This month, we had the pleasure of interviewing former addict turned ultra runner Catra Corbett. She's definitely one of the most colorful athletes (I mean that literally) we had the pleasure to interview. She rocks bright colored running gear and tattoos from head to toe. But don't be fooled by her charm or nutty personality; she's a beast when it comes to long distance running. Read more about Catra's incredible journey and how she turned her own life around by choosing to run.
“If you dream it, you can do it.”
Q Please tell us a little bit about yourself!
A My name is Catra Corbett, I’ve been clean & sober 26 years. I also became a vegan at the time I got sober. I started running 24 years ago to help me stay clean and sober. I hated running all my life so this gave me something to learn to love and to push myself daily. It made me feel good about myself and gave me confidence. I’m an ultra runner and I love running 100 & 200-mile ultra-marathons through the mountains. The harder the race the more I love it because of the challenge. I’m an author of a book about my life called “Reborn on the Run”. It’s about the challenges and hardships I faced growing up. It’s meant to inspire others and to show that you can let go of the past and have an amazing future. I’m a dog mom to TruMan 14-year-old mini dachshund who has run 5 ultra marathons 50k ( 31 miles) Baxter is my 1-year-old mini dachshund who is a runner as well. Once he’s 2 years old I’ll train him to run an ultra. I take these guys on their run once a day they run 3-8 miles most mornings.
Q Why did you decide to run ultra-marathons in particular? What drove that passion?
A I started running two years after I got clean & sober. I ran one 10k and 3 months after I started my running journey I ran a marathon. In my second year of running, I found out about ultra marathons so I figured I could run 26 miles I could run 50k ( 31 miles ) and afternoon that I thought no problem I can run 50 miles. Once I did that I jumped into 100 miles and loved the challenge. It’s all about the challenge.
"IT'S ALL ABOUT THE CHALLENGE"
Q What has been the biggest struggle you have faced and how did you overcome it?
A The biggest struggle in life has been to maintain my sobriety. Early on I had to get rid of all my friends and spend time alone since they were all using drugs and hanging out in clubs. I had to quit that whole scene in order to stay sober. Running is what helped me overcome it and running has been there to keep me focused and sober.
Q You mentioned that you used to hate running, so how did you stay motivated long enough for it to become your passion? What advice would you give to someone who is starting their marathon journey?
A I knew I needed something to help me focus on staying sober. Once I started running I signed up for races so I constantly had a goal that I was reaching for. I’m a very motivated person, it's my personality. So it wasn’t hard once I felt and saw the benefits of running. Advice is to have fun while running and training. On race day you can push yourself and go for it. If you do that all the time while training you can get burnt out or injured.
"I was living a death spiral of drug addiction, disordered eating, and sexual and emotional abuse. Running changed my life."
Q What are your running must-haves that you always bring on your ultramarathons?
A My must-haves are of course my hydration pack to carry water and other gear. My max doll for good luck attached to the back. A cross necklace my mom used to wear who past away 16 years ago. My dog who past away Rocky I wear a paw necklace with some of his ashes in it. A picture of my mom on the back of my pack. My iPhone to listen to music or true-crime podcast. Also to document my race with photos and videos.
Q What is one bold goal that you wish to accomplish as part of your journey?
A Run across the USA pushing a cart solo with all my gear. Showing if you dream it you can do it.
Q Lastly if you were to give a title to your life story, what would it be and why?
A Reborn on the run, it’s the title of my book about my life. It’s because running gave me hope and a new life, in a sense I was reborn.