Couch to pacer

Katie Hanly, pictured second from right with the 3:15 sign, will serve as this year’s race sweeper at the 3:15-3:30 pace. 

Katie Hanly transformed herself into a racing regular and helps others cross the finish line

There’s truly never a bad time to start running. Just ask our 3:15-3:30 pace leader Katie Hanly. Hanly didn’t start running until she was 42 years old when she joined the Couch to 5K program with the goal to run a local charity race. 

“I fell in love with seeing improvements in my body and mood, then also with setting and accomplishing goals,” Hanly said. “I met supportive and inspirational people that gave me encouragement and tips, along with friendship, and I kept on truckin’.” 

Fast forward a few years to the fifth annual KY History Half Marathon, and Hanly’s now a pacing regular. 

“I am from Frankfort, and I enjoy our hills and history so I try to share my enthusiasm during the time we share on the 13.1 mile course,” she said. “I’d like to think that I can give back the same encouragement and support that meant so much to me when I started.”

Pacing also gives her the opportunity to soak in the excitement of everyone gathered together and moving forward together “after so much hard work to accomplish a goal, and then the feeling of crossing the finish line is amazing.”

Hanly said she uses her watch to help keep pace, but also relies on music to time her runs when she’s training alone. 

“If I want to go faster I’ll up the beats per minute of my tunes and I have different play lists for different training days,” she said, adding that she prepares for racing and pacing by spending hours of time on her feet in the heat and simply by keeping moving. 

“To sustain hours of training in the summer you need to hydrate, rest and fuel properly,” she noted, adding that her “not-so-secret tip is to practice yoga.” 

Look for Hanly at the race! Be sure to throw her a high-five and a “namaste.” 

If you haven’t yet signed up for the half marathon, 10K or 5K you can do so HERE.

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