Measuring Success as a Runner with Kate Pallardy

Kate Pallardy Success as a Runner

What does it take to be a successful runner? Our guest today is Kate Pallardy, recent finisher at the Boston Marathon with a time of 2:38:27, good enough for 22nd Female Finisher of the entire field of more than 26,000 participants.

Photo credit: Paul Encarnacion

Kate is not a professional athlete anymore but she is certainly darn fast. Kate has been a pro triathlete in the past and has also done really well in ultra races. How does she measure success as a runner when family, business, and a high running bar are all part of her values – of balancing her priorities to keep running high on the list but still FUN.

Kate has figured out ways to keep her running at a high level yet also manage a family with 2 kids and a spouse. Today’s podcast is about measuring the success of running at different points in your life. Kate has quite a story for us.

Do or Die

Kate reached a do or die moment, her senior year of college, a moment where she either made a drastic change or let her spirit wither away. The 2 words that kept repeating were CHANGE and RUN. So with the need to feel powerful and the thrill to seek adventure and new roads, she signed up for a 50-mile race… her first ever running race with only 3 cold Chicago months to take her non-running self across the finish line of a grueling footrace in the  backwoods of Pekin, Illinois (McNaughton Trail 50-miler 2007). 

Changed the course of her life forever

That singular 50-mile race changed the course of her life forever!

Kate also gives us an inside view of being an Elite and professional athlete and the challenges that accompany some of the perks.


Questions Kate is asked:

3:40 First Four:

  1. How old are you?
  2. Where were you born?
  3. Where do you live now?
  4. How do you stay fit?

4:32 What was your upbringing like?

6:38 What was the actual moment that led you to run a 50-mile race?

16:01 Why do you think you got such a late start in running?

17:10 How did you become a professional triathlete and what was that like?

25:26 How long were you a professional triathlete before you went back to running?

29:52 How do you coordinate everything with your family?

32:33 What does it mean to actually be an Elite Runner?

33:41 Do you start in the front corral?

34:07 Do you get reduced or free race registration?

36:38 What is the pressure like at that level?

37:34 Is it hard to stay motivated?

38:38 With Ultra and Trail Running, how hard is it to be sponsored or make money?

41:01 How do you balance high-level performance with family?

48:12 How do you manage your plant-based diet within your family?

52:18 Do you take supplements?

53:18 How would you define running success at this point in your life?

59:52 Final Kick Round:

  1. What is your favorite local training run or outing (location, starting point, parking, distance, terrain and safety issues)?
  2. Favorite book(s), video or resource?
  3. Who or what would you like to have featured on the Run To The Top podcast?

Quotes by Kate:

“Just sign up, close your eyes, and just do it. Because you can.”

“You get your pro-card so technically you’re  ‘professional’, but along with that comes learning how to BE a professional which means putting yourself out there for sponsorships and, not just placing, but becoming accessible in sport for the people racing.”

“I really liked running so for me, this is where I really found that I have an ability to suffer when it comes to running.”

“I found peace in running that I really couldn’t find in swimming or biking.”

“I think what’s the most wonderful thing with running is that your training can be so efficient and creative. I really train efficiently and I just don’t have time to run a lot of just junk mileage.”

“If you’re going to make even a part-time profession out of ultra running, you really have to rely 100% on your sponsors because there’s only a handful of races that offer prize money.”

Take a Listen on Your Next Run


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Mentioned in this podcast:

Run To The Top Winners Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

Hemp Daddy’s Homepage

Bear Mattress

Book: Ultra-Marathon Man by Dean Karnazes

Central Park Bridle Path

Oz ‘The Mentalist’ Pearlman

Keys 100 Ultra Marathon


Follow Kate on:



We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

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Thank you to our sponsors for supporting Run to the Top

Bear Mattress – 

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