She dropped her kids off at home Wednesday afternoon before heading to her part-time job as a dietician.
"It was funny. I dropped them off and said 'You practise piano' and 'You get your homework done' and 'Oh, by the way I made it to the Olympics,'" DuChene said. "They cheered. And then they ran out of the van, and I went off to work."
The Brantford, Ont., runner was third in the Rotterdam Marathon earlier this month in two hours 29 minutes 37 seconds, but had to wait until Athletics Canada announced its Olympic qualifying standards on Wednesday to see if her time held up. It did — the standard is 2:29.50.
It was good news for Reid Coolsaet as well. Coolsaet ran 2:11.24 in Rotterdam, well ahead of the men's Olympic standard of 2:12.50.
DuChene will be the first Canadian woman to run the Olympic marathon in 20 years.
"When I ran that race (in Rotterdam), I think that's when it really hit me that I believed that I got the standard, so I've just kind of been waiting to see it in writing to believe it," DuChene said.
DuChene's achievement caps a remarkable comeback. She broke her femur a year ago while running the Canadian Half Marathon Championships and needed a plate and three screws to mend the break. Rotterdam marked her first marathon since her injury.
"I knew when I came out of surgery that it was all recovery from that point on," DuChene said. "I remember the first day, I thought 'OK, two years until I run my next marathon,' and then by the second day I thought 'I can do this in one year.'
"I'm not afraid to be the first one to do something that hasn't been done before. I don't know many 38-year-old moms of three out there trying to go to the Olympics, or many marathon runners with hardware in their legs."
"It makes me think, well I can be the first one. Just because it hasn't been done doesn't mean it can't be done."
Achieving the standard doesn't guarantee a spot on the Olympic team. DuChene and Coolsaet will have to prove fitness closer to Rio, and they'll have to be among the three fastest Canadians.
That shouldn't be a problem for DuChene. She and Canadian record-holder Lanni Marchant are the class of the women's marathon field.
Canada hasn't had a woman in the Olympic marathon since Danuta Bartoszek in 1996.
The men's marathon field is considerably deeper. Coolsaet, Eric Gillis and Dylan Wykes all raced the 2012 Olympic marathon, plus Rob Watson should be in the running to make the Rio team.
Coolsaet is happy to have ticked the Olympic standard off his to-do list.
"Every marathon I do now doesn't have to be for a fast time, so if I wanted to do like Boston next year, I could probably do that," said the 35-year-old from Hamilton.
Coolsaet's preparation for Rotterdam was less than perfect after he sprained his ankle less than two weeks before the race.
"That was a big scare," he said. "So when I look back at Rotterdam, I'm really happy I ran the time that I did."Suggest a correction