Monday, December 21, 2015


"Running allows us to totally appreciate life - the ability to move, breathe, feel alive. We can check out of our heads or figure out life's many problems. It's beautiful therapy."
~ Andrea Duke

I am honored and thrilled to close out the year with one last RUNNERSWHOROCK interview with none other than the fierce and beautiful Andrea Duke.  Andrea has run 46 marathons since 2002.  She crossed the line at her first, the inaugural Washington D.C. marathon, in 4:35:21.  After that, she claimed she'd never do it again.  And we all know how that goes.  In 2008, four months after giving birth to her son Noah, Andrea ran a marathon PR and qualified for Boston, at that point, officially hooked on running.  But, it wasn't until 2012 that her running "career" truly began.  In a horrific twist of fate, Andrea's son Noah, who was 4 at the time, tripped, twisted his leg and shattered his femur.  While Noah laid in a full body cast, unable to move and in excruciating pain, Andrea would lace up her shoes and get out on the road as a means to cope.  Running was her outlet, her way to feel, her way to tolerate her own pain, her way to help her daughter, and, ultimately, her way to help her son get his life back.  And as Noah recovered and began to get stronger, Andrea did, too.  A little over a year after the accident, Andrea was the first woman across the line at the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon in 2:58.  In her own words:

There I was, on a stage getting asked, “So are you going to go for the standard?” The what? “The Olympic Trials standard.” “Ummm, the what?” Fast forward 8 months, with a professional coach guiding me, I ran a 2:41:12 at the Chicago Marathon to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon. In two years, I went from a social runner to a professional elite runner.

Currently, Andrea runs for the Oiselle Haute Volee elite team, and her main focus is training for the Olympic trials which she will run in Los Angeles on February 13.  I will be there to watch and I literally CAN NOT wait.  I'm hoping we might get to cut a rug on the dance floor later that evening.  We'll have to see how tired she is.  After that, she'll shift her focus to OCR (obstacle course racing), because, well, she might as well kick her badassery up a notch next year.  I love this woman.  I am so lucky to know her.  I am inspired by her daily.  I think you will be, too.  So, let's meet Andrea, a RUNNER WHO ROCKS.


Name: Andrea Duke
Where you're from: San Antonio, TX
Where you reside now: San Antonio, TX
Age: 36
Occupation: Professor, Mom, Runner
Oiselle profile:

RUNNING & MUSIC What do you love most about running? 
The therapeutic “ME” time, pushing my limits and gaining incredible self­ confidence from reaching new goals.

What do you love most about music? 
How I can find release in it during any emotional state, I can always find a song that will “understand me” whether depressed, angry, needing motivation, excited, happy! Music allows us to find a place where we can relate and maybe even find solace in the lyrics and rhythm.


Band (current, all time or both): No Doubt
Album (current, all time or both): Currently obsessed with the new Adele album, as it speaks to me closely.  All time would be Madonna’s “Confession on a Dance Floor”
Race venue: Disney Marathon  Running through the parks is magical ;)
Music venue any venue: I’ve traveled around the country for musical artists and each has their own special vibe, just put me somewhere with music and I’m happy.
Race distance: Marathon!
Show you've seen live? Madonna, always and forever!
­ Ice cream flavor: Cookies & Creme

Sweet or salty? Sweet
Live or recorded? Live
Coffee or tea? “Coffee in the morning”
Summer or winter? Summer

Which band or artist would you go see tonight if you could? No Doubt
Which band or artist (wait...but no longer alive or playing together) would you go see tonight if you could? The Beatles

The one and only Gwen Stefani

Which band or artist would you like to have dinner with tonight if you could? Gwen Stefani
Which band or artist would you like to be playing alongside you during your next race (or long run)? Justin Timberlake

Today, I feel like(complete the sentence)....I need a nap.

Top 5 Songs for running, dancing or both?
Bieber & Diplo: Where Are You Now?
Rage Against the Machine: Renegades of Funk
Buju Banton: Love Sponge
Eminem: ‘Till I Collapse
Madonna: Iconic

Last 5 Songs you listened to today?
Beyonce: Flawless
Nicki Minaj: Moment 4 Life
Adele: Hello
Salt n Pepa: Shoop
Justin Bieber: Sorry


Want to tap into your inner badass?  The good folks over at the Reebok Spartan Race Series have generously donated a one free race entry in honor of Andrea and her entry into the OCR world.  The winner will get a one time shot at any open heat (non-confirmed start time) in any Spartan Race in the continental US.  We're going to keep this one simple.  In a couple words, tell us the greatest obstacle that you have overcome or still have yet to tackle.  Andrea will read your comments and pick a winner at the end of the week.  Retail value of this prize is $75-$225, depending on the race chosen.  Good luck!  #AROO


  1. My mom has been my best friend. My running buddy and just an overall amazing woman. She helped me as a single mom. I ran 5k's with her when I was 6 and for many years. I started running races with her again recently. But in October 2012 my world came crashing down. My mom had cancer. What?! She was a runner and ate healthy?! 7 weeks later she passed away. A lost a huge piece of myself and have been struggling to find my new normal. I was a runner thanks to my mom. But it also makes me miss her whenever I run. Running my first nyc marathon was tough, knowing she wouldn't be at the finish line. Every step closer to that 26.2 was the realization she was gone forever. Losing my mom is an obstacle I have to overcome every single day

    1. First of all, thanks for sharing this story with us. Such an enormous obstacle for you to have to face every day. And, secondly, congrats!! You've won a Spartan Race entry. Please shoot me an email and I'll send you the code. Good luck and have a blast.

  2. Working and putting myself through college was a struggle and now working and trying to pay off student loans is another struggle I am trying to tackle!

  3. The greatest obstacle I overcame was coming back from my meniscus tear surgery to run Ragnar Trail Relay, Spartan Race Dallas Beast, and complete GORUCK Challenge within 2 months after being released from physical therapy.

  4. Hi Andrea! I am a late bloomer. I've just discovered running this year at 35, and have been training hard for my first half marathon. Running has not been my obstacle, but the one thing in my life that saved me.

    For the last five years I have faced extreme stress from workplace bullying by my manager, in addition to giving everything to those around me (family and strata obligations). I forgot what it was to live for myself. I used to be fit and strong, and I became fragile and weak, inside and outside.

    In August of 2015 I started running at the track, and I realized that I couldn't stop!! Never did I realize what I had within me (fueled by great music). Ran my first 10k race a month later, and now I am up to 18.5k. I am almost there. When I run it is just about me. I am living, growing, snd feeling like I can conquer the world. I am inspired by other runners, and I hope to inspire others. Running is truly therapy, and "I am not afraid to take a stand"!