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January 03, 2010

Angela Strange

Written by Dena Evans
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Angie grew up in Ottawa, Canada, where she studied Mechanical Engineering at Queen’s University. After graduation, she worked for a management consulting company in Toronto for a few years before coming to Stanford for business school. Although she thought she would only stay those two years, she remains a San Francisco resident. After earning her MBA, she had dream of trying to hit the Olympic qualifying mark in the marathon for Athletics Canada, but injuries held her training back. She tried to do an Ironman, got injured more, and as she puts it, it was “time to go get a ‘real job’.” After a stint in venture capital, Angie now works as the Director of Product and Business Development at Ruba, an online travel startup that does lead generation for tours.

FNF: How did you start running?

AS: I moved down to Bethesda, Maryland for a year in high school. I did competitive trampoline for 10 years in Canada, but there was no trampoline in Maryland. I wanted to participate on a team, but tryouts were all before school started, and the only team that would let me on was the cross country team. I was the only senior that had to run with the 9th graders, but by the end I could go on a 4-5 mile run on my own. I ran on my own all through college, and interned in Paris between my third and fourth years. There, I met group of guys, big runners, and signed up for the big 10K race, with maybe 15000 women. Out of nowhere, I won. After that, I came back and started working in Toronto. I had a friend who said he was trying to run the Paris marathon, and asked me to run it with him. It was freezing in the winter in Toronto, but I picked up a copy of Jeff Galloway’s book and another online training guide and ended running 3 hours, after which I was hooked.

FNF: Who is your running role model?

AS: This is really original. Paula Radcliffe. I admire her work ethic and toughness

FNF: What has been your most memorable running / racing experience?

AS: Probably the first marathon I won. So, after Paris my next marathon was the Detroit marathon. I got up to second place at about mile 11. The whole way after that, the crowd was like, “First place is up ahead! First pace is up ahead. “ Turns out she was two minutes ahead!

Six months later, I ran the [2002] Vancouver marathon, and the same thing happened. This time, I came up on her around mile 20, and I was planning to pass her with my game face on. The lead bikers started yelling, “we have a challenger!” which kind of blew my cover. So, then it was 6 miles of running scared. Crossing the finish line, in first place, in Canada, was exhilarating, surprising, and rewarding. I felt relief, honestly. It was a new feeling to be like, “oh god don’t let her pass!”

FNF: What have you enjoyed about working with Focus-N-Fly?

AS: What haven’t I enjoyed about working with Focus-N-Fly!

Obviously, the coaching. I used to just hammer out miles, but my body can’t take that any more. Now I know the miles are the absolute best bang for your buck. I also feel like the workouts are tailored to me, and they aren’t the same for everyone. The environment is great. We have a really awesome, positive group of people that have become some of my best friends. We do a lot of stuff on and off the track. I think that is pretty unique to the Focus-N-Fly environment.

FNF: What is one part of your racing routine you can’t do without (sleep, pre race meal, tie shoes certain way, other ritual)?

AS: On my easy run the day before a race, I always do: 10 minutes out, four minutes at threshold, 1 minute at stride pace, and 10 minutes back. I ‘m actually kind of anal about that. My old coach read it somewhere in Runners World, and it probably has no basis, but that is what I always do!

FNF: What is your favorite place to go for a run?

AS: San Francisco. I do this city loop on along the Embarcadero along the Coastal Trail, back up through Golden Gate Park. The fact that I can live somewhere where I can do that run every weekend is fantastic, so I try to make the most of it.

FNF: In the next year, what goals do you hope to accomplish?

AS: I think I would like to get back to a good half marathon time, around a 1:21. So, I am going to try and do some 10ks and halves to build up to that.

Last modified on October 10, 2010
Dena Evans

Dena Evans

Dena Evans joined runcoach in July, 2008 and has a wide range of experience working with athletes of all stripes- from youth to veteran division competitors, novice to international caliber athletes.

From 1999-2005, she served on the Stanford Track & Field/ Cross Country staff. Dena earned NCAA Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year honors in 2003 as Stanford won the NCAA Division I Championship. She was named Pac-10 Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2003-04, and West Regional Coach of the Year in 2004.

From 2006-08, she worked with the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative, helping to expand the after school fitness programs for elementary school aged girls to Mountain View, East Menlo Park, and Redwood City. She has also served both the Stanford Center on Ethics and the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession as a program coordinator.

Dena graduated from Stanford in 1996.

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