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April 16, 2009

Karen Hickey

Written by Dena Evans
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Karen was born and raised near the beach in the Los Angeles area, and graduated from Stanford, class of 1985.  While she was on the Farm, Karen majored in Industrial Engineering, and played on the Softball team and in the band.  She settled in the area right after school, and continues to live in Palo Alto with her husband and two kids, ages eight and six.   Karen spends her days working in marketing at Google.  She enjoys being outdoors, traveling, and obviously, running- Karen has completed 45 marathons, most recently the Paris Marathon on April 5th, 2009.

1.    How did you start running?

I started running right after college due to the “freshman 15”.  I needed an inexpensive way to get rid of it.  I lived in Palo Alto, so started doing the 5k’s and 10k’s in the area.

My dad has always jogged, as long as I can remember, to combat stress.  One day in 1993, he suggested that we walk the LA marathon.  I thought through how long it would take to walk it, and I realized it would be better to run it.  We watched it on TV that weekend, and realized there is no reason we couldn’t do it.  My dad got injured, but I ended up doing it.  When I finished, my husband walked up to me and told me he had heard in the crowd about a marathon in Boston, and that I missed qualifying by seven minutes.  So, I qualified with my next marathon and ran Boston.

2.    Who is your running role model?

Uta Pippig, more recently Deena Kastor.  I tend to change my role models every few years.

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

Doing Boston with my dad.  It was the really hot year.  His insurance agent was with John Hancock, and was able to get him in the race.  He had been with me while I ran it many other times, so it was great to get a chance to run that one with him.  We have run 25 marathons together through the years.

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

I’ve enjoyed making new friends, I enjoy the structured workouts, doing things that I wouldn’t normally do myself.  I like that someone else figures it out for me.  It is nice getting up in the morning or looking at the week ahead and knowing what I am going to do.

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 wish I could say it was getting enough sleep, which I never do.  I tape the bottoms of my feet, I have pasta with red sauce, which caused a bit of havoc in Paris, actually. I really try to get a good night’s sleep two nights before and oatmeal the morning of the race.

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

The Stanford Dish.  Lots of places are beautiful, but the Dish is easy, and if I need to de-stress, it is my go-to place.

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

My goal is to be healthy and have a strong marathon in the fall.  I’m going to do Humboldt with my dad.

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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