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Kim Smith — October, 2021
Kim Smith is a three-time Olympian at 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters and the marathon. She raced 5,000 meters at the 2004 Athens Olympics, finished ninth at 10,000 meters at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and fourteenth in the marathon at the 2012 London Olympics. Kim’s versatility is even more evident by her setting New Zealand Records at eleven distances from 3,000 meters to the marathon. Her World Championships performances included fourth at 10k in Osaka, Japan in 2007, sixth at the indoor 3,000 meters at Valencia, Spain in 2008, eighth at 10k in Berlin in 2009 and seventh in the half marathon in Birmingham, England in 2009. At the World Cross Country Championships, Kim’s highlights included a 12th place finish in 2005 and a 13th place finish in 2009. From 2009 to 2014 she won thirteen half marathons with times of 1:07 to 1:11 including the 2011 Philadelphia Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in a New Zealand Record of 1:07:11. Her top marathons include placing sixth at the 2010 London Marathon in 2:25:21, fourth at the 2010 New York City Marathon in 2:29:28, fifth at the 2011 NYC Marathon in 2:25:46 and sixth at the 2013 NYC Marathon in 2:28:49. Kim competed for Providence College and is a five-time NCAA champion with four victories in 2004 in the 5,000 meters and 3,000 meters indoors, 5,000 meters outdoors and cross country. She won the Honda Sports Award twice, as the 2004 best female collegiate track and field athlete, and 2005 best female collegiate cross country runner. Her personal best times include: 1500m – 4:11.25; mile – 4:24.14; 3,000m – 8:35.31; 2-miles – 9:13.94; 5,000m – 14:39.89; 10,000m – 30:35.54; 10-miles – 53:10, half marathon – 1:07:11; 30k – 1:43.03 and marathon – 2:25:21. Kim and her husband, Patrick Tarpy, live in Providence, Rhode Island with their two children. She was kind enough to spend over an hour on the telephone for this interview in summer, 2021.
GCR: BIG PICTURE As a distance runner you were been immersed in the sport of running for over twenty years starting with youth running and through a professional running career until you retired in 2016 from competitive running. How has running and the running community contributed to and shaped your life?
KS Running changed my life. I didn’t particularly dream of being a professional runner or anything like that when I was a kid. I was a bit of a late developer and didn’t get good enough to be thinking about that until after high school. Running gave me an education over here in the United States when I received a scholarship to Providence College. I didn’t think about doing running as my job, but it became my job for many years. It was my whole life for a long time.
GCR: At the highest levels of sport athletes set goals to compete in the Olympics or World Championships and to represent their country. Can you describe what it meant then and what it means now to be a member of the 2004, 2008 and 2012 New Zealand Olympic team, several World Cross Country Championships teams, World Championship and World Cup teams, and to pull on the New Zealand jersey on other occasions.
KS It never crossed my mind that I would be good enough to go to the Olympics. It happened very suddenly. I had improved so much in one year in college. I went from being a good NCAA runner to being an Olympian in one year. I don’t think I appreciated it at the time. Now, looking back, it was great, and I am proud of myself for all those times I represented New Zealand. Making it that far in the world of running was special.
GCR: When I spoke with Tom Farrell, he experienced a quick improvement like you did as he went from not making the IC4A finals at 800 meters in 1963 to making the U.S. Olympic team in 1964 and finishing fifth in the Olympic final. Was there a feeling that you weren’t quite ready to experience this and to appreciate it?
KS When I first qualified for the Olympics, my coach and high-performance manager from New Zealand had to convince me to go in the end because I did get very nervous and a little scared. I had never run an event that big as the biggest competition I had raced was the NCAA Championships. I got little overwhelmed beforehand and nearly didn’t go. They talked me around and talked me into it and I’m glad I did go. That sudden drop in my times was shocking to me and ending up in the Olympics that same year was very overwhelming.
