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Kate Gustafson on Women in Coaching + Her Journey from the Ice to the Marathon

“[My coach Dylan Wykes] would send me emails about something I was going to do in the future or believed I could do. For example, be on the starting line of the Boston Marathon with the elite women’s field. He found out what time I needed to run, which would have been a 2:42 at the time. I was a 2:47 marathoner when he sent me that email…That’s part of who I am and something that every athlete can cultivate. What secrets do I know that I can give others? I’ve always believed in myself and when I’m pursuing a goal I’m all-in. I don’t waver. I don’t doubt that I’m going to hit it. I don’t talk about the what if’s. Dylan was like ‘We’re going to get to that start line in Boston’ and I did. I ran a 2:40 in Chicago last year. Last April, I lined up behind Des Linden in Boston. It was fantastic. It was an incredible day. There’s photos of me smiling ear to ear. I’ve probably worked my whole life for different goals. I wanted to play on the Olympic Canadian hockey team. That didn’t work out but I always believed I can be good. I can be really good.”

In recent weeks, there has been much more of a discussion in regards to having more female coaches in the sport. There are already many out there and deserve recognition for their tremendous work. I wanted to personally share the story of coach Kate Gustafson, who has been helping me with my own training but has been doing remarkable things with athletes of all levels for years. She is a coach with Mile2Marathon and helps with the Brooklyn Track Club in New York City. In addition to being a wonderful mentor and coach, she’s a great runner as well. She owns a 2:40:10 marathon personal best. She competed in this year’s elite field at the Boston Marathon and finished as the top Canadian woman and 34th overall. Most recently, she placed eighth in a hard-fought effort at the Canadian marathon trials held at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

Since this summer, Kate has assisted me and my good friend Ryan Welsh in our marathon training. Ryan, who was featured on this podcast a few episodes ago, joins me to co-host this episode.

Kate has got tons of awesome stories about growing up in a small town in Canada, playing Division 1 hockey in college, rediscovering an intense passion for running after college, heading to Kenya to run and train with some of the world’s best distance runners, and finding her calling as a fantastic coach for so many up and coming runners. She’s the ultimate champion for women’s sport and someone Ryan and I definitely trust and look up to.

You’ll walk away from this episode inspired.

▶ Follow Kate on Instagram and Twitter.

Thanks to Jody Bailey for the photos to go along with the podcast!

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