Kate Mackz on How She Became TikTok’s Running Interviewer

Social media success is often found in niches, and Kate Mackz has certainly found hers. After dabbling in lifestyle content while working in advertising, her TikTok following surged when she started “The Running Interview Show” — which has seen her interview celebrities such as Jared Leto, Barbara Corcoran, Jason Derulo and Noah Beck while running.

Mackz’s 720,000 TikTok followers watch as she pulls out celebrity origin stories, always asking, “Hey, how many miles are you running today?”

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Here, Mackz shares her journey to the influencer world, take on “tea” and starting on YouTube.

WWD: I first found you on TikTok because of your fashion and thrifting content. Did you try a few different types of content before you set on running?

Kate Mackz: Definitely. When I first started out on social media, I enjoyed posting my life online like so many of us do. Running is a really big part of my life, but so is fashion and design, and my background is actually in art, which not a lot of people know. I have this dual side of me that’s very artistic, but also has always been athletic. I love things like thrifting.

WWD: How did “The Running Interview Show” begin?

K.M.: It was an idea that I had with my fiancé. We basically started out by finding people on the West Side Highway in New York City, which is a really iconic place to go for a run, and challenging them to run with me in exchange for a pair of sneakers.

WWD: Have you always been a runner?

K.M.: Yes, I’ve always been a runner since I was young.

WWD: How do you get your interviews for it?

K.M.: It’s all very organic. It’s mostly people reaching out to me, or me reaching out to them, or a friend of a friend connecting us. But I still love a good kind of random street interview. It’s fun to be a little bit improv-y on a run.

WWD: You started with influencers, but now you’re getting a mix of people — actors, DJs, singers and athletes.

K.M.: People like actors and singers and dancers and people that, in general, are comfortable having public profiles. Those are always people that are good to do just because they’re open and they’re down to share their story. Not everybody is down to be public online about their lives. That’s why naturally I do a lot of content creators and singers and actors and people like that, but really I just look for an interesting story. We were able to do the editor in chief of People magazine. We’ve been able to do the editor in chief of Women’s Health. I’ve done doctors. I’ve done business people. I’ve done people that have really interesting start-ups. I’ve done a lot of artists, because I have an art background.

Kate Mackz interviewing racing driver Colton Herta during a lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Kate Mackz interviewing racing driver Colton Herta during a lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

WWD: What are some memorable interviews with athletes?

K.M.: I just did a video with Grant Holloway, who’s an Adidas athlete, and he won silver in the Olympics in Tokyo, and now he’s going for gold in Paris. He’s a big track runner, and that video will come out pretty soon. That was a really, really cool one. He had such good energy, and it was so fun with him, because we got to run in Paris together outside the loop, which was definitely a unique one for me as somebody that typically runs in New York City. I did a UFC fighter, or X fighter, named Joanna [Jędrzejczyk], and she has a really big following of people that just love her. She was so fun. I love doing stuff with UFC.

WWD: Will you be doing anything around the Olympics?

K.M.: We were just in Paris with Adidas for some pre-Olympic stuff, and some of those videos will be coming out shortly. I ran with a couple Olympic athletes, and fingers crossed that we get to go to Paris this summer to do some content.

Kate Mackz
Kate Mackz

WWD: How have brands responded to your content in terms of partnerships?

K.M.: Brands have responded so well. The biggest compliment that I get from brands is that the show is so wholesome and it’s so positive and uplifting. I love that, because that’s really what I strive to do with my content. I’m never looking for “tea” in an interview. If somebody was to spill quote-unquote “tea,” I’d actually probably cut it out. That’s one of the things about me that brands have really resonated with. We’ve been able to work with a ton of brands. Brands like Adidas, Microsoft and big beverage brands. The list goes on.

WWD: Are you working on this full time now, or do you still have your advertising job? 

K.M.: I was actually able to go full time with this within a month into starting. We’re starting to bring on people to the team.

WWD: What’s next for you?

K.M.: I feel like we’re just getting started with “The Running Interview Show,” and there’s so many iterations. We’re building out a YouTube channel, which is going to be really cool. Now all of a sudden, the interviews aren’t going to be just vertical, but they’ll be horizontal, so you can watch long form versus short form on your screens, which is really, really exciting, because I get so much content, and with TikTok and Instagram, you’re condensing that content.

WWD: Are you focused on just the running interview content now, or do you think you might go back to your roots a little and do some more lifestyle content?

K.M.: With social media in general, when you find something that really is aligned with who you are as a person, it’s very easy to continuously recreate it and stay consistent with it. Running has been a part of my life since I was 14, and I’ve always loved running with other people. This show is so aligned with who I am. But in terms of sharing more of my life, I definitely want to get more personal online. I’ve been toying with the idea of a podcast and am starting to get my YouTube channel up and running, where hopefully I can take people behind the scenes a little bit more. I just got engaged and I’m looking for a vintage wedding dress, so I think that could be a fun video that I create. But right now just really going all in with “The Running Interview Show,” and I feel like we’re just getting started with it.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

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