Deno grew up in the Fiji Islands where barefoot and bipedal mode of transportation is the norm. His passion for soccer meant he could not pass up the after-school pick up games, but it did guarantee he would miss the school bus and get in trouble if he did not make it home before Mom came home from work. With three sisters on that school bus and his backpack on its way home, Deno played pick up soccer and then ran the ~5 miles back home before Mom arrived home, and so running became a necessity. On the weekends, he also doubled as the extended family’s errand runner to the local convenience store, and the challenge of bringing butter home on two feet before it melted in the tropical heat meant some unconscious speed work. While in high school in the US, he was focused on soccer and didn’t run any track, but in PE class, members of the track and field team gave him puzzled looks when they couldn’t drop him on the track loops. He always prioritized soccer and really did not take advantage of any track and field opportunity
Fast forward and Deno is in the Marine Corps, where he is loving and thriving on the focus on physical fitness, endurance training and outdoor life (minus amenities). The Marine Corps Marathon was a noble yet a distant goal because he couldn’t commit to the training..running is something that comes naturally to him and as a young Marine, his weekend was booked with stuff other than long training runs. It took him over 20 years to run his first marathon and in the process he met the wrong people who led him to run the wrong distances…the Marine Corp Marathon remains an itch to be scratched and in his gun sights.
Deno’s race strategy is pretty simple: A monstrous meal (burritos, anything with carbs and calories) shortly before running, a banana or power bar just before running and a healthy appetite at the buffet line (which other people call aid stations). Deno has run several 50k and 50 mile races multiple times and 100 mile race, notably the Angeles Crest 100, Way too Cool 50k, American River 50 miler, Rock n’ River 50 mile and the Redwood 50k. He has run California International Marathon multiple times and the Boston Marathon. Deno has also done the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim run as an adventure with his running buddies and his friends were forced to give up their power bars because Deno ran out of food to consume – no one wanted be cannibalized as food that day.. In addition to running, he plays Squash. Deno works at Intel, with a focus on Product Marketing and Business Operations. He lives in Folsom with wife Dina, son Nicholas and pocket rocket dog Valentina, who is the early morning running companion and treadmill trained in addition to being house trained. Deno loves Ultra Running for the connection with nature, a cure for stress and the camaraderie and friendships forged on the trails. Semper Fi.