Diane Van Deren

An interview with ultra-distance runner Diane Van Deren

VanDeren_001It’s been my pleasure to interview some of the best endurance athletes in world. I’ve spoken to high altitude climbers like Conrad Anker and Ed Viesturs, extreme skiers like Scott Schimdt and ultra marathon runners like Tim Twietmeyer and Dean Karnazes. These men are incredibly tough individuals.  And with humility and grace all have made their mark on the world by pushing their bodies past the breaking point to achieve amazing feats of strength against incredible odds. But I have to tell you that one of the most inspiring stories I’ve ever heard is that of a woman named Diane Van Deren.

Diane is consistently among the top finishers in some of the most rugged and challenging long distance trail running events in the world. She most recently completed the Yukon Arctic Ultra, a 430 mile unsupported race in Alaska along the dogsled route of the Iditarod. As she ran in temperatures 40 degrees below zero, Diane hauled over  50 pounds of food and equipment behind her in a sled.

But what’s more impressive to me is that this wife and mother of three accomplished this and most of her career highlights after a long and painful battle with epilepsy. This 2007 interview with Diane Van Deren first ran on the outdoor industry podcast SNEWS-Live. Two years later Diane is still going strong and is now traveling the country on a speaking tour. In advance of her appearance here in Madison, I’m rerunning our conversation to share with you her amazing journey.

Diane will be speaking in Madison, Wisconsin  on October 7th at the Orpheum Theater at 7PM. For Tickets visit: http://thenorthface.inticketing.com/events/45213/DIANE-VAN-DEREN-KARINA-HOLLEKIM–Beyond-the-Edge-Risk-R-

Sly-JoeNew music this week by Sly Joe & the Smooth Operators comes courtesy of the podsafe music network

For more information on the treatment of spinal cord and brain injuries at Craig Hospital visit www.craighospital.org.CraigHospital

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I’m a freelance journalist that specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living.

  • jimkellett

    I had a chance to work with Diane while I was producing a video segment for the TV show, Colorado Outdoors. She is truly one of the most inspiring people I’ve met. I have posted some of the show segments on both Youtube and Vimeo.com In part 2 she tells about her battle with epilepsy.

    ~~~ Jim Kellett
    Producer Director, Colorado Outdoors