Katie Visco may not be a household name, but her ultra-running accomplishments are mind-blowing. In 2009, Katie ran 3,132 miles solo across the United States from Boston to San Diego. At the age of 23, she became the second youngest and 13th woman to run that route. Ten years later, Katie ran 2,112 miles over 119 days across Australia. Her husband Henley Phillips was her support vehicle, but human-powered, on a bicycle. Henley had to haul their food, water, and gear through the Outback, which at times weighed up to 400 pounds.
The couple was on different continents for this interview. Katie had just arrived in Australia and was quarantining for 14 days in her hotel room while Henley is back at their Arizona home. The love and respect they had for one another exuded from the screen. A relationship like theirs is what helped to solidify the success of the Australian adventure. During my interview, I found myself admiring their physical accomplishments as well as their outlook on life.
Across the top of Katie’s blog in large, bold letters are “Your Dreams are Worth Living,” and this couple lives by that mantra. They embrace life, learn to overcome challenges, and don’t sweat the small stuff. This way of living life is evident by the phrase they came up with during their Australia adventure, “tedious but brief.” As Henley stated, “any moment they were in that felt overly challenging, boring, or endless would be hard for a little while, but then it would pass, and you’d be on to a feeling of accomplishment, elation, or just a neutral feeling afterward. The feelings would come and go and come and go, but don’t get attached to those low moments or worry about them.”
True to form, I asked these endurance athletes my go-to question, “what one guilty pleasure did you take on your journey when gear and weight limitations are crucial?” Their answer was surprising. Take a listen to the interview to find out. I’m sure you’ll be as taken with this athletic duo as much as I was.
If you want to see more about Katie and Henley’s adventure, check out this just-released documentary on Vimeo, Twenty-One Twelve: A Human Powered Adventure Across Australia.
Push your limits to live your dreams. They are so much sweeter when you do.
Enjoy the ride!