bend oregon

Meet the Guide: Katie Conlon

Those of you who did our Bend or Tahoe trips last summer got to know Katie Conlon (and her impressive cookie-baking, fruit salad-making, trail running skill set) quite well. Since then she has left Seattle for a work-abroad adventure in Australia, and luckily has decided not only to join us again this summer for all four trips, but will also be guiding the Run Alpe-Adria trips alongside Allison this fall! We threw a bunch of questions at her to help you all get to know her a bit better - read on:

Katie is the one on the right with the AMAZING jump-photo skills (not a job requirement, but it certainly helped her chances!)

Katie is the one on the right with the AMAZING jump-photo skills (not a job requirement, but it certainly helped her chances!)

You’re from a small town in North Dakota. How did you end up in Australia?

I made the big transition from small town, North Dakota to Sydney, Australia in 2011 as a part of a study abroad program.  It was my first time on my own, and I knew exactly zero people here. Being so far from my friends, my family and my home forced me to step outside of my comfort zone.  The experience expanded said comfort zone tenfold and inspired me to explore more and more of this big world.  After moving back stateside for five years following my brief study stint in Australia, I have finally settled back Down Under and couldn't be happier that life has taken me back here.


How did you end up involved with Rogue Expeditions?

I was working at a running store in Seattle when I happened to come across a pile of RE postcards that a former trip-goer had left there for our customers.  I reached out to Gabe and Allison, met them in Portland a couple of months later, and began assisting as a guide in Bend and Tahoe the next summer.  It was definitely a matter of being in the right place at the right time!


Last summer you were an assistant guide for Run Bend and Run Tahoe, your first RE trips. What surprised you most about the experience? 

What surprised me the most was how quickly and easily each group was able to create such a close bond and sense of camaraderie. By the end of the first run, the runners went from complete strangers to buddies.  After a few days of epic runs, fun outings, family-style meals, and a few quality rounds of Cards Against Humanity, we suddenly become life-long friends.


This summer you’re back for round 2! Which runs are you most looking forward to?

I have been dreaming about the Flume Trail, a run that takes you along the ridge overlooking Lake Tahoe.  The views are so incredible that I had to pinch myself to make sure it was indeed real life.  


In September you’ll be helping to lead the Run Alpe-Adria trips for the first time. What are you most excited about?

This will be my first time in Europe, so that in itself is pretty exciting!  I am looking forward to being in a beautiful place that is steeped in such rich history.  The fact that we'll be in wine country doesn't sound all that bad either ;)


Tell us…

Some of your PRs:
3K: 9:18.91
5K: 15:53.73
Marathon: 2:47:28

The most interesting job you’ve ever had:
I spent a summer as a door-to-door meat salesperson.  Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like!  I went from house to house peddling "high quality steak, pork, chicken and seafood" from the back of my "meatmobile" (a minivan that had been retrofitted to accommodate a deep freezer in the back). 

Guilty pleasure:
People watching. And ice cream.  People watching while eating ice cream would be the ultimate experience!

Favorite food:

Least favorite food:
Bacon (I know, I'm weird)

Three items you would never travel without:
Running shoes, a good book, snacks (I eat a lot)

Something that most people don’t know about you:
It's no secret that I keep myself active in my day-to-day, but what most people don't know is that I am also a very active sleeper.  I prefer running to walking during my waking hours, so it only makes sense that instead of sleepwalking, I tend to sleep-exercise.  I've woken up doing sit-ups on several occasions but have only gone sleep-running once (as far as I know...).  I have recently incorporated awkward dance moves my sleep-time exercise routine :P


Check out Katie's official bio here, then join her for a running adventure!