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Diane Van Deren Invisible Disabilities 2015 Invisible No More Perseverance Award
Diane Van Deren
“Invisible No More”
2015 Perseverance Award
Photo Courtesy of The North Face

Diane Van Deren has been selected to be the 2015 recipient of the Invisible Disabilities Association’s “Invisible No More” Perseverance Award. Diane has been chosen based upon her perseverance and strength in overcoming decades of living with epilepsy and the residual neural damage. Thank you Diane for keeping up the fight and being an inspiration for so many on their journeys.

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, and raised in Littleton, Colo., Diane left high school early to play on the women’s European pro tennis tour. She then attended University of Texas, Permian Basin, graduating with a degree in speech communications. Diane currently resides in Sedalia, Colo., with her husband and three children.

Diane has excelled as an elite athlete in a variety of disciplines throughout her career. As a child, she competed on boys’ baseball teams, showed her horse in local rodeos and won Colorado State Championship titles in both golf and tennis. Being named to the “All State Basketball” team her senior year resulted in college scholarship offers for both basketball and tennis.

Collegiate competition allowed Diane to focus on tennis, earning an All-American team designation for her singles play as well as a National Jr. College Doubles Championship. After graduation, Diane traveled throughout the United States and Europe as a sponsored professional tennis player.

When she finally settled down to raise a family, Diane shifted into a coaching role, where she inspired positive attitudes and self-confidence amongst young athletes. She balanced organizing neighborhood tennis programs and coaching junior basketball with her own training schedule.

Diane still makes time to compete at the elite level, training with cyclists at the Olympic Training Center, running marathons and – since 2002 – competing in ultra distance events at the professional level.

Diane demonstrates her life philosophy by giving back to her community with a variety of groups:

Specifically, in her work with Craig Hospital, Diane raises awareness and funds for the organization through the “Miles for a Mission” initiative. From summer camps for children with epilepsy to black tie fundraisers, Diane has shared her passion as a board member, celebrity spokesperson, camp leader and inspirational keynote speaker nationwide.

Diane’s award was presented at the 2015 Awards Gala on October 23rd, 2015.

2016 Awards Gala Info


Diane Van Deren - 2015 IDA Invisible No More Perseverance Award

Diane Van Deren - ESPN: “Time Out of Mind”



  • 8th women’s – Hard Rock Trail, 100 Miler, Silverton, CO
  • 4th women’s – Big Horn, 100 Mile Trail Run, Wyoming
  • 4th overall – The North Face 100, Outdoor Endurance Challenge, Beijing Changping
  • 1st womens/4th overall – Yukon Arctic Ultra 430-mile, Whitehorse, Canada


  • 3rd women’s – North Face Endurance Challenge 50 mile, Midwest Regional
  • Finisher – Tour de Mt Blanc 160 km, Chamonix, France
  • 1st overall – Yukon Arctic Ultra 300 mile, Whitehorse, Canada
  • 4th women’s – Bear Mountain Endurance Race, New York, NY
  • 2nd women’s – Collegiate Peaks 50 mile, Buena Vista, CO
  • 6th women’s – Lake City 50 mile, Lake City, CO
  • 5th women’s – Hardrock 100, Silverton, CO
  • 1st women’s – Canadian Death Race 78 mile, Edmonton, Canada


  • 1st overall – 24 hours in Frisco Trail Run, Frisco, CO
  • 1st women’s – Dances w/ the Dirt 50 mile, Hell, MI
  • 12th women’s – Tour de Mt Blanc, Chamonix, France
  • 8th women’s – Hard Rock 100, Silverton, CO
  • 3rd women’s – Collegiate Peaks 50 mile, Buena Vista, CO
  • 1st women’s – McNaughton 150 mile, McNaughten, IL


  • 1st overall – Tahoe Rim 100 mile, Tahoe, CA
  • 1st overall – Big Horn 100 mile, Montana
  • 2nd overall – McNaughten 100 mile, McNaughten, IL
  • 3rd overall – Turquoise Lake 20 mile, qualified for national snow shoe event
  • 3rd overall – Cascade Crest 100 mile , Seattle, WA


  • 2nd overall – The Bear 100 mile, Preston, Idaho
  • 2nd overall – Big Horn 100 mile, Montana
  • 2nd age group – Collegiate Peaks 50 mile, Buena Vista, CO
  • 6th age group – Leadville Trail 100 mile, Leadville, CO
  • 8th overall – Hardrock 100 mile, Silverton, CO
  • DNF – Iditarod Trail Invitational, Alaska, 250 miles on fractured ankle


  • 1st overall – Alfred Packer 50 mile, Chatfield, CO
  • 2nd age group – Collegiate Peaks 50 mile, Buena Vista, CO
  • 2nd age group – Hardrock 100 mile, Silverton, CO
  • 2nd age group – Lake City 50 mile, Lake City, CO
  • 3rd overall – H.U.R.T. 100 km, Honolulu, HI
  • 6th overall – Alaska Susitna 100 mile, Anchorage, AK
  • 7th overall – Tour de Mt Blanc 160 km, Chamonix, France
  • 1st overall – San Diego 100, San Diego, CA



  • Denver Post, She won! – February


  • “Women Who Run” book, Chapter 2, by Shanti Sosienski – September
  • The Today Show, Katie Couric special on “Extraordinary Moms” – May
  • Denver Woman Magazine, Profile of “Colorado Elite Athletes” – April
  • Hooked on Outdoors Magazine, “Runner Up, Outdoor Person of the Year” – January
  • Denver Post, Extreme Sports “100-Mile Road to Recovery” story


  • Fitness Lifestyles Magazine, Fabulous Female profile – November
  • Trail Runner Magazine, Teva “Everest Awards” & comeback stories – September
  • “Colorado Outdoors” Cable Show: Documentary chronicling overcoming health issues – August
  • Won 2005 Heartland Emmy award, produced by Jess Stainbrook, Douglas County Channel 8


  • La Sportiva Trail Runner Trophy Series. “Ultramarathon Runner of the Year”
  • Teva Everest Award, “Female Trail Runner of the Year”
  • Colorado Rockies Awards Dinner, “Hal O’Leary Dedication Award”
  • Colorado Sportswomen, “Comeback Award” at annual awards dinner
  • Hooked on the Outdoors Magazine, “Runner up, Outdoor Person of the Year”
  • Colo Epilepsy Foundation, “Achievement Award” & keynote address
  • Sportswomen of Colorado, “Ultra Marathon Award”