Kathy Vaughan Is Proof That Endurance Sports Don’t End With A Diagnosis


My guest today is always willing to push herself outside her comfort zone, even while battling physical ailments.

She is no stranger to adversity and shares how she overcomes obstacles in order to push forward towards future goals.

Kathy Vaughan on the GET 📷 by Ras

Today I welcome Kathy Vaughan on the show, the other half of Team Ultra Pedestrian.

A Family Affair

Kathy’s introduction into the endurance world was not a solo endeavor.

Kathy Vaughan and Ras, at the Finish of the First Ever AZT Yo-Yo 📷 Sirena Dufault

Her husband and daughter accompanied her on the Wonderland Trail, a 21 day expedition which covered 94 miles.

Not too soon after, she completed her first 50k and was hooked.

She quickly realized that things can and do go wrong.

“The more difficult the challenge, the greater the reward.”

Even when Kathy experiences failure, she never regrets her decision to try.

Lessons On The Trail

Completing multiple ultra events have taught Kathy a few things.

  • Staying on top of hydration and nutrition is key.
  • Break the run into bite size pieces.
  • You are always capable of more and can dig deeper.
  • Focus on form to be more efficient and save energy.

The mental aspect of endurance races are just as important if not more so than the physical.

It is crucial to keep the mind occupied when things are getting tough.

A pacer can help carry the mental load, so the runner can put their energy into moving forward.

Each runner is unique and must find what keeps them motivated and positive which is key to finishing an ultra.

Kathy Vaughan, Sight-Seeing on the GET 📷 by Ras

 Newly Diabetic, Forever a Runner

Type 1 diabetes is a diagnosis that would devastate anyone, much less a person used to pushing their bodies.

A decade prior to her diagnosis, Kathy had a surgery to remove part of her pancreas.

She always knew becoming a diabetic was a possibility.

Her symptoms first become glaringly apparent during a multi-day hike.

Management of the disease is possible with trial and error.

Adjustment of her diet has allowed her to be able to continue endurance events.


Also Mentioned In This Episode:

Kathy will begin her next big OKT challenge in May of this year. Stay up to date on her progress by following her on Ultra PedestrianFacebookInstagram, and YouTube.


Kathy Vaughan is always pushing her limits, no matter what life throws at her. #zerolimits Click To Tweet


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