Katie Asmuth: Looking Forward to the Journey

Katie Asmuth: Looking Forward to the Journey

May 05, 2021Mariya Avtanska

I am a very lucky girl who was able to stumble upon my passion of trailrunning in my 30s. I’m a mom of two amazing boys, 3yo and 5yo. Most importantly, I have the most amazing partner I could imagine. My husband, Pete, is really the secret to being able to juggle it all. I’m still pinching myself that I am a professional trail runner for Fluid and Saucony.


We live in Culver City, CA, but our hearts are in the Eastern Sierra. We are in Mammoth Lakes as much as possible.

Competitive Highlights:

In the order of timeline:

Angeles Crest 100miler 2nd place

Zion 100k Female CR

Kodiak 50mi Female CR

Bear 100mi 1st place

Los Padres Traverse FKT

IMTUF 100miler 2nd place

Bandera 100k 1st place

Job/Career/Personal business/Professional affiliations:

I work at a low income/free community clinic as a Family Nurse Practitioner and take care of the spectrum–from prenatal care to addiction medicine to patients with uncontrolled diabetes. It is incredibly life-giving.

Favorite Fluid flavor:

I only use Performance Blueberry for races–my fave for sure. And a post run/race treat is Vanilla Cinnamon Recovery–delicious!

Why did you start running, and has competition always been a part of your reason for training?

I started running after my mom was diagnosed with cancer as stress relief/a way to escape. Being from Ojai, CA, I’ve always loved being in the mountains. Although embarrassing now to admit, I joined the influx of trailrunners after reading Born To Run while traveling around New Zealand in a campervan on our honeymoon, and that’s when I started to run trails. I was HOOKED on trails–but wasn’t thinking about ultras yet. When I was pregnant with my first child, Pete was training for an Ironman. He would take off on 6-hour bike rides, and I remember being jealous and imagining myself as a new mom and not being able to escape. He challenged me: “Well then sign up for a race.” And from that challenge, I didn’t look back. My heart was set on Angeles Crest 100 miler, and after that race, I was hooked for life.

Which component of racing do you look forward to most?

The journey of the day. I actually look forward to the lows. I prepare for it mentally before. In an ultra, it's inevitable that low moments will come. It's about how you react to the challenge that makes the day truly special.

Do you cross-train or simply run as much as possible?

Does being a mom of two very active boys count😊! No real cross-training; I do try and get in some regular band exercises/glute work.

What brought you to Fluid, and when?

Richard Smith (founder of Fluid) has been a close family friend since he was in grade school… so I’m lucky to have been fueled by Fluid for a long time!

Which piece of new gear gets you excited to go harder?

Always fun to try out new shoes. My new FLUID buff is pretty sweet 😊

What cues/sounds/feelings/rituals/thoughts/etc. do you use to help you focus?

I’m not one to paint my nails, but before every race, I paint them with sparkles to make some magic happen! Also, before a race, I always write little notes to my crew/pacers. It helps me to put it all in perspective and to thank them for the selflessness it takes to be out there supporting me. It takes a village!

How do you train at an elite level while meeting the obligations of a parent/partner/employee?

Obvious shout out to Pete for being the most amazing dad and partner so that I can train. It would be impossible to train as a parent without a village of support. Also, big shout out to my coach, David Roche with Some Work All Play, for getting my body ready for competition injury free!

What is something that amazes you about where your sport is now compared to when you started?

The number of trail runners has exploded in the last couple of years! COVID-19 has brought countless road runners to the trails, eager to get into nature and escape it all. I also get really pumped about the trail runners movement toward environmental preservation and protection.

What is your favorite part of race day?

Racing is the celebration! I want to have fun out there! There is nothing else to do on race day but to be present in the moment. To move forward, one step in front of the other. I think of racing as a meditation. I have hours and hours to be in the mountains and to only think about how to give my body what it needs to move on trails as efficiently as possible. I love to compete. Competition brings out the best athlete in me. We line up on the same start line, we work together, not against each other, to perform our best. This comes from a mutual respect–knowing the consistency and dedication of getting to the start line.

What is your favorite post-race activity (or non-activity)?

Family dance parties, even if my legs can't move 😊

What is the most important area for you to improve in your competition?

Downhill technical running in the dark... but I'm getting better at it!

If you weren’t a competitive runner, what would you be doing to fill up your training and racing time?

Getting dirty with my kids in the mountains and paddle boarding on alpine lakes. I’d probably take up rock climbing.

How does your training/competing provide inspiration/motivation for the rest of your life?

It's all about perspective. I work with people that have very little, some struggling to know when they will get their next meal, or where they will sleep that night. I know training and racing is a luxury. I treat it as such. How can one complain to go on a run?! To have a healthy mind and body, to have time to move my body for leisure, to feel safe where I live, to have a supportive family that wants me to succeed, to afford shoes and fuel for running… it’s never taken for granted.

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