Katie Sherron Wins Big Masters Race - Talks Tactics

David Yon, December 14, 2021

Gulf Winds Track Club and Tallahassee have had some outstanding women runners. Katie Sherron is certainly among the best to compete. The Apalachee Regional Park has hosted some top-level competitions including the USATF Club Cross Country Championships run on Dec. 11, 2021.

Sherron not only entered the race herself but rallied three women to form a Masters team for the race. Sherron took the Women’s Masters (40 and over) title. The distance was 6K (3.73 miles) and her time was 22:08.7. She was kind enough to answer my questions on her running career.

Q. Would you give us a brief overview of your running history?

A. I ran in high school and two years at a Division III college. After college, I took about 10 years away from the sport. I found GWTC around 2010 and started training, racing and setting PRs. In late 2015, I had to back off my training since Zach and I wanted to start a family. Barrett was easy but getting Finley here was much harder. I kept my mileage very low from the middle of 2017 through late 2020 when Finley was born. Now that Zach and I have completed our family, I’ve been able to train and race hard this past year. It’s been amazing.

Q. How has running and competing changed from when you were in 20s with no kids to racing your first Masters race and two children?

A.  Before kids, I took myself too seriously and wasn’t very flexible or adaptable. Training, food, sleep, racing kit, everything had to be perfect or I’d freak out. I’d also drive all over town for workouts and I went to the gym. Now, most of my running has to be in our neighborhood. When Finley has a few consecutive nights of waking just once to nurse, my Garmin congratulates me for getting more rest than usual. I run fewer miles, but I like to think they’re more productive. I certainly appreciate them more. On race day, if we’ve got diapers in the car and I’m wearing my running shoes and a sports bra, we’re golden. Bonus points for Cheerios and shorts.

Q. Is running a family thing? A. Of course! Barrett loves the Summer Track Series and has completed a few road races and one cross country race. He loves a good packet pickup and a post-race spread too. A lot of races in town start in parks with playgrounds. Zach and I met through the running community. When he pushes one of our kids in the stroller, we’re fairly evenly matched. He beat me a few weeks ago in a race, pushing both kids.

A.  Barrett thought that was hilarious and kept telling me I was the slowest in the family. Zach is super supportive of my training and has put his own running on the back burner so I can get out and run more often. He encouraged me to sign up for the Club Championships since he thought it would be a good thing for the kids to watch.

Q. Did you expect to win the race? Compare running this race with running a local road race.

A. I did not! At a local race, I know so many of the runners and have a good idea how things will shake out before the gun goes off. At this race, I knew my three teammates at the line and that’s it. It was just Masters women from all over the country! I warmed up behind a group that was chatting about a 55year-old running a sub-3 hour marathon. They all had matching warm-ups. A couple of teams had their own vans; people-chartered buses. I was like, “Oh my, this is legit.” I’ve watched big time races at the ARP, but I’ve never led one.

Q. How did you develop your strategy for this race? Did you know much about any of the other runners in the event?

A. Honestly, we had a tough time getting enough women to form a team. Then there were some hiccups with paperwork, COVID tests, and uniforms. With the kids and work too, I didn’t have a lot of time to develop a racing strategy or look up any of the registrants ahead of time. In the morning, I just started running around the course and getting excited to race.

When the gun went off, Maggie (2nd place finisher Maggie Shearer assistant coach at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California) and I got out in front together pretty quickly. I could tell this wasn’t her first time running in an event like this. She hit the tangents and raced aggressively. It was great. She is so strong, and I got a lot of energy from her drive and competitiveness.

Q. You routinely win local races. But this was something special, a national club competition for cross country for members of USA TF. How would you compare winning a national event with a local road race?

A. So many runners from our community have reached out and congratulated me. Other women runners in Tallahassee, women I look up to have told me they’re proud of me. That’s very special. I also got drug tested! Explaining to Barrett why anyone would want a big cup of Mommy’s pee was certainly the funniest part of my Saturday.

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