Photo by Sarah Grubbe.
This week I got to sit down with senior mid-distance runner Kate Kilgus. Over the past two weeks, Kilgus has been on fire, placing first or second in almost everything. Kilgus, a versatile runner, competes in the 4X400, 800 and 1600.
Shane Farrell: How do you feel you’ve been running over the past couple weeks?
Kate Kilgus: I’ve been happy with my performances the past couple of weeks. My 1500 at St. Norbert’s wasn’t my fastest time, but I was happy to place well and know that I could run a good time even without having a lot of other runners up there to compete against. My 800 at the home meet was really exciting because it was a PR for me and my parents were able to be there to see it.
SF: How did it feel crossing the finish line at St. Norbert’s and coming in first?
KK: It felt good, I led the whole race so I wasn’t sure how close the next girl behind me was, so it was definitely a relief to make it over the line in first. I didn’t really think about this until after the race, but it was my first collegiate win, so that was exciting.
SF: Do you think you are peaking/going to peak at the right time in the season?
KK: The goal of our training plan is to peak for conference, which is next weekend, and I think I’m going to be in good shape going into it. I’ve been improving little by little this season but definitely don’t feel overly tired or burned out. Our training will be easier this week, so hopefully I’ll go into conference feeling extra fresh.
SF: What is your favorite race to run?
KK: I feel like I always change my mind with this question because I like all the events I run for different reasons, but I think the 4×400 is the most fun because of the team aspect. I’m not really a sprinter, so for me this race is about as fast as I go, and it’s fun to just go all out for one lap. It’s always the last event at meets, so it’s a high energy event with everyone else there cheering us on while we race.
SF: What’s the key to a good handoff in a 4×400?
KK: Handoffs in the 4×400 aren’t as quick or difficult as they are in faster events like the 4×100, but obviously they’re still important. It’s not a blind handoff and the exchange zone is pretty big. I usually wave at the person I’m getting it from as they start to come down the last stretch, just to make sure they know where I am, especially when it’s a crowded exchange and they might be kind of out of it by the end of their leg. It’s important to start running a little bit before they reach you so that you’re not starting from a dead stop and they’re not tripping over you when they reach you.