Dirt in Your Skirt Athlete Profiles – April Dee
April Luu spent most of 2012 quietly making a name for herself on the Colorado obstacle course racing circuit and then burst onto the national scene at Texas last year for the Spartan Beast, where she won both days handily. She ran her first race in 2011 and said she was hooked from the beginning. April Luu isn’t behind the scenes anymore, she has spent the year dominating her female competition on the Spartan Race circuit, currently ranked number one in the points standings. This 34 year old mother of two from Peyton, Colorado is a fitness instructor and personal trainer during the week and has quickly built an impressive race resume, including a win at the recent Spartan Race – Beast in Utah last weekend. This spring she signed as a member of the Spartan Race Pro Team and has amassed and impressive list of sponsors; Max Performance, Adam Way Racing, Eco Vessel, SolSurvivor, Kronobar, Colorado Running Company, Hyperwear, Obstacle Course Racing Gear, and Obstacle Racer Magazine. April recently took the time to answer a few questions.
How did you get involved in your sport?
I just went to a local OCR here in Colorado. Warrior Dash was my first race in August 2011. I ran in it and placed and that was it I was hooked and wanted to do more!!
Were you always an athlete?
I always played sports since I was young. I played soccer, softball, and basketball. I ran track and cross country in High School. As a member of the US Army, I served in active duty from 1998-2003 in the 82nd Airborne Division and later the 10th Special Forces Group at Ft. Carson Colorado Springs Colorado, I was the first female to participate in L.I.N.E. hand to hand combat training with her male counterparts and later became one of the first female instructor.
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
I want to win the circuit this year!! As far as next year we will see, thinking of competing in the Superhero Scramble after September.
Who is/are your inspiration?
My kids are my inspiration! Want to show them they can do anything they set their mind to and work hard at it!!
What is your most proud moment in sport?
One of my favorite moments was my back to back beast wins in TX!!
What is your most proud moment in life?
The day my kids were born!!
How do you overcome a bad race or training day?
I take it and use it for motivation to train harder and figure out what I need to work on.
What is your training routine like?
My schedule is crazy!! I see my coach Aaron Knutson 2x a week, run 2x’s a week and teach 8 fitness classes a week!! Plus do personal training.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in your sport?
Set realistic goals and don’t be hard on yourself. Strive to improve on something in every race. Don’t worry about other people’s times or how well they did focus on you!! The mental aspect is just as important to. Do not over think things, have fun!!
What is your favorite pre-race and post-race food?
Pre-race steel oats for breakfast and gels during the race!! Post-race anything I can get my hands on…LOL
When not training and competing what do you do with your down time?
I spend time with my family. Go hiking, riding bikes, movies, hanging out with friends.
What is your favorite quote to motivate you?
“It’s the repetition of affirmation that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.” –Muhammad Ali
What is the best advice a coach ever gave you?
Tell the negative committee that meets in your head to sit down and shut up!!
If you could share some advice to the next generation of athletes, what would it be?
Don’t over train remember recovery is just as important. Train in all aspects of the race swim, run, obstacles, train to constantly improve on something. Learn to expect the unexpected!!
Have fun and don’t take yourself so seriously!! Take time to give back and thank others for what they have done..i.e. volunteers, people that put on the race.
You can follow April Luu on her Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Spartan Pages, and Instagram and other social media outlets. The future is looking bright for April as she continues her quest to remain a top the podium this season and win the Spartan Race points series.