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Riverside mom reveals the healing power of running — and gets invite to New York marathon

By in Press Enterprise on July 5, 2017

By Penny E. Schwartz

After suffering a miscarriage two years ago, Andrea Loucks, of Riverside, could feel the symptoms of post-partum depression weighing down on her.

“I already had my three-year-old daughter and started to feel the depression and anxiety I experienced for a year after I had her,” said Loucks, 39.

That’s when she discovered the healing and restorative powers of running.

Many colleagues at her law enforcement job were doing it, she said, and when she started, she immediately felt better.

“At first I couldn’t get around the block but I felt so good and proud of myself that I just kept going,” she said.

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Loucks began with the online Couch to 5K program and then joined the Moms RUN This Town chapter in Riverside.

After running a few half-marathons, she ran her first marathon last May in Orange County. She followed that with a marathon in Riverside in January and the L.A. run in March.

The biggest prize for runners, however, is the New York City marathon in November, she said.

“That’s on the bucket list for runners but I didn’t have high hopes of getting into that one based on the lottery system,” she said.

Only one in five applicants is selected, and she didn’t make the cut.

That’s where an online essay competition from PowerBar Clean Whey came into the picture. The company was seeking 17 runners to sponsor in the New York City marathon through its Clean Start Campaign.

“I wrote about why I thought I deserved a clean start because running is how I found my sanity,” Loucks said.

“When I started running, I got my mental health back,” she wrote. “I want to run for other women suffering from mental illness and represent a healthy alternative for regaining […]    

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