Posted on Jul 15

Outdoor Ambassador: Katie DeSplinter

Outdoor Ambassador: Katie DeSplinter

Date of Birth:
March 18, 1983

All trails, mostly mountain races. Sometimes I'll run marathons, but only as speed workouts for the fun stuff.

Where do you live?
Los Angeles, CA

Your favorite New Balance running shoe

Where are the best places for fans to follow you online? (Twitter account, Facebook profile, blog, website, etc...)

Events run (and personal bests)

  • 100 Mile (24:38)
  • 100k (13:23)
  • 50 Mile (9:42)
  • 50k (4:41)

Major Accomplishments / Honors
I've finished some pretty crazy races and runs through choking heat, raging blizzards and driving rain; hypothermia, hyponatremia and hypoxia; cuts, strains and worse; and the mother of them all - seemingly perfect days where things just don't add up. In the end, I've proved that my mind is my most powerful asset and with it, I cannot be stopped. Learning to harness that power is my greatest accomplishment.

What is the oddest trophy or prize you have won?
Let's just say I am extremely excited by any opportunity to add to our collection of creepy animal statues.

How did you get started running?
My dad did the local 5k/10k thing, and since I thought he was pretty much the most awesome guy ever, I wanted to do it too. I even suckered him into paying my $15 entry fees.

What made you gravitate towards trails?
Good old-fashioned common sense. I love to feel the changing earth beneath my feet, every twist, turn and undulation of a steep, rocky singletrack. I love the smell of pine needles and the clean, crisp air in my chest. I love the solitude and the magnitude of being wholly engulfed by the forest. I love the challenge of the unknown. For me, THIS is how running is supposed to be.

Favorite place to train
San Gabriel Mountains - Angeles National Forest

What is your favorite workout (and why)?
Long runs of 5+ hours in the mountains. Then it's not a workout; it's an adventure.

What is your least-favorite workout (and why)?
Anything that is flat and involves keeping track of numbers. Math is for the birds.

What's the most awesome thing you've encountered in nature during a run?
Once, I was running through a desert, my path lit only by a beautiful full moon. At around 2 am, I suddenly realized I was no longer alone, as I had become part of a pack of wild horses. I was not hallucinating, and it was the jam.

Favorite race
The Angeles Crest 100

Favorite type of race
Mountain 100 milers

What's the most grueling event you've experienced, and why?
Imagine everything you don't want to see next on a course and you've got yourself the Angeles Crest 100. Another huge climb right after the highest climb? Yep. A hot ass canyon in the middle of the day? Sure! A 3,000 foot climb with a 1,000ft/mile grade at mile 75? Why not? The rockiest, most technical downhill section ever during the last 10 miles of the course? Why wouldn't we?! Mmmm.... I love AC.

Do you have any superstitions related to competing or training?
There is no need for superstitions if you've trained hard enough. ....except for lucky socks, always putting the left shoe on first and living life adhering to multiples of 8.

What is your pre-race / warm-up routine?
Giving out as many hugs as possible.

What gets you most excited to compete?
Given that I do most of my training alone, I love the chance to experience an incredible challenge in a beautiful place with other people who share the same passion.

What is your favorite meal, the night before the race?
A steaming plate of excellence.

What is your nutrition strategy during an extremely long race?
Gels every 30, Saltstick every 60 - some fat and protein every few hours. My record for # of gels in one race is 57, which I realize is absolutely disgusting.

What is your favorite post-race meal?
Pineapple Pizza and an ice cold IPA

What gives you an advantage over your competition?
I never stop learning and growing. Even during a race, I'm constantly absorbing and adapting. I don't believe in blind focus - that's track star stuff.

What food / snack is your guiltiest pleasure?
CANDY!!! (Specifically the 2 lb. bag of Hot Tamales on my desk at all times)

Which character from a TV program or movie best resembles how you think of yourself?
Panda, from The Discovery Channel feature, "The Panda." I look like I'm all about hugs, but really I'm quite ferocious.

What is something most people don't know, or would be surprised to learn, about you?
I was a Collegiate National Champion.... dancer. I still consider ballet to be the best cross-training around.

What activity, apart from running, most represents 'me time' for you?
Rocking out. Hard.

What person has most shaped your career or life?
My parents. Thanks for the chromosomes!

What is the best piece of advice (not necessarily related to running) you've ever been given - and would be eager to pass along to others?
Shut up and dance. - Paula Abdul

Why do you run?
There is not one other activity that makes me feel more alive. The primal sense of purpose I feel out on the trails carries over into every aspect of my life, giving every motion meaning and every experience perspective. A debate at work pales in comparison to a debate with my kidneys. A line of cars in my way is actually humorous when juxtaposed against the 7,000 feet standing between me and the summit. In short, running makes my life better. And me better at life.

What was your darkest moment out on the trail?
When I couldn't finish a run because my foot hurt so badly. It turned out to be a stress fracture.

What is your proudest?
The first time I ran to the top of Temescal Canyon. Many years ago, it was the first "mountain" I ever tried to run, and it broke me. Even thought it's now one of my smallest daily climbs, it's always inspirational.

Person you would most like to run with
My boyfriend, Dom (when I can keep up). I guess I'm pretty lucky, because I get to run with him all the time.

What tips do you have for new runners?
From the girl with no patience - be patient! Good things come to those with raw talent, but the best things come to those who train the hardest. I was blessed not to have been born with a heap of talent. Therefore, I'm willing to work ridiculously hard, continually adapt and welcome way more pain than seems reasonable. Because for me, it's never about who you are - it's who you're striving to become.

Warrior PF-Flyers Dunham Cobb Hill Brine Aravon