Katie Hawkins is one of DPMR’s newest members. She quickly immersed herself in the club by joining and planning group runs (albeit sidelined by weather and now the coronavirus…) Join Katie and all of us by becoming a member today !
Introduction by Katie’s friend, colleague, and running mentor the legendary ultra-runner Roch Horton.
The Black Diamond corporate office was pretty much a boys club of dirt-bag climbers, skiers and fresh out of college engineers. Not exactly what a pixie blonde transplant from California, part of a recent acquisition had signed up for. No one knew what to think as she was ushered around during orientation – sporting a sundress, mascara, perched Ray-Ban’s and Flojos.
It wasn’t long that she had the majority of the office staff pegged on a first name basis. Soon, she was holding her own in the often tense Wednesday conference room debates on how to make the month, or catch up on backorders. The boys club had found a feisty little sister. She could rat on you, then hug you – and then surprise you by throwing a well-intentioned “f-bomb” with precision. It was always sincere, always genuine – that was Katie.
Her lunch hour runs around the local neighborhoods and trails often brought her back to the office soaked in sweat, red as a beet and post run chatty. This metamorphosed into that moment we all have experienced, when a jogger becomes a runner. Clothes start fitting a bit looser, conversations about backorders and profit margins took a back seat to running shoe talk, injury prevention, upcoming races, volunteering and sports drink vs. water. Insert theme song to Chariots of Fire here…..
Now a mom – a new adventure awaits for Katie to pursue, with or without a bib number. I’m not sure I ever told her – women become stronger runners after having a child. Something about comparing childbirth to the hardest of training runs makes the miles seem a little easier. Regardless, one thing is for certain, Katie does it with passion.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I am originally from the Pacific Northwest and grew up surrounded by towering pine trees and glimpses of Mt. Rainer from my neighborhood. I spent almost every summer visiting family in Reno, and we would always take day trips up to Lake Tahoe. The basin inspired me at a very early age and the first opportunity to swap the Cascades for the Sierra – I packed everything and haven’t looked back. That was almost 15 years ago and I feel extremely fortunate to be raising my son in the mountains.
When did you begin running and/or long-distance running, if that applies?
I signed up and trained for my first marathon in 2008, The Big Sur! It was from this race experience, I fell in love with long distance running and gave me the confidence to sign up for more events. Running for me has always been a trusted friend. It has supported me through the highest of highs and lowest of lows. I can always count on it to get me back on track and in a better place.
What was your favorite running experience this past year?
Last year, I went back to Utah and ran the Zion 50k Ultra Marathon with two friends from the Wasatch. This was my first ultra race and event since my son was born. It was great to be back on the trail and surrounded by the incredible high desert landscape of southern Utah.
What are your upcoming racing/adventure plans?
I signed up for the Broken Arrow, but due to Covid-19 this is postponed till 2021. I am looking forward to completing this race next year – ringing the bell and having my family waiting for me at the finish line.
What do you do for a living?
I have worked in the outdoor industry for almost two decades, having served as a global sales manager for a number of iconic brands. After the birth of my son, I wanted to spend my time / energy on working for an organization that mission aligned with my values. I made the leap to work on the nonprofit side of the outdoor recreation industry and I currently spearhead the California advocacy efforts for a D.C. based nonprofit, Outdoor Alliance. It is here that I work with land managers, elected officials, decision makers, and other nonprofit partners to protect, promote, and enhance the human-powered outdoor recreationist experience on California’s public lands and waters.
Most importantly, I am Tallac Hawkins Mom and that is hands down the best thing I could ever do.
What led you to join the DPMR?
I was recommended to join DPMR from my friend and owner of Tahoe Mountain Sports, Dave Polivy. It took me a while to get to an organized event and instantly was welcomed. This is an amazing group of athletes and I feel incredibly blessed to have gotten to know / run with so many of you.
Favorite local trail?
Mt. Tallac will always be very dear to my heart. I make a point to run it annually – it is where my husband proposed to me and is my son’s namesake.
Do you have a favorite piece of running gear (sports bra, shoe, layer, sock, etc.)?
I am that kind of person, if I like something – I get it in every color and become a fan for life. Being from the PWN, Brooks Cascadia has been that trusted shoe for many years.
What other outdoor or indoor interests do you have?
In the winter, backcountry skiing keeps me in shape for the trail running season. We have amazing terrain here in the basin and there is nothing like an early morning dawn patrol.
Any interesting facts about yourself you would like to share?
Besides my family, my true north is with the band Pearl Jam. I have been to 36 shows, met the band, and have listened to their songs nearly every day for over 25 years. This band has shaped who I am and grateful to have had the opportunity to tell them in person.