Kate Nolan grew up with Special Olympics and athletics synonymous with each other; her sister, Elizabeth is an athlete for the organization in her hometown of Delaware and her father dedicated many years to supporting Special Olympics athletes and families. For over 15-years Kate was an active participant at Special Olympics Delaware events cheering on Elizabeth in long distance running, basketball, tennis and volleyball and also volunteering countless hours for the organization to help events run smoothly. Now that Kate lives in the Commonwealth, she is a medical volunteer for Special Olympics Massachusetts. She has always derived encouragement from her sister and other Special Olympics athletes and now more than ever she is calling on that inspiration to help her achieve a large goal in her own life; running the Boston Marathon.
For many years Kate was a casual runner. Last year she had an urge to get a bit more serious about her running and decided to train for a half-marathon. The event proved to be so much fun she has run three half-marathon races in the past year. Months ago Kate was approached to be part of Team SOMA to run the Boston Marathon with five other incredible athletes and she jumped at the opportunity. Although this will be her first marathon, Kate feels very familiar with a large portion of the course as she lives and trains around her neighborhood in South Boston. She feels the Boston Marathon is the challenge of a lifetime and it is well paired with Special Olympics because the organization provides the inspiration to train and complete the challenge. She is motivated daily by Elizabeth’s mantra, “if you finish, you win”.
Recently, Kate volunteered for the Winter Games in Worcester. She ran 16 miles before going to the event and was exhausted. When she arrived at the Games she was overwhelmed with emotions watching athletes achieve their best and realized at that moment why she was running the marathon. Kate is excited to stand at the starting line on April 16th with over 25,000 additional runners and her Team SOMA friends to take on the 26.2 mile challenge of a lifetime. She feels prepared physically due to her diligence in training with a friend and following a 16-week program to stay on target. She also knows that she will be drawing on the memory of her father and the inspiration of her sister to stay confident when her energy dwindles during the race.
Kate and her Team SOMA members hope to raise $40,000 to support year-round training, competitions, and health-improvements of Special Olympics athletes. She invites all South Boston residents to visit her fundraising page to help her reach her goal of changing the world for people with disabilities: http://www.crowdrise.com/TeamSpecialOlympicsMA/fundraiser/massachusettsspecial