Our July Runner Spotlight is on Cat Leonard. Cat started running in high school after she didn’t make her varsity soccer team. Despite routinely winning our 10k races, Cat didn’t start out at the front of the pack. She spent part of her high school years near the back of the cross country team pack. After some experience, she made it to states her senior year, but decided to forego running in college. Although she runs many races throughout the year, she is not a fan of trails, the cold, or the rain… but the blazing hot summer heat is fine by her. Despite her fast 10k times, she says she is not a good example for other runners. She “typically runs in pants, regardless of the heat; doesn’t stretch much; doesn’t drink enough water; and may or may not eat before an event.” In 2012, set out to train for the Pittsburgh Marathon to reach her goal of a sub-4hr marathon, but an unfortunate bathroom pitstop caused her to miss her goal by 3 minutes. After narrowly missing her goal, she decided the next day to register for her next marathon and finished it in 3:50 which she states is her biggest accomplishment thus far. Her future goal is to run another marathon as she hasn’t since her children were born.
Cat keeps coming back for more of our events as she loves the good causes, easy logistics, and the competition. She will even compete with the people on the treadmill next to her at the gym. Cat enjoys just going out for a run, sometimes getting lost and wandering around a new area. She has run in 38 states and more than a dozen different countries. The recent COVID-19 quarantine has gotten her back into running outside much more often. These runs have recently included pushing her daughter in a stroller who cheers every time they reach a new mile and when they reach 6.2 miles says “we earned another medal!” Cat is looking forward to getting back to “normal” runs as her neighborhood hills are getting boring!