Katie Knowlton might not be a runner by trade, but when she does run it’s with the purest of intentions. Katie’s first and only other half marathon was two years ago where she ran for another non-profit organization. Before running her previous half marathon she had never run more than three miles in her life. This year she’s running the half marathon with her fiance Will Dawson, who is also a member of Team Answer the Call. Katie actually learned about Answer the Call through her fiance and his family who are very involved in the organization, through an introduction to our annual events. It was as she was introduced to our events, particularly the Red & Blue Soiree and the Annual Gala, that she realized the impact our organization has and decided that she wanted to be involved with us more. As a result, Katie volunteered to assist us with our annual Game & Family Day this past year. When she heard soon after that we had a spot open on our half marathon team she knew that she had to jump at it.
While she doesn’t personally know any first responders, Katie recalls growing up in New York City and being able to walk the streets feeling safe. At her last NYC Half Marathon, there was a sea of police officers high fiving the runners as they passed by. For Katie, it’s moments like those that put things into perspective, as she sees that our first responders aren’t only protecting us, but they’re supporting us as well.
When she runs, Katie puts herself into a pragmatic head space. She places figurative markers down to determine how much distance she has left between where she is and where she needs to end up. For her, knowing that she only has a certain amount of distance left pushes her further towards her goal, as she knows that she just has to make it to that point; taking a slow and steady approach to running, finishing what you say you’re going to – that’s how she mentally gets herself there.
Katie wants to say thank you to all of the families of first responders. “I can’t possibly imagine what it’s like to have my mother, father, sister, brother – go out the door every morning and not know if they’re going to come back. Thank you for your support and bravery.”
This interview was conducted by Megan Safina, a Spring 2019 Developmental Intern.