Why did you sign up to do this race?
My name is Katy Quinn, I’m a plus-sized 34 year old woman from Westminster, CO. I had NEVER ran ANY marathon before the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in Vegas. I was mostly in it for the free weekend in Vegas but, also, because I wanted to see if I could. #ChallengeAccepted

I technically *didn’t* sign up for this race. My godmother, who has stepped up to being my family after my mother passed in ’13, told me that she would pay for me to have a weekend in Vegas if I did the half marathon with her. She called me about 6 weeks before the race which didn’t give me a long time to train but she insisted that in her first half marathon, she had about the same length of time to train and that I would be okay and able to finish. I said I would do the thing, so I HAD to do the thing.

How did you feel once you crossed the finish line?
At about Mile 7 (out of 13.1) I started to wonder if I even WOULD finish. When I did finally cross the finish line, after 4 hours and 45 minutes, I was super proud of myself and I had tears in my eyes. I didn’t think I was actually going to make it to the end and the fact that I DID THE THING was such a good feeling.

Then I was hurting and focusing on getting back to the hotel to get off my aching foot. I spent the next day at the Paris Spa and I WHOLLY recommend a spa day as a post-marathon ritual. TOTALLY worth it.


What would you say was the hardest challenge in this race?
In 2017, I stepped on a rock and broke my 5th metatarsal on my left foot. I had a Jones Fracture. It healed two years ago and I didn’t think about it much until I started training. I had been training and jogging/walking multiple times a week.

My foot started aching the Monday before the race. The day before the race, Saturday, my foot was ON FIRE. Walking through the airport in Denver and walking around the Vegas airport had me doubting if I was even going to be able to BEGIN the race. Once I met up with my godmother and we checked in to our hotel, we went to the Fitness Expo at the convention center where we picked up our banners and race regalia. I also bought a new pair of running shoes — Brooks. As soon as I put those on, my foot felt BETTER! So I went ahead with running the marathon.

I ran probably a third of each mile up through mile 6 and then had to walk the next NINE miles. I tried to even get a fast pace going but my foot wasn’t having it. It slowed me down. I got picked up by the straggler wagon at mile 9 (along with a handful of those of us at the end of the race).

They moved us ahead about 1.5 miles in order to be able to finish the race on time and they could re-open the strip by 10pm. I had felt SO GUILTY about this until after the race where I met up with my godmother. She had cut a couple miles off the marathon herself.

At the end of the day, I had walked 18.18 miles (according to my Fitbit). Even if I didn’t get all 13.1 miles IN the marathon, I definitely covered that distance in the getting to and from the finish line itself. I may have been picked up by the straggler wagon but I still finished the race — not everyone else did.


What was the most rewarding thing about completing this run?
Knowing that I could and I did. I didn’t tell many people about what I was doing beforehand because I had a reasonable expectation of failure. But, once I completed it and was able to share my accomplishment, it felt good to know that I could do something big like this for myself. I wasn’t certain I could, I thought I could.

I worked hard to do it, I walked through pain and a stress-fractured foot but I did it anyway, because I’m a badass like that.

Was there anything or anyone in particular that helped you throughout your training?
I used an app to help me make sure that I trained the appropriate amount of time each day. I used the free version of 22k Runner from the app store and I listened to Spotify’s Pumped Pop and Indie Kicks playlist. I would try to sing when I could to know that I had regained my even breathing and I would pick up and run for another third or quarter mile.


Any final words of encouragement and thoughts you’d like to share?
I never thought of myself as a person who runs or does marathons or anything like that. I’m not a solid couch potato but my speed is more biking, bowling or volleyball. I ended up with a stress fracture and having to rest my left foot for a month following the marathon but not something that won’t heal.

I’m proud of myself. I gave myself a challenge and I accomplished it. It was a hard thing. I can do hard things.

BUT! If *I* can do the thing, it must not be THAT hard. If I can do it, anyone with the will to do so, can do it too.

But, maybe, don’t go for a 13.1 mile half marathon for your first ever racing experience — unless you want to. 🙂