GCR: Sometimes an athlete has a year that is memorable for multiple championships. How magical was 2004 when you won four NCAA championships – both the 5,000 meters and 3,000 meters indoors in March, 5,000 meters outdoors in June and cross country in November – and went to the Olympics in the summer? Was it a whirlwind of amazement for you?
KS When I look back on my career, that is one of my favorite years because every time I stood on the starting line, I surprised myself. I had no clue going in I would race like that. When I got off the plane from New Zealand early in the year, the next day I was scheduled to run a little 3,000-meter race. It was a low-key indoor race and my coach wanted me to just go out and run 9:30 and qualify for the Big East Championships. I ran around 9:04 which, at that time, was one of the fastest times in the NCAA. We both had this thought of, ‘I don’t know where that came from?’ From then on that whole year was a whirlwind. Every time I stood on the track I improved. It was a lot of fun.
GCR: They say that records are made to be broken, but what does it say about your ability to race strong at a variety of distances that, when you retired, you held eleven New Zealand National Records from the 3,000 meters to the marathon?
KS I never in my wildest dream thought that would ever happen. I liked running fast and it was fun to go out and break records. I did enjoy that part of racing. When I beat records of women who I had as running heroes when I grew up, it was very fun to do.
GCR: Runners don’t always choose their best racing distance, it chooses them. Based on your half marathon results from 2009 to 2014 where you raced sixteen times from 1:07 to 1:11 including thirteen victories, did the half marathon choose you and did you like racing at that distance?
KS That was my favorite race distance. I could go out and run a tempo run and run sixty-nine minutes. It wasn’t hard. For some reason, that distance was the perfect distance for me. Marathons were very difficult for me and the 10k was too quick. Unfortunately, I am one of those people who fall into the category where the half marathon is the best distance. I truly enjoyed running those races the most.
GCR: How did the ability you learned as a youth and young lady to balance multiple aspects of life such as academics, athletics and your social life benefit you as you grew to juggle responsibilities of running, the household, your husband and children?
KS Running and being a good athlete in college requires a lot of discipline as there is a lot going on. To slot athletics into doing schoolwork and having time for friends helped me. Being in the NCAA system provides a team around you and teammates who are doing the same thing which helps. Now, that I am older, I have to run every day. I always make sure I have time to run because it keeps me sane. I run slowly now, but I always am sure to find the time to make a run because it is important for my mental health and physical health. It has become a way of life now. I think I will always have to run.
GCR: Toward the end of your running career you struggled with foot injuries, blood clots in your lungs and a ruptured tendon which required surgery. Despite all these obstacles to running your best, was it still difficult to retire from competitive running?
KS In the end it wasn’t very difficult. I knew that I could never get to the point again where I was as a competitor. My feet weren’t cooperating. I had a new baby that I wanted to spend all my time with. I had gone away a couple times and I didn’t like being away from her. I always wanted kids and have always loved kids. That transition wasn’t too hard because it was something that I wanted just as much as I wanted running. So, for me it wasn’t too hard to make that choice. It takes so much energy and so much time and I didn’t have any in me anymore.
GCR: OLYMPIC QUALIFYING, OLYMPICS AND THE WORLD STAGE You mentioned how you weren’t ready mentally to compete in your first Olympics, but before competing in the Olympics, an athlete must make the team. How exciting was it to do so for New Zealand three times and at a different distance each time, 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters and the marathon?
KS As I got older, I realized that I didn’t have quite the speed for the shorter distances, so my race distances went up. Going to the Olympics three times in a row was great. I was more ready the second time. Looking back, I probably should have stayed on the track longer than I did and not moved up to the marathon because it wasn’t my distance. I was more of a 10k runner than a marathon runner. But when I started training for the marathon, I lost a lot of my speed, and I couldn’t go back.
GCR: How would you describe your first Olympic racing experience and the excitement of being on the New Zealand Olympic team in Athens in 2004 where you finished eleventh in your 5,000-meter semifinal and didn’t make it to the finals?
