Downhill - 21 years

Kate Lawrence Downhill MTB

Hometown: Boulder, Colorado

Current place of residence: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Q: When did you start your sport? How did you get into it? 

A:  This is my first season racing pro enduro. My relationship with bikes and rocks started early (my dad took me down the slickrock trail in Moab on the back of a tandem when I was 5) but for most of my childhood, I rode bikes only occasionally. I started racing XC when I joined my high school's mtb team my junior year. My first practice, I got dropped. Hard. Seeing how fast my teammates were was inspiring, and made me want to be able to keep up with them. I really got hooked that summer, racing and traveling with Boulder Junior Cycling, a local junior's team. I love both the challenge of optimizing training to try to become a better rider and the welcoming community racing provides. I wanted to try something new this year, so I branched out into enduro. It's turned out to be a great decision and I've loved getting to explore a new discipline of the sport.

Q: The greatest challenge and gift your sport has provided. 

A: Time management has been both the greatest challenge and gift. I'm a self-professed nerd, and training was difficult to balance with studying even in high school. I began racing at the pro level the same year I started studying at MIT. Suddenly, time became even more scarce. A common joke among students is that that 'getting an education at MIT is like taking a drink from a firehose' - the scale of opportunity available is utterly overwhelming. Racing bikes grounded me in stressful times at school, forcing me to take a break to go train in the middle of multi-day study sessions. At the same time, studying forced me to be more deliberate in my riding, allowing me to train more efficiently and with more purpose. I try to do a lot of things with my time, and I'm not always successful at packing everything in. But trying to do everything has taught me just how much I can do, and it's a lot more than I might have imagined otherwise.

Q: Fun fact that most people would never know about you.  

A: If you ask me for an explanation of some bike handling skill, you'll probably get a horseback riding analogy - I spent most of my childhood riding horses and working on farms. That or an explanatory free-body diagram!

Q: Why Julbo? What is most appealing about Julbo as a brand? What excites you about the brand? What separates Julbo from other eyewear companies? 

A: Julbo consistently makes the best goggles and glasses I've ever worn. I've only ever had great interactions with the company, from booths at NEMBAfest to emailed questions. Julbo genuinely cares about making great products to enable people to do what they love, they're innovative, and not afraid to do things a bit different.

Q: Sweet or salty? 

A: Sweet :)

Q: One piece of advice for someone looking to get into the sport competitively, professionally, etc. 

A: Do it because you love it, because it's gratifying, and because it adds value to your life. That's not to say that every workout is going to be nothing but easy fun, but there's nothing like the feeling of finishing a sufferfest of intervals. Staying positive, remembering why you're there and why you love it, even when a race or workout isn't going your way, makes a world of difference.

Q: When not training or traveling for your sport what do you like to do? 

A: I love science, and most of my time not on the bike I spend in class, studying biophysics, or in lab working on computational genomics. I try to be outside as much as I can, hiking, backpacking, climbing, and backcountry skiing. When I can find the time for it, I love a good book.


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