Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn

Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn

Pic: Andy Jackson (Glen Coe)

Age: If you’re happy to declare! 34, although I think I’ll always feel 26 😉

Where are you based?: Leeds

Club/s/: Keswick

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’ve loved to run as long as I can remember. From running away from chasing farmers as I played in their wheat fields, to running 800m and cross country at school. I discovered trial/mountain running when I was 25 and got into ultras shortly after that. My favourite distance is between 60 and 80km with lots of technical ascent!

Biggest achievements:

First race? My first trail race was the Lakeland 50 – a 50 mile race in the Lake District with 10,000ft of accent – whoops!

Favourite race/s? Oh this is so hard! The Lakeland 50 will always be so special to me as it was my first trail race (I ran as a pair with Casper) and then in 2017 we went back to run separately and we broke the male and female record.

I also have other favourites like the TransAlpine race – a 7 day stage race across the alps from Germany to Italy, oh and then Tromso Sky Race too!

Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn

Favourite place to run/train/compete/visit?

The Lake District is my favourite place to train. I just love the terrain and the luscious sea of green it becomes in the summer! I also love that I can go out for hours and hours and not see a single person (if you know where to go!)

How has COVID-19 and the lockdown affected your training/running/plans? How have you managed to adapt and stay motivated during this time?

The first month or so were the hardest when the legislation said you had to train from home. I am lucky that I live right next to Roundhay Park and the trails of North Leeds. I created a “lockdown loop” in the park – 2 miles and 500ft and basically ran round and round and round for weeks! Once we could travel in early May I was back training in the Lakes, but just for day trips. Now we can camp again, it’s going to feel very special.

Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn You’re a very inspirational athlete. Do you have any tips/advice for other people?

Haha, i wouldn’t call myself that!

I think its really important to find what you love. For me that’s lots of technical off-piste terrain. When you are checking our routes or races, look for ones with features you will like and that should make training enjoyable and make you motivated to train hard!

You joined Keswick AC (last season?), a big club with a rich history. What are your plans/goals for the future?

I was super excited to join KAC – it made sense because I spend so much time there and I wanted to join a team with a keen female team. I plan to run the English Champs each year, if I can fit the races in. 

We know how much you love the Lake District. Do you see yourself moving there in the future?

I would love to. There are lots of other things to consider though. I love Yorkshire and being close to my family is important to me.

I also love my job at Morrisons (based in Bradford). I spend 50+ hours working every week so its important to have a job a love and as much as I love the Lakes there isn’t as much opportunity for Chartered Accountants there!

Your husband Casper is also an outstanding ultra-distance runner. Has this helped you become a better athlete? Is there any in-house rivalry? Have you got him running scared? 😉

You are correct in that Casper is a great runner, much more talent then me, I have to work really hard! He hasn’t been running the last 18 months and spends much more time on his bike these days. Trying to catch up running up a hill certainly helped my hill running though. I really miss our long mountain days out together.

I know you’re a big fan of Mountain Fuel. What is/are your favourite Mountain Fuel product/s and why?

The chocolate recovery is my favourite. I know its good for me, but I would drink it even if it wasn’t as I tastes so good.

What MF products do you use and how/when do you use them? How do you feel they have helped with your training/competing?

The jellies are my favourite race fuel – especially the the caffeine cola ones. They are really easy to eat and give a great burst of energy.

Do you have any recipes/tips/advice for people wanting to try Mountain Fuel for the first time?

Mixing some breakfast fuel in with pre race porridge!

Include your social media handles below…

FACEBOOK: @KatieKaarsSijpesteijn

INSTAGRAM: @KatieKaarsSijpesteijn

TWITTER: @katieboden4

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