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Madison Marathon Profile: Katey Collins

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As the spring Madison Marathon events approach on May 23-24, 2015, we will be profiling one Madison Marathoner each week. As we get to know each athlete, we learn that the motivation to train for and complete such a challenging event comes in many forms.

First-time Madison Marathon athlete Katey Collins (39) is inspired by a first-grader named Beau. We asked Katey about why she runs and about the special boy that keeps her motivated.

Focal Flame Photography (FFP): How many Madison Marathons have you run? 
Katey: This is my first in Madison.

FFP: With so many races to choose from, why did you choose to participate in the Madison Marathon this year? 
Katey:
I love the community, and my friends are participating.

FFP: Do you participate in other similar events? 
Katey:
Yes, triathlons, mud runs, open water races, aquathons, long relays such as Ragnar and Door County.

FFP: What have been some of your favorite events? 
Katey:
Daytona Beach Aquathon, Door County Tri, Big Shoulders Chicago, and Race Day Events Aquathon Series.

FFP: Do you do anything to make the races more meaningful or fun?
Katey:
Yes, I go with friends and wear something in honor of Beau.

FFP: How did you connect with Beau?
Katey:
I meet him through the group IRun4. [Editor’s note: The group I Run 4 Michael is a nonprofit organization that pairs athletes with a child or adult with special needs, thereby providing a source of encouragement and support for both the athlete and their buddy.]

FFP: What does running and participating in these types of events mean to you?
Katey:
It keeps me healthy, mentally AND physically. Training with my friends is as much fun as the event itself. I also get to run in honor of Beau.

Katey Collins (photo provided by Ms. Collins). 

Katey Collins (photo provided by Ms. Collins). 

FFP: Can you tell us about Beau?
Katey:
[Beau is] an amazing young man who has Cerebral Palsy. He is in first grade, and as his Mom describes him, ‘He has strength, courage, and a will like no other. He has a determination that makes me so proud to be called his mom. Things may be tough for him but he always finds a way to overcome obstacles and he doesn't know the word can’t.’

Beau loves being active, and I truly enjoying doing races for him. He inspires me as I am training and racing. If I am feeling down or frustrated I just think about how many obstacles he has to overcome on a regular basis.

FFP: Are there any other personal accomplishments you would like to mention?
Katey:
I have been fortunate enough to compete as an athlete in school, college, and as an adult. Sports have taught me countless life lessons that I pass on to my children, those in my community and those I work with. In order to give back, I have started a non-profit organization with my husband, GOAL. We raise money to pay sports registration fees for youth in the East Troy and Mukwonago communities in Wisconsin.

This article is part of a series featuring athletes who are participating in a Madison Marathon event in 2015. The spring events will occur on May 23-24, 2015 on the streets of Wisconsin's capitol city.  For more information or to register, visit Madison Marathon.

- by Erin Patterson