Q&A with Elite Masters Runner, Catherine Watkins

Catherine Watkins is a Canadian elite masters runner, a mother, and a RunGo sponsored athlete. In 2015, she won the 40-44 women's division in the Vancouver Sun Run, came first in the Eugene Marathon, and represented Canada in the women's marathon at the Pan Am Games in Toronto. We talked to Catherine about her journey to her successes, and what's to come in 2016.


1. You had an incredible year in 2015 with the Vancouver Sun Run and Pan American games. What has the year last year of training been like and what are your running goals for 2016?

Last year was definitely a highlight for me with my running. I had a very consistent year of training and saw huge gains. Under the guidance of my coach Richard Lee, I took on goals I hadn’t even imagined before, like running the marathon at the Pan Am Games. In September of last year I developed a foot injury and had to take 12 weeks off running. I basically started walk running in November then by Christmas was up to some longer type runs. I started workouts in January. This has led to one of my goals for the new year being to stay healthy. I also hope to challenge myself on the track this year and attempt to run some fast times. I hope to tackle the marathon again in the fall and again run a fast time.

2. How did you start running?

I have always run. As a kid I ran cross country and track. I gave up running competitively in high school and then just kept it at for recreation. I ran a few marathons in my early twenties then decided to start a family with my husband. A few years after my second daughter I started to want to push myself in running again. This led to my trying some 10km races and then setting the goal for myself to break 40 minutes. Once I did that I joined a local running club, where with my team mates pushing me I was able to get faster and faster. In 2012 I sustained a concussion and how to take 5 months off running. My drive when I got back to it was much bigger and I decided to really see what i was capable of. I started training with the BC Endurance Project and my coach Richard Lee a couple of years ago and the gains have been huge.

3. What are your favourite cities and races to run in?

I love running in Vancouver. We are so fortunate to have so many options between trail and road to run on. One of my fave places to run was Sydney Australia. There were so many beautiful routes around the city. I love to run in warm places and Santa Barbara, California was also a favourite. Running is such a great way to explore when away on holiday.

Some of my favourite races include the Sun Run,  the Saint Patrick’s day 5k and the Modo 8k here in Vancouver. I think the Victoria half and full marathon are beautiful courses. The Boston and New York marathons are favourites for the crowd support and vibe. It is impossible to not get excited for these big races.