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SparkleSister Dianne Chan, who considers herself a “late bloomer” and somewhat naïve when she began running in 2000, crossed her 100th half marathon finish line on September 25, 2016. When one of her high school best friends invited Dianne to run two miles with her, she assumed it would be no problem. Despite some serious sore muscles the next day, she continued to run as it fit with life’s busyness. Then, in 2011 when Dianne suddenly lost her father, her sporadic running ignited into a passion.
“He was not a runner, but I do remember calling home one day after I finished my first local 5k race and I could hear how happy he was for me. I'll never forget that phone call. Family is such an important part of who we are, so I run in honor of my Dad.” Dianne also draws inspiration from any runner or walker who gets out there and moves.
Dianne has come a long way from that original 5k. Her advice to newbie runners is to start running local 5K and 10K races, then build your way up to a half marathon.
“As a physical therapist assistant, I always tell people how important it is to train or pay the price after the race or sometimes 48 hours when Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) kicks in. It’s not a pleasant feeling!” She also encourages athletes to listen to their body. “No one else but YOU knows how you're feeling, so if your legs feel heavy, WALK for a bit! It’s OK! I think there's this BIG misconception that you ‘have’ to run all 13.1 miles. The beauty about running is you can do what YOU want! Enjoy the race and most importantly, have fun!”
Dianne encourages everyone to take time and enjoy the scenery. “Life is short and I want to remember some of my races. There will be other races to set a PR. Plus, now that I have a core #runningfamily we're always chatting away, catching up on the months we haven't seen each other, so running AND walking is always a must.”
Comparing her first half marathon finish line with her 100th, Dianne said she ran by herself in 2006, but at the 100th she was with her best running friend Lisa LeVeque and her boyfriend Chris Rebele. “I had my favorite people on each side of me when we crossed the finish line!”
Now that her 100th is behind her, Dianne is working on her 50 States Half Marathons. She is also still trying to get in to the NYC Marathon.
Finding Her Sparkle
Dianne was introduced to SparkleSkirts around 2013 at one of the many runDisney expos by Melanie Wolff Miller (another amazing SparkleSister we have profiled, click here to read her story).
“I instantly fell in love with Girlfriend, but at the time, I just couldn't justify the cost. Ha! Ironic as I now own 33!” But Dianne’s collection didn’t start until she was reintroduced to them by Sharon Geller in 2015. So yes, you read that right in two years, 33 skirts.
Dianne says she loves them though because she can run comfortably while looking a little girly. “Something that I'm not known for, especially in a skirt!”
Congrats to Dianne on her 100th half marathon achievement and we cannot wait to celebrate when she conquers all 50 states! Sparkle on!