before my husband went into work. Even with some of the worst jet-lag imaginable, I finished and had such a great time. That was all it took and I have been hooked ever since! I just did the Yankee Homecoming 5k this past Tuesday in Newburyport and have been chomping at the bit for the Bridge & Back 10k! I’m looking forward to squeezing a few more races in before heading back to Japan this fall!

Do you try to race every time you come back?

I mostly just ran for the stress release and physical benefits prior to the NERC 10-mile Classic. Now, I can’t imagine coming home and NOT signing up for as many as I can possibly squeeze in!

What’s the longest race you’ve ever done?

The NERC 10-mile Classic. My next goal is a half marathon.

What’s your goal for the Bridge & Back 10K?

To finish as close to an hour as possible and to have one of those runs that leave a smile on your face.

Do you do a lot of running in Japan?  How does it compare to running in the US?

As I mentioned earlier, I trained for the NERC 10-mile Classic entirely in Japan. It’s more challenging for me to run outside over there because of the oppressive heat and humidity (in the spring, summer and good bit of fall, the humidity levels usually hover around 70%-80%) and the pollution. Unfortunately the air quality can get pretty bad over there due to the industry/pollution traveling over from China. I run everyday over there but have tended to stick with a treadmill most of the year. However, my goal this spring is to run the Kintai-kyo 1/2 Marathon, a race that goes through the gorgeous and scenic area of my town, Iwakuni, Japan. Running in Japan is extremely popular, and every morning at the gym, the surrounding treadmills are always filled by the locals. One of my favorite memories is when I watched a road race this past spring in Iwakuni during a big and heavy rain storm. There was still a huge turnout and I even saw an older man running the entire race while holding his umbrella.

Best of luck to Andrea, her sister Adrienne LeClair, and everyone else running the race this Sunday. It kicks off at 8 am from the Tavern in the Square in Salem, MA. To register, click here. Packet pick up will be at the New England Running Company store in Beverly, MA all day Saturday. All who come by to get their number can enter to win a free pair of Brooks shoes. Thanks to Brooks for backing the race and the featured runner!

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