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Running for Her Life

When pro tennis player Diane Van Deren was diagnosed with epilepsy, the only thing she found that helped stave off the seizures was running.

“As I had an onset, a feeling of déjà vu that a seizure was about to erupt, what I would do is I’d throw my running shoes on and I’d run to the National Forest,” she says. “I was running from the fear of a seizure, and I never seized running.” After ten years of seizures, Van Deren underwent risky surgery to remove a small part of her brain, leaving her seizure-free, but also with a brain injury. Soon after, she began ultra-running.

Tonight, as part of the North Face Speaker series, Van Deren will take an audience through her journey from pro tennis player to mother to epilepsy sufferer to, finally, world-renowned ultra-runner.

Van Deren is also the founder of “Miles for a Mission,” a fundraiser for Craig Hospital, which helped her get through her seizures and the aftermath of her surgery. “As a pro-athlete, we can do so much more than win races and set course records,” she says.

Van Deren will tell her tale, “Back From the Edge,” at 7 p.m. tonight at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th Street. Tickets are free if you sign up online, $8 for reserved seating, and $20 for reserved seating and a VIP reception. To purchase yours, visit
Mon., Sept. 26, 7 p.m., 2011


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