The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-415 – Kate Williams – Yaks and the Planet

(Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4415.mp3

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Hello and welcome to episode 4-415 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

Today we have a great conversation with Kate who is the CEO of 1% for the planet.  I owe you a bit of backstory here, so try to keep up.  When I first started the podcast 11 years or so ago I was a bit worried about mixing my professional world with my running world.  I’m a pragmatist.  I made the decision early on that if the podcast ever caused conflict with my regular career the regular career would win.  I had this nightmare scenario of sitting in a board meeting and someone saying “You had time to do this stupid marathon race report, explain to us why you missed your numbers again?”

As an insider to our endurance lifestyles I get it.  I know what we do is additive to our careers.  What we do doesn’t make us worse at our day jobs it makes us better.  I believe that.  But my beliefs weren’t what I was worried about.  It’s like the old joke about marriage; “Would you rather be right, or be happy?”  I would rather be able to pay my bills than be sanctimonious.

I was never that guy.  Because no one at work gives a crap about your training or your marathon times. 

I built a wall between what I did for a living and my podcast adventures.  Which confused and intrigued my listeners.  Here I am talking about airplanes and board meetings and hotel stays and clients, and never sharing what I actually did for a living. 

I would get questions.  What do you do for a living?  So, I made something up that fit the evidence.  I told everyone that I was a contract killer (that explained all the travel), but that my cover job was a yak farmer.  And if you have the patience to go back and listen to those early episodes you’ll find all the yak farming jokes. 

Here’s the thing, I have never even seen a live yak.  I just randomly picked the most absurd profession I could think of. 

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago.  I was in LinkedIn doing whatever it is you do in LinkedIn and I came across Kate’s profile.  Here is this out-doorsy, masters runner person with an ivy league education and one of the jobs on her resume is “Yak Farmer”. 

I could not resist.  I reached out to her and got her on for this interview.  Which turned out to be apropos and extremely beneficial because she leads an organization that addresses the intersection of business and the environment – a topic that I have done much rumination on. 

Why can’t we be business friendly and environmentally friendly at the same time?  Why are those two things antithetical? 

I think you’ll like our conversation and I’m grateful that this silly podcast thing has led me to engage with another outstanding individual who I would have never otherwise had the opportunity to meet. 

In section one I’m going to ruminate on the Boston Marathon some more. In section two I’m going to ruminate about rumination. 

And, I hope you enjoyed my attempt to be funny with the Leadville race report.  Sorry for the salty language.  Hope the kids weren’t listening. 

To make up for it I’ll give you a Dad joke.  What kind of animal do you need to take with you on a trip to the Himalayas? 

A Yak of all trades…

On with the show!

I’ll remind you that the RunRunLive podcast is ad free and listener supported.  What does that mean? It means you don’t have to listen to me trying to sound sincere about or Audible.. (although, fyi, my MarathonBQ book is on audible) We do have a membership option where you can become a member and as a special thank you, you will get access to member’s only audio. There are book reviews, odd philosophical thoughts, zombie stories and I curate old episodes for you to listen to.  I recently added that guy who cut off is foot so he could keep training and my first call with Geoff Galloway.   “Curated” means I add some introductory comments and edit them up a bit.  So anyhow – become a member so I can keep paying my bills.


The RunRunLive podcast is Ad Free and listener supported.  We do this by offering a membership option where members get Access to Exclusive Members Only audio and articles.

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Section one – The Boston Problem -


Voices of reason – the conversation

Kate Williams, CEO

Kate Williams is CEO of 1% for the Planet, a global movement inspiring businesses and individuals to support environmental nonprofit solutions, through annual membership and everyday actions. Last year, the network of 1800 members in more than 40 countries gave $24+million to environmental nonprofits.

Kate stepped into her role at 1% for the Planet in May 2015 bringing a strong track record as a leader:  Professionally, Kate served as Executive Director of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail and as founder and owner of the Vermont Yak Company prior to starting at 1% for the Planet. In addition, Kate served on the Board of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) for eleven years, two as chair. Kate has also served on the boards of the Northern Forest Center and Shelburne Farms (current), and served as an elected member of the Town of Waitsfield Select Board, serving three years a chair of that board.

Kate earned a BA at Princeton University where she majored in history, and an MS at the MIT Sloan School of Management where she focused on organizational systems. Kate is a master’s distance runner and kitchen gardener. Kate lives in Waitsfield with her husband and two children.

