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Cait running

Cait P.

Tell us a little about yourself (kids, married, job)?
I married my college next door neighbor in 2011. We have two young daughters. I work as a yoga teacher, running coach, and marketing director for an investment advisory firm.

When and why did you start running?
I became certified to teach yoga in 2019. One of the classes I took over for my local gym was yoga for runners. I had run a little in the past, but they encouraged me to try again. I ran a 5K that winter. When everything shut down for Covid, the class participants kept in touch (and included me) and decided to start a running club. We all packed on the miles together that summer and in October 2020, I ran my first half marathon since 2014 (pre-kids). We also started exploring trail running and I fell in love with longer distance trail running.

What keeps you motivated to train?
Seeing improvements in myself. My times are not always improving, but how I move and feel, and the way I relate to running does. I’m also excited to try some longer distances and new trails.

What are your hobbies outside of running?
Yoga, crochet, reading, and writing

What is your favorite race?
I love them all! I run the Run for Rangers mountain half marathon in Dahlonega, GA every November. It’s a challenging course on mountain service roads. The course starts and finishes from an active Ranger base, so a lot of the roads we run on are normally closed to the public. It’s always an amazing event supporting some of our bravest heros.

What is your bucket list event?
My kids keep telling me I need to try a 100-mile race just to see if I can do it (this is usually my approach to any challenge in life). I have my eye on the Pinhoti 100 and completing that series. Right now I’m training for my first 50-miler so that’s my current bucket list event.

What is the funniest thing to happen to you during a race?
I’ve had so many race mishaps. Falling, awful water crossings, getting lost. But I love making friends and telling jokes or funny stories when we all start hurting mid-race. My brain turns to mush around 20 miles, so I’m sure there are lots of funny moments I don’t even remember.

What is your proudest race moment?
Finishing an out-of-state 50K in November 2022 (the Mountaineer Rumble in South Carolina). I had been sick for a month, forgot my race clothes (an emergency 6am trip to Walmart found suitable but not ideal clothes for racing), got lost on the course, and was just having a miserable day. At the final aid station, the volunteers encouraged me to finish (it was less than 3 miles to the finish) rather than drop. I had already texted my husband and parents that I was probably going to drop. The volunteers gave me a generous shot of Fireball and sent me on my way. I crossed the finish line, cried, then went back to that aid station to pick up my drop bag and thank the volunteers. (They happened to be grilling hamburgers for the longer distance runners going into the night and watching college football at the aid station when I got back, which is another reason I love ultra distances.) Crossing the finish line when I really didn’t think I was going to is my proudest moment.

What is the one thing you wish you knew when you first started running?
The longer distances are addicting. So don’t try unless you really want to go down that path for the rest of your life 🙂

What is your best piece of advice for new runners?
Working at an aid station is just as (if not more) rewarding as running the race. Always give back when you can. Life is more than running and if it (life or running) becomes not-fun, you probably need a snack.

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