150 Half Marathons And 60 Marathons, Meet Our Local Legend...

Celebrating her 60th birthday by running the Run Reigate Half Marathon on Sunday 15th September, we talk to inspirational local runner Kate Knight who has completed over 150 half marathons and over 60 marathons including 5 ultra marathons, raising vital funds for charity. We think she’s a bit of a legend and look forward to helping her celebrate at Run Reigate this year!

Tell us a little about yourself Kate……

I will be 60 on 15th September, am from Chipstead, Surrey, currently working as a Nursing Assistant for East Surrey Hospital.  I am married and have 4 grown up children, and a grandson, (6 months). I am also a very active member of Reigate Priory Athletics Club.

How and when did you start running?

I first started running back in 2003 following a severe tobogganing accident on a local slope close to my home.  I was 43 then, and it was the wake up call I needed. Jim, Robert, Allan, Chris and Hannah dragged our toboggan to the top of the slope.  The children had their turn first, then I climbed in but alas, the toboggan crumpled under my enormous weight, realizing that I had badly fractured my ankle, 5 members of the family could not pull the toboggan under my heavy weight.  I was so humiliated, I knew I had to change my life. Once my ankle had healed, I ditched the chocolates, crisps and cakes, and took on fruit and protein rich foods. In May 2003, I had lost a stone, and felt able to take up jogging. The  weight soon began to fall off, and previously with chronic osteoarthritis, this began to improve daily. With my brother in law and his learning difficulties, I decided I wanted to train for my first marathon, In April 2004, I managed to complete the 26.2 miles and found the atmosphere triggered a fantastic adrenaline boost, Now 60 marathons later, there is no stopping me, and I eventually am aiming to reach my 100thmarathon, despite having had 3 back operations, a total left knee replacement and a shoulder replacement.

What keeps you inspired to keep running and setting new goals?

Supportive friends and family play a huge part in encouraging me, and in turn, I am seeing the rewards and improvement in stamina, strength and determination to complete these marathons,  I definitely owe huge thanks to my local running club, Reigate Priory AC for all their help and support during track sessions and recovery run sessions, at the same time would like to say a sincere thank you to Sash charity.  I started fundraising for them last year for my 50thmarathon, and this year, I have just achieved my 60thmarathon, raising funds for Sash for the 2ndsuccessive year.  

How many half marathons, marathons, and ultra marathons have you currently completed?

I have managed to complete over 150 half marathons, and over 60 marathons, including 10 ultra marathons to date.  In April I completed 3 marathons, followed by 5 ultra marathons, and am currently training for my 6thultra marathon at the end of august.  Thanks to Action challenge, by the end of the year I will have done 7 out of their 9 ultra marathon events.

 How do you plan your training and what do you do to train?

I try to run/walk 5 to 6 times a week, this includes a parkrun most Saturdays, if possible, 2 long runs a week, including a mixture of terrain and hill work, twice a week, I train with Reigate Priory AC, incorporating track and recovery sessions. If time permits,  I also like to cross train at Nutfield Priory gym and sometimes pilates as this also helps strengthen the core.

How do you choose which races to do and how do you decide what goals to set?

Having had a total knee replacement, I try to choose races which have 6.30-7.00 hours in which to complete the race as I do have to jog/walk.  More recently I have also discovered Action Challenge, who organize events in which it is possible to run/jog/walk, and in each of their 100km events I have chosen to do these as a continuous walker, including overnight. I have found that both the Cotswold Way Challenge and the Peak District have stunning countryside, and walking these events is the best way to see this part of the country.  Perhaps my favourite ultra has to be London to Brighton 100km because of the stunning views from ditchling beacon and the finish on Brighton race course.

With marathons, London and Loch Ness are both equal favourites, Loch Ness because I have Scottish ancestry and used to regularly visit that part of the UK and London, because I have completed this for 17 consecutive years for a learning disability charity, supporting my brother in law.

Having reached my 60thmarathon earlier this year and having seen the benefits and rewards of increasing the exercise, I have set a long term goal to reach my 100thmarathon eventually.

What’s your experience of Run Reigate to date and how are your preparations leading up to this year’s race?

To date, and for 6 consecutive years, my experience with Run Reigate has been extremely positive, and many thanks over the years for all your fantastic help and support.  I really enjoy the course as well as the encouragement on the way round. Marshals and volunteers are all fantastic in their help and support. I am also a regular customer of Simply Sports, who do a wonderful job in keeping me regularly supplied and kitted out for all these races.  Training has included sessions with the club, 2 long runs a week, plus 5 ultra marathons to date, since May. With the long runs, I am also increasing the hill work and distance too, and this has been very beneficial to me in improving strength and stamina.

Kate added…..

I’d like to say a warm sincere thank you to:

REIGATE PRIORY AC for all your training, encouragement, help and support, and pushing me on a little further,  aiding the motivation and stamina as well as speed.

RUN REIGATE for your fantastic ongoing support,  I feel very proud and honoured to be able to do this blog for you.

SURREY AND SUSSEX HEALTHCARE TRUST, SASH CHARITY, for allowing me the opportunity to fundraise for the 2ndconsecutive year.  This gives me great pleasure to do so, and long term plans are to continue to fundraise for a fantastic trust.

FRIENDS AND FAMILY, for all your help, tolerance, support and encouragement. This helps massively and spurs me on to set new and exciting goals.

Good Luck to everyone running and see you all on Sunday 15th September!

Be sure to wish Kate a very happy birthday if you see her on the route on race day!

#RunAsOne #RunReigate2019