We've personally been lucky enough to follow Kat’s running over the last few years through Strava and social media. It was evident she loves what she does, and has an incredible ability to keep the legs ticking over the big distances. As a popular coach on the side, she is inspiring and helping others to follow in her footsteps. Here’s a bit about Kat’s story…
"Why do I run? Good question. When I was growing up I would do anything to get out of any sport. I hated it. The only thing I enjoyed was the 100m sprint or relay but I was very self-conscious and hated having the pressure of trying to win. My dad was a marathon runner and all it meant to me was running with a bin liner under his top to sweat more, the smell of deep heat, lots of baths and the same bag of frozen peas in and out of the freezer for icing for decades. I ran with him once when I was about 12 – he was training for a marathon and he ran rings round me – I swore I’d never run again.
But somewhere a seed had been planted. Despite not understanding why he loved to run, I was very proud of him. He raised a lot of money for diabetes and the stubbornness that I inherited was apparent as I watched him just keep on running. So I decided that I would run 1 marathon in my lifetime and it would be before a milestone age. Time ran out in 2014 – that had to be the year I did it. So I got a friend to share a plan that they had followed and I decided to raise money so that I was committed to finishing. My friend’s daughter, Lyla, has cerebral palsy so I became one of Lyla’s Angels to raise money for CPEC.
I followed the plan exactly, and I absolutely loved race day. I had a 4 hour goal in mind and I knew at 30km I was 10 minutes ahead of that goal. I crossed the line feeling like I was sprinting, soaking up the cheers (which of course were all for me) and crossed the finish line laughing and crying at the same time. I couldn’t believe I’d done it! I’d run a marathon and I’d loved it! That day I entered my first 50km race.
My day job is a Process improvement Specialist where I continually try and make things easier, taking out waste from processes and improving efficiencies. I signed up to do my recreational run coaching purely to find out how I could improve my running and make the training process easier. I started my first run group to train for a 5km race, which was a real eye opener to a range of abilities – I’d never run with anyone before. I then went on to obtain my Advanced Recreational Running Coach accreditation with Athletics Australia and my online coaching took off. It gives me a lot of pleasure to help people achieve their goals and I feed off their training journeys. I’ve coached people for Paris, London, Tokyo, Berlin – places I probably won’t get to run. Every person that I coach, whatever their goal, inspires me to keep on running.
I’ve lost count of the runs I’ve done, but highlights for me were the Surf Coast Century and finishing first place female in the Berry Long Run 70km. I’ve had the pleasure of running the Surf Coast trail marathon twice – once with a King tide – the Great Ocean Road 60km which was stunning, the Marathon Du Medoc which was an experience, and way too many more to mention. Every run is a learning experience and gives me something I can pass on to others. I’m also a selfish runner – I run when I happy, when I’m sad, when I’m angry, when I’m excited, to challenge myself, to relax, to explore new places, to lose myself and to find myself. Every run is different – and that’s why I run."
Thanks again for sharing a bit about yourself Kat! It’s great to hear from someone who appreciates the range of abilities of people that love to run..