Inspiring Story: Katie French

6 07 2015

This month’s runner feature is of Fleet Feet Supporter Katie

A lifelong athlete, Katie has always been a passionate runner. From her first impressive 5k in 18:36 to her first full marathon, she loved running and was an avid racer. However, health complications forced her to take a 6-year hiatus from the sport, and she is just now getting back into her number one hobby.

Katie was pregnant with her daughter in 2008 when they found a cyst on her brain and had to do a c-section right away. She started seeing a neurologist, and found out the cyst was benign. However, running was now out of the picture. The heat, the jarring motion– it all irritated the cyst. Katie soon discovered kettlebell workouts and found a love for them as well as enjoyed walking.

She later became pregnant in 2011 with a baby boy, but when she went in for a routine ultrasound at 19 weeks, she learned he had no heartbeat and was stillborn. In 2013 she became pregnant with another baby boy, who again was stillborn at 24 weeks.  In 2014, Katie had to have a hysterectomy, from which she had a lot of complications. However, by February of 2015, she was able to get off her cyst medications because her hormones had changed, and by March 2015, she was back to running.

Katie’s journey has been filled with heartbreak, devastation and pain, but she has been able to find light at the end of the tunnel. After 6 years of no running, she is happy to be back on the pavement and has realized how precious both life and the ability to run are. Katie and her husband are enjoying getting back to distance running, and she recently won 3rd place in her age group at the Civitan 5k. She also plans to run the Greenline Half Marathon in October, which will be her first half marathon.

If you see Katie during the race, she’ll have her sons names on the back of her shirt– Cooper and Eli– and her goal is to finish the race in 2:00:00. Never before has running meant so much to Katie, and she hopes her story can inspire others who are going through tough times.

Good luck, Katie, and may you run like the wind!



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