Katherine Hopper
: An Introduction

Katherine Hopper (left) and Marisa Norona will run the Honolulu Marathon in December. Photo: Katherine Hopper

I started running in 2010 and life before running now feels like an unfamiliar memory.

Before I discovered running, life was not quite as bright.

Whenever I saw people running out on the street, I thought they were crazy. Deep on the inside though, I really admired what they were doing, pushing themselves out of their comfort zones. But I never believed that I could ever be a “runner.”

In 2010, I found myself with a ton of extra free time because of my three-days-a-week work schedule. I was simply bored, so with a little external encouragement, I made the leap into running. I thought to myself, “nothing to lose, right?” I ran a 10K in May 2010 and was hooked. I immediately signed up for a marathon training team and started increasing my mileage.

I jumped headfirst into a love affair with running and haven’t looked back.

I qualified for the Boston Marathon during my second marathon in December 2012 and I’ve now run Boston twice (2013, 2014). Both times have been unforgettable experiences.

Running helps to make my life glow.

It intensifies my positive thoughts and helps make the future seem limitless.

It has helped me to feel more capable of achieving whatever I put my mind to.

Running also helps make me more focused, patient, and disciplined in other parts of my life. I’m currently in school full-time, earning my masters/doctorate, and running has been an amazing outlet for me—it helps keep me centered.

Because running has had such an impact on my life, one of my goals is to help other people realize the transforming power that running can have in their own lives.

I want to help people to realize that it’s OK to push their limits, believe in themselves and get rid of their fears. I believe that we are all capable of so much more than we think we are, and running is a wonderful way to discover this.

My cadet, Marisa Norona, and I are going to be training for the Honolulu Marathon together from the comfort of our current town of Richmond, Va. I’ve known Marisa for a couple years, through overlapping social circles, and when we recently discovered our mutual love for running, we connected on a whole new level. Marisa has run multiple half marathons and has raised money the past two years through TeamFox for the Michael J. Fox Foundation in honor of her father. Marisa is such a natural runner and has so much passion for life. I’m over-the-moon excited to work with her to reach her goal of running her first marathon this December in Hawaii!

For more on the Saucony 26 Strong program, which pairs up 13 coaches with 13 marathon rookies, visit 26Strong.com.

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