Links would be to our website:


We bring dollars and doers together to accelerate smart environmental giving


Ever wonder how 1% for the Planet began?

It all started when two businessmen met and bonded over their shared love for the outdoors. Realizing their responsibility to protect our planet, they decided to give 1% of their sales back to the environment—whether or not they were profitable.


In 2002, Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, founder of Blue Ribbon Flies, created 1% for the Planet and started a global movement.


 “The intent of 1% for the Planet is to help fund these diverse environmental organizations so that collectively they can be a more powerful source in solving the world’s problems.”



Soon after our inception, 1% for the Planet’s mission began to resonate across the globe. The idea was simple: because companies profit from the resources they take from the earth, they should protect those resources. Realizing their responsibility, brands such as Brushfire Records, Klean Kanteen, New Belgium Brewing, Honest Tea, Caudalie and many more followed suit to join the movement.


Our network is global and diverse, proving that anyone can make a difference. From the individual members who give back by donating to and volunteering with local environmental nonprofits to singer-songwriter Jack Johnson, who joined our network in 2004 to protect the shores of his home state of Hawaii—everyone has a 1%.


We connect our members with high-impact nonprofit partners that align with their values and add to their brand story. In doing so, we take the time to get to know what’s really important to our members. Through our partnership advising process, we learned that member, Klean Kanteen cares deeply about a myriad causes, which include connecting young people to the wonder and science of our world through environmental education. Beginning in 2008, Klean Kanteen's support of NatureBridge is one of our longest-standing partnerships.


Today, we have more than 2,000 members, in over 45 countries, coming together to protect the future of our planet.


Section two – The Ruminating Brain–


Well, my friends, ruminated to the end of the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-415, which is a small miracle. 

Two weeks after Leadville I went ahead and ran the Wapack Trail 18 miler.  I couldn’t stop myself.  I had a perfectly reasonable plan.  I would do a couple hard weeks with speedwork and then treat Wapack as a long training run. 

This was a wonderful idea on paper, but not so much in execution.  What I had not considered is that going into a technical trail mountain race like Wapack with tired legs result in spending a lot of time with your face in the dirt.  Yeah, If you don’t lift your toes you eat dirt.  I probably fell 7 times.

Then I shut it down hoping for a big bounce for the BeanTown Marathon last weekend. 

I felt pretty fit and strong for the race but I only had 18 miles in me. I raced hard and hung in as long as I could but I just didn’t have the legs.  Duh.  It was a 6 loop course in a park, by the ocean in southern Mass.  Pretty course with some gravel roads and a little hill in each loop.  That little hill started really getting to me by the 4th loop and I just couldn’t hold the pace.

Another classic Chris Russell 15 minute positive split. 18 miles at race pace and 8 more at a stumble.  I’m not terribly upset about it because I felt like I was close.  These last few cycles I haven’t made my time but every one of them felt like they could have gone either way.

Next up for me is Baystate.  I’m chilling this week to recover.  I was super beat up after this race. I’ve got a very sore hip and still have that tendonitis in my butt.  If I can get healthy I’ll load up on the long runs for a couple weeks and get some speedwork in.  The challenge is going to be staying healthy. I can tell I’m a bit over trained. 

And, now, I’m officially out of qualification.  If I want to run Boston this year I’ll need a waver bib.

Oh, and I signed up to pace another half marathon.  I’m going down to Nantucket with Gary two weeks before Baystate to pace the 1:50 group with him.  Should be pretty. And that’s a good two-weeks-out workout for a marathon. 

As usual, I’m hopeful and still plugging away, but I’m only in my first year of this age group so I’ve got to qualify 3 more times at this level before I age up 10 minutes.

And what about Ollie-dog?  He is growing like a weed.  As I was writing this he was crying to go out.  I just came back in so I figured he was just bored. But, as all good puppies do, he proceeded to march into the living room and show the rug that he did indeed really need to go out.  Good thing we haven’t got around to changing the carpet yet. 

He’s a maniac.  When he’s not chewing on you he’s stealing something of yours to chew on.  He like ice cubes and anything he is not supposed to have.  He’s going to be a great dog if I can ever break him.  Right now he’s a wild animal. 

It’s nice to have the pitter patter of little hooves in the house again.  

And I’ll see you out there.

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -


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Direct download: epi4415.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 8:29pm EDT





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