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.
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