Athlete Testimonials

Maddie Ley
Maddie Ley

Working with Coach Katherine has had such a positive impact on my running. The attention I receive is very personal, and it means the world to me. Whether it’s celebrating a PR or commiserating over a tough race, Katherine always has time to make me feel heard. She is there to cheer me on, and she is there to pick me up and encourage me to try again. I have already earned a half marathon PR and a 10k PR with Katherine’s guidance, and I’m confident that we’ll keep going far together in the future!


Richard Ridlington (left)


Why would I recommend Katherine? First she listens. Our initial meeting was all about what I wanted, my goals, what I thought would stand in my way and why I thought my previous runs had not always gone so well. Secondly she was watching my progress and followed up. I liked the way each training run had a purpose, a stated goal and even how I should feel during and after the run (I’m still working on ‘almost effortless’). After the run I knew Katherine would be looking at the data and that kept me on plan. But for me the most important point was she was able to adjust the plan when needed. One week I was feeling a bit tired, a quick discussion and my mileage for the rest of the week was decreased and next week I was back on plan. Finally the week before my marathon I was getting cold feet, in my head I was starting to lower the bar and settle for less. Katherine wasn’t having any of it, she believed in what we set out to do and I had such confidence in her ability that I believed it to. I really enjoyed following the plan, it was tough and I didn’t always hit the goals for the session but I always felt like I was making sure steady progress. At the end of the day I did run Indy, I beat my 6 year old PR by over 14 minutes and BQ’d for the first time.

Sharon Mexal

I started working with Katherine in June 2019 after a friend recommended Sugar Runs.  Although I’d trained for 4 marathons before, I was looking for a coach to hold me more accountable to the training miles, stay injury free, and help me reach an ambitious race goal of knocking 30 min off my marathon time at the Chicago Marathon (I was half-joking that I wanted to beat Oprah Winfrey’s marathon time).  After an introductory interview call with Katherine, I clicked with her – Katherine is an inspiring runner and balances ambitious running goals with a full-time job, so she gets the balance needed to keep up with training.  We jumped right into marathon training with weekly training plans. She accommodates my Tuesday/Thursday bootcamp classes and helps me tailor my training as needed for travel, race days, or switching up my long run days.  Katherine is super responsive whether I email, text, or leave her messages for her on the training app.  She is supportive beyond words!  Her training plans and words of encouragement gave me the confidence I needed to PR in every race I raced leading up to Chicago.   Her meet-up in Chicago was fun and put my mind at ease that I had put in the hard work and was ready for that victory lap.  On marathon day, Katherine was out at mile 17 cheering me on and I ended up crossing the finish line at 4:27, a 30 min PR and 2 minutes faster than Oprah!  After the Chicago, I’ve continued with Katherine to ensure a smart recovery and slowly rebuild my fitness again for another marathon with this amazing coach!

Maggie McMahon

Katherine has been such an inspiring, motivating and encouraging coach. Starting out with what felt like lofty goals, week by week she helped coach me through to attain a 45 minute PR in the marathon, while also PRing in the half marathon  in the middle of marathon training. Throughout the training cycle she always made herself available for any questions I had, helping ease my concerns and anxieties, while also shaping and adapting the training to my busy and ever-changing schedule. As I begin a second marathon training cycle with Katherine, we’re setting goals for myself that, before starting with Katherine, never seemed attainable in my lifetime. However, because we have set smart goals, with Katherine’s guidance, I know these goals can be achieved.

Karly Haseltine

After following cookie cutter training plans that resulted in injury, I decided to seek the assistance of a running coach. Working with Coach Katherine and being a part of Team Sugar Runs has been an incredible experience! Katherine tailors my weekly training to fit my schedule and goals. After working together for 6 months, I achieved an 18-minute PR in my second marathon! Race week phone calls, regular emails, and texts are so helpful during training as Katherine is always willing to answer and address any questions or concerns I may have. I highly recommend Coach Katherine of Team Sugar Runs if you are looking for a knowledgeable and dedicated coach!