Katie Kirk is an 800m international who has represented Northern Ireland at two Commonwealth Games and loves all things food.

Featuring in the ‘fast runners: class of 2018‘ over the next 12 months, the Queen’s University Belfast runner has one main goal – to remain positive regardless of the outcomes after three years with illness and injury.

Importantly too, Kirk wants to enjoy training, spend more time training with her group, and manage the work-training-life balance to the best of her ability.


Name: Katie Kirk
Age (Jan 2018): 24
Hometown: Belfast
Club: Queen’s University Belfast

Main discipline: 800m
Other disciplines/events: 400m
Full-time athlete/work/studying: Part-time student & part-time work

Goals or targets for 2018

1) With the last three years being ridden by illness and injury I only have one goal and that is to remain positive regardless of the outcomes for the year.
2) I also want to enjoy training and manage my work-training-life balance to get the most out of myself.
3) And spend more time training with my group. Lone cross-training activities are not exactly sociable.

Career Highlights

1) Commonwealth Games semi-final and PB 2014
2) Irish National Champion 2014
3) England Athletics U23 Champion 800m 2014
4) European Junior 400m individual finalist and 4X400m gold 2011

Personal bests

1) 2.02.63 -800m
2) 53.69 (U20) – 400m
3) 38.55 (U17) – 300m
4) 4.20.45 – 1500m

Interesting or fun facts

I organise supper clubs every month and I am still studying for my food science and nutrition degree. I will hopefully graduate this year!

I have also created a few recipes for Fast Running – found here.

Why do you run?

The buzz. I know when I’m injured I miss it so much. Exercise, and specifically running for me gives a sense of achievement and something to aim for.

Of course, I feel like I was born to run and I simply enjoy running.

Favourite training session

The best training sessions for me are race pace stuff when you are in great shape and in the middle of a track season. However, this hasn’t happened for a while I crave the feeling of a hard session that feels great! S

urprisingly I also love winter training and my favourite session is 1k loops in Belvoir forest park in Belfast.

Least favourite training session

Anything with “float” recoveries.

Favourite pre-race food

Percy Pigs.

Favourite post-race food

Nothing beats a burger!

Favourite runner or runners

I have always admired Jenny Simpson (USA) for her grit and impeccable race tactics.

Chosen charity for ‘fast runners: class of 2018’

Beat – the UK’s leading charity supporting anyone affected by eating disorders, anorexia, bulimia, EDNOS or any other difficulties with food, weight and shape.

Katie Kirk is part of the ‘fast runners: class of 2018’ and will share his running journey every month throughout 2018. More information can be found here.