Between now and race day, we will be featuring past Hogeye runners to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Hogeye Marathon! This week our featured #HogeyeHopeful is Katie! Last year we sat down with Katie to ask her a few questions that would help us get to know her better as a runner and as a #HogeyeHopeful!

Hometown: Memphis TN
Profession: Assistant Director of University Recreation at the U of A

When did you start running?
I ran off-and-on during and after college for exercise. I moved to Fayetteville in 2004and started running for good soon after that.

WHY did you start running?
I played soccer in college and ran to stay in shape for that. It took a few years after that for me to consider running as “fun”, rather than a necessary evil. I fell into the most wonderful group of friends in Fayetteville who are some of the best runners I’ve ever met, which helped to cement my relationship with it.Katie-Helms

Where do you prefer to run? Do you have a favorite route?
I like different routes for different reasons. I enjoy the Fayetteville trail system on Saturday mornings because I see so many folks that I know along the way. I call it the “Saturday morning promenade.” I live downtown and enjoy the routes out of my front door that take me around central Fayetteville… I can see what’s going on at the U of A, in Wilson Park, on the square, or on Dickson Street all in one easy run.

What was your “I’M A RUNNER!” moment?
Like most people, the first few longer,tougher events I did left me saying “I’m never doing this again” at the finish line. And that feeling is totally normal. But the “I’m a runner” moment comes when you allow yourself to think that, and then 1 hour later you’re planning and excited about the next event.

Have you run the Hogeye before? 
I first ran the Hogeye when I was in graduate school in 2001. It was on the old course that ran to Hogeye and back. I have been involved as a volunteer for the past several years, and served as the volunteer coordinator!

If you could go back and give yourself a piece of advice as a beginner, what would it be?
I wouldn’t say that I am that different now than I was as a beginner. There are just as many things that I am curious about or would like to work on now as there have always been. It’s an ever-evolving relationship with constant ups and downs. You just get on the ride and go with it.

Do you run solo or with a group?
Both! Running alone is great “me” time. Thoughts and issues always seem more under control when you mull them over on the run. Then again, some of my best friendships have been cultivated through running.

What motivates you in running? Medals? PRs? Fitness?
Sometimes, a run is nothing more than an obligation to get some exercise. Other times, a run can transcend into a truly special experience. Both are necessary.

Do you have any racing superstitions or traditions?
One of the only consistent things that I feel from event-to-event is that on the starting line, I have NO IDEA what is going to happen. Which is absolutely thrilling.

Do you have a running motto or mantra or favorite quote?
Not really. Sometimes to get myself through a tough place I will simply count footstrikes.

Why do you run the Hogeye? What makes it special?
I interact with so much of this community through running. The Hogeye is like a celebration of what we love to do. It is put on by the community, and for the community. So many local charities and organizations that enable and strengthen our community are helped by Hogeye.