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Desiree Ficker Chats About Her Livestrong Marathon Win

The winner of this past weekend’s Livestrong Austin Marathon (2:50:35) chats with Triathlete.com about juggling her running aspirations with triathlon goals and charity work.

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The winner of this past weekend’s Livestrong Austin Marathon (2:50:35) chats with Triathlete.com about juggling her running aspirations with triathlon goals and charity work.

Triathlete.com: How do you prioritize your triathlon training with your running goals?

Ficker finished 10th in the 2009 ING NYC Marathon. Photo: PhotoRun
Ficker finished 10th in the 2009 ING NYC Marathon. Photo: PhotoRun

Ficker: I have primarily been training for triathlon this winter as I have a full season of triathlon racing ahead. I love running so it is always easy for me to put in the miles. The Austin Marathon was more of a long training run and it fit into my schedule well. I have raced in either the half or the full race for the last 7 years. The race is a total blast and this year with Livestrong being a sponsor it had a nice charity element to it. There were 275 cancer survivors running in either the half or the full. Amazing!

Triathlete.com: What are your triathlon goals (“A” races) for 2011?

Ficker: I am racing a large handful of 70.3s as well as Ironman Texas. I will have to see how I am standing on points and then decide to either focus on Kona or 70.3 worlds or both after that.

Triathlete.com: Because running is an obvious strength, do you spend more time focusing on the swim and bike training, or do you devote equal treatment to all three disciplines?

Ficker: In January I spent 3.5 weeks training in Lanzarote, focusing mainly on cycling. I try to spend equal time on all three, the running being the easiest to get out the door for by far!

Triathlete.com: How did you get your start in triathlon?

Ficker: I wanted to be like Dave Scott after seeing him crush the lava fields so many years as a little girl. I picked up swimming and biking after running in college and wanting to compete in the elusive and exciting race in Kona. My mom drove with me to my first real triathlon, Memphis in May, in order to get a qualifying spot. I missed it by one place and was gutted watching the other girl get a lei placed around her neck. I did manage to qualify later that summer and the rest is history I guess!

Triathlete.com: Can you tell me about your charity work/fundraising?

Ficker: I started a foundation in honor of my late mother, Annette Ficker. She passed away with colon cancer a year and a half ago and was still going to my races even while sick from the chemo. My friends who knew and loved her all called her “Ma Ficker” so we named the charity after her. She was an incredible spirit, a fighter and embodied all that an athlete strives to be in spirit. Last year our team competed in the Eagleman 70.3 race and we will again this year. I am working on fundraising ideas and we are donating our monies to cancer research.