I was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in New Jersey, where I rode my royal blue Raleigh three-speed around our suburban neighborhood, pretending to be Harriet the Spy. I had permanently skinned knees and two holes where my front teeth should have been (I knocked them out on a homemade trapeze). When I was seven, my father, a National Geographic photographer, bet me $5 that I wouldn’t jump into a half-frozen stream in November. I did.

I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember, just as I’ve always been a runner. For me, motion and imagination are inseparable: When I move my body, my ideas move, too. As a girl, I made up stories in my head while I played basketball or ran around the block in my Tretorns. I wrote with my notebook propped on my knees, as I still do, leaning against a tree, or at the kitchen table or in a tent, beside a river—wherever I happened to be. I learned from my father keep my eyes open and capture the details of a story as it unfolds, the way a photographer might.

I write my stories by living in them.

Occasionally I get a little carried away. Once I climbed Half Dome for a profile about a prominent Yosemite free climber, though I’d only been rock climbing a few times. A year later, I accidentally ran my first marathon while interviewing ultra running legend Dean Karnazes, my tape recorder flopping on a cord around my neck. Sometimes common sense reins me in, like the time I did not to try to paddle the Class V “Bus Eater” rapid at the World Freestyle Kayak Championships on the Ottawa River while covering the whitewater dynamo Eric Jackson.

Above all, I try to follow my curiosity and tell my stories with truth, texture, and heart, wherever they take me.


Parenting Lessons from a Partial Eclipse, The New York Times

Want a Strong Kid? Encourage Play, Not Competition, Outside

The Alpha Geek, Outside

The Man Who Thinks He Can Fly, ESPN the Magazine

How to Organize a Trail Running Race, Runner’s World

As Skiers Depart Aspen, Chowhounds Take Their Place, The New York Times

Raising Rippers (Outside Online)

Tell Your Kids The Truth

In Defense of Risky Parenting

The Same River Twice

10 Ways to Raise Brave Girls

Beth Rodden on Mixing Motherhood with Climbing

The Mother on the Mountain: Hilaree O'Neill, Live From Everest Base Camp

Link to All Articles: https://www.outsideonline.com/1746806/katie-arnold

Essay Anthologies

Tales from Another Mother Runner: Triumphs, Trials, Tips and Tricks from the Road

Woman’s Best Friend: Women Writers on the Dogs in Their Lives

P.S. What I Didn’t Say: Unsent Letters to Our Female Friends