February 21 2018
Karen Lyons started running to escape hardship–and couldn’t stop.
When our Cover Runner Contest went out over social media, we were inundated with more than 5,000 entries and nominations. Thank you to everyone for sharing your love of running and inspiring us in countless ways. It was not easy selecting eight finalists, but we think you’ll agree they prove there is no shortage of incredible women in our sport. Read on to learn about one of our amazing finalists. Cat is a doctor of veterinary medicine candidate at Colorado State University who has combated anorexia and finished her first 50-miler this year.
Graduate student and veterinarian technician
“When I run, I feel free.”
How has running changed your life?
A few years ago, I suffered from a severe eating disorder and ended up spending six weeks in a hospital fighting for my life. Once I reached a healthy weight and started working on my personal demons, I found running as a way to calm my mind. It has been a constant motivator to stay healthy so I can run strong.
What did you learn from struggling with anorexia?
One thing I learned is to simply confront everything head on. I buried the sexual assault I experienced as a child, telling absolutely no one, and it manifested itself into a full-blown eating disorder that literally almost killed me. My intention with being so open is to bring awareness to this very real issue and to realize that eating disorders linked to sexual assault happen more often than the majority of us realize.
Your ultimate run?
On a mountain trail with a ton of climbing and a ton of miles. I would want my fiancé, Derek, and our ultrarunning friends there—and of course my malamute mix, Pheidippides.
Find out more about our winner and finalists
Kiley Lyall— Winner
Charlotte Young Bowens— Finalist