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January 20, 2009

Tom Hancock

Written by Dena Evans
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Tom lives outside of Boston in Belmont, Massachusetts, where he writes computer programs that pick stocks for a money management firm.  Because his company did well enough relative to the market in 2008, he remains in good enough humor to serve as our January 2009 Athlete in Focus.

Tom grew up in nearby Storrs, Connecticut before moving on to Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York and then Harvard for graduate school in Computer Science.   He has two kids, aged 16 and 13, and is engaged to be married this February.  Tom also holds the distinction of beating Tom McGlynn in a race (Philadelphia Marathon 2006), when he set his personal best of 3:21.


1. How did you start running?

I never ran growing up, but when I first got married, I moved to New Jersey and had no one to workout with.  So, I took up running.  At the time, I had a friend from work who was dong the San Francisco Marathon and who made me start to think about longer races.  Around the time my daughter was born, I moved up to Boston, and decided to run the Dublin Marathon two days after the wedding of a friend over there.  I made all the rookie mistakes and walked it in, but came back to run the Cape Cod Marathon, then another New England marathon using an online plan.  I found out about Tom through a friend just when I had been looking for a coach.  My first marathon with him was Hartford in 2003, so we’ve been working together over five years.

2. Who are your running role models?

Joan Benoit Samuelson- even though she isn’t as fast any more, she is still competing, setting age group records, and I remember her gold medal performance in 1984 as very emotional as well.

3. What has been your most memorable running / racing experience?

My first team relay- Reach the Beach (2006), and my first marathon (Dublin).  In the marathon, I didn’t really know I could do it or what it would be like.  Both the marathon and the relay were experiences where I was taking my running to a new level of endurance and challenging myself.

4. What have you enjoyed about working with Focus-N-Fly?

I enjoy Tom’s sense of humor. I also like not having to think about my track workouts and having them planned for me.

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

I definitely can’t do without sleep or my cool mint /chocolate Clif Bars

6. What is your favorite place to go for a run?

Fresh Pond here in the Boston area.  It is a flat loop around a reservoir.  It is also very pretty, as long as there aren’t too many dogs…

7. In the next year, what goals do you hope to accomplish?

I am going to run Boston this year, so I am looking forward to that, since I have done about a dozen marathons and was looking forward to either getting old enough or fast enough to qualify.  I’m also hoping to run a fall marathon for time, and perhaps my first ultra in the summer.

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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