Bio

Kate is an American track athlete and Olympian. She has represented the United States at the 2016 Olympics and 2017 World Championships, in addition to the 2018 NACAC Championships and 2014 World Relays. Her personal best of 4:20 in the mile is 4th on the US all-time list, and her 1:58.2 800m was 10th in the world that year.

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Photo by David Bracetty

Underlying those numbers is the fact that Kate is a late bloomer, whose top accolades have come in her late twenties and early thirties. She was a good runner in high school in college, but hardly a standout on the national scene. It wasn’t until age 24, under the coaching of Frank Gagliano, that Kate fully embraced distance running. In 2013 she ran rub-2:00 minutes in the 800 for the first time, giving a glimpse at her potential, which was followed by a two-year cycle of injury and inconsistent training.

Before the 2016 Olympic Trials, it had been three years since she had run her fastest 800m. She set a personal best to win the Trials, and again to quality for the finals at the Olympics. Since that breakthrough year, Kate continues to compete at the international level. She has been ranked in the top 20 in the world in her events every year since 2016.

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Thanks to her progression in the sport, Kate loves talking with people who have taken up running later in school or life, or anyone who has struggled with physical injuries or psychological roadblocks. She believes it is possible to sustain growth at any point, even if there has been a spiral of inconsistency.

As an elite athlete continuing progress into her thirties, Kate is constantly refining her understanding of the art and science of great performances at any age. She is fascinated in the ways strength training, nutrition, physical therapy, and mental training can play a role in success over the long term. Kate is passionate about changing the narrative that older athletes must accept injury or diminished dreams. She believes there is a way to stay realistic and humble, while also continuing to reach for those magic sporting moments – that they are made possible only through improved self-awareness.

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Photo of new coach Shalane Flanagan

Another distinct feature of Kate’s bio is the number of coaches with whom she has worked in her years as a pro. She has trained with four elite groups: in New Jersey; Bend, OR; Sacramento, CA; and Portland, OR. While this isn’t unique among American runners, it also isn’t common. She feels lucky to have learned from some of the best coaches and support staff in the country, and from incredible training partners. Her approach to training is informed by all those experiences.

In October 2017, Kate joined the Bowerman Track Club (BTC). This is a Nike sponsored group of elite athletes coached by Jerry Schumacher and Pascal Dobert and based in Portland, Oregon. On the women’s side, there are 11 athletes with race specialities that range from the 800m to the marathon. The group is known for getting results on the world stage. Individual accomplishments include U.S. Champions, Olympians, Olympic and World Medalists and American record holders.

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Photo and above by Talbot Cox

Kate has been open about struggling in her first months with BTC. She started writing “training update” posts on Instagram during a time when things seemed to be going backward, as a way to process the challenges. She enjoyed the exercise of writing about the endeavor of elite training. Those posts were the impetus for this site.

Though all the challenges of elite training, Kate’s race results continue to improve. She has set personal bests in the mile, 1500, and 3000 since joining Bowerman. Her ultimate goal is the coming Tokyo Olympic Trials and Games. 

Beyond specific race goals, Kate believes the opportunity to train at this level is a blessing in itself. She relishes the chance to reach for an ultimate athletic potential alongside women with similar aspirations, in a competitive yet supportive environment. There are lessons to be learned in the physical work – the training tactics, strength programs, injury prevention routines – and also in the psychological and emotional tests that come when pushing to the edge.

It’s challenging, it’s inspiring, and it’s fun to share.

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Photo by Jess Barnard