Catching up with Cate Maxson, 2021 Rose City Mile race director

In September 2021, Cate Maxson flawlessly directed Rose City Track’s annual Rose City Mile after a yearlong hiatus due to COVID-19. The event—one of very few public one-mile track events—brought runners of all backgrounds to test their speed at Duniway Track in SW Portland.

A couple months removed from her successful stint as race director, we caught up with Cate to talk more about her running background, her love for the local running community, and her plans to achieve a personal record next year at the Indy 500 Mini Marathon in her hometown of Indianapolis!

Why do you run?

I love running because there is always a goal to work towards, and something to motivate me to get outside and move. There’s no better feeling than toeing the line at a race knowing you’ve put in the work and can have confidence in all of your training leading up to the race. I also love the discipline it takes to be consistent with the training and the joy of seeing progress because of that consistency. 

What inspired you to join RCTC?

I joined RCTC for the camaraderie, friendship, and accountability. When I moved to Portland I realized that the running community here is so special and inspiring, and joining a team helped make getting involved even more approachable and welcoming. I also love being at races with teammates! 

Do you have any running superstitions?

I have a pair of socks with a little shamrock on them that I wear for most races. But I wouldn’t say I’m a superstitious person. 

Do you like to run alone or in a group?

There are days where I need the socialization and energy from group runs to get me through a long run or workout. Then there are other days where I just need to be alone, either to think through things or simply turn my brain off and just put one foot in front of the other. 

Roads or trails? Why?

Trails over roads! I end up running mostly on roads because of convenience, but trail runs are my favorite. Running in the forest is just so peaceful. I particularly love Forest Park early in the mornings when you feel like you have the trails to yourself. 

What do you do outside of running?

When I’m not running I love being outside and exploring the PNW. My favorite weekends are spent hiking, camping, or traveling. I work as a pediatric physical therapist. 

Any goals for the next year?

I have a few half marathons that I’m looking forward to next year. In May I’m hoping to PR at the Indy 500 Mini Marathon (in my hometown of Indianapolis). I’d also love to focus on shorter, faster races and see if I can knock some time off of my 5k PR. I’ll probably end up racing a couple of triathlons as wel.

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