KS It was such a whirlwind at the time, and I totally enjoyed it. I am so glad my coach pushed me to go. That experience was important for the rest of my career. My coach told me that we never could know what was going to happen. He said that I might get injured and didn’t know what would happen in four years. I went to the Olympics and am so glad I did. It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it more than the next Olympics because I didn’t put any pressure on myself. I went and had fun.
GCR: At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where you raced 10,000 meters, Kenya’s Lorna Kiplagat powered through heat and humidity to lead at 5k in 15:10, before two-time World Champ Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia won with a sub-30:00 clocking. How tough was that race due to the strong competition and the weather and did you find yourself running along with Kara Goucher, who finished four seconds behind your seventh-place finish?
KS I think that both Kara and I had disappointing races that day. Neither of us ran our best race. That race was kind of crazy because at the time I finished ninth and two runners ahead of me were disqualified later for PEDs. There were other runners in the race who had positive drug tests afterward, so it was a crazy time.
GCR: How ready were you to race fast in Beijing, especially since you had run a 14:45.93 for 5,000 meters to place fourth at the Golden Gala in Rome, Italy just five weeks before your Olympic 10k effort?
KS I had finished fourth at the World Championships the year before. I felt like I was fit and ready to go. My workouts going up to the Olympics were great. During the race I might have had some problem with my calf. I didn’t have my best day that day.
GCR: Before the 2012 Olympics, you had some stellar marathon efforts, placing sixth at the 2010 London Marathon in 2:25:21, fourth at the 2010 New York City Marathon in 2:29:28 and fifth at the 2011 New York City Marathon in 2:25:46. What were you learning from those top finishes at these prestigious marathons and what are your takeaways from those efforts as you prepared for the 2012 Olympic marathon?
KS I never felt like I quite reached my potential in the marathon. My feet were always such that they didn’t feel good when I was running marathons. I never figured out the marathon properly so I don’t know if I can answer that question. I’m not sure I learned much about the marathon. I don’t think I was a marathon runner. It wasn’t my best event. I enjoyed running the marathon majors. They were a lot of fun, but I never reached my potential. I wish I had run a fast course one year. I always gravitated towards New York and kind of wish I had raced the Chicago Marathon one time. The flat courses are much better for me.
GCR: Before all three of these Olympic build up marathons, you raced two or three fast half marathons in the final months leading up to the marathon. Did you like using these half marathons as tempo runs to make the marathon feel slower and relatively easy for the first two-thirds of the race?
KS Sometimes I would race a half marathon and sometimes I would do them because I hated running tempo runs by myself. I would maybe jump in a local half marathon as part of my training and try to run what I hoped would be my marathon pace. I would aim for 1:11 pace which always seemed so easy. But, for the marathon, that pace for the full distance was always hard.
GCR: At the 2012 London Olympic Marathon you placed fourteenth in 2:26:59. How did that race develop for you, how long were you with the lead pack, what were the crunch points and were you pleased with your race?
KS I was very disappointed with that race. Although the course was flat, it had a lot of turns. It was wet and I was having some problems slipping with my shoes. I had never worn them in the rain before. I remember running the first lap and contemplating, ‘Should I stop and run the 10k? This isn’t going to work.’ The cobblestones also made the course tough, and it was one of the more difficult courses I raced. The course did not suit me at all. I was disappointed afterwards because I felt like I had gone in fit and ready to go.
GCR: While in Athens, Beijing and London for your three Olympics, did you participate in the Opening or Closing Ceremonies, watch other track and field events, attend other sporting events, and get to do a bit of sight-seeing?
KS I did more in Athens. I went to the Opening Ceremony. I went to quite a few events. I went out with a friend from New Zealand afterwards and did a bit of sight-seeing. In Beijing I came home quickly after my race. We weren’t allowed at the Opening Ceremonies because we were in a training camp in Hong Kong. I came home quickly afterwards because I was getting ready for the New York City Marathon that year. In London I got to watch a lot of the track events which is always fun, and I went to the Closing Ceremonies.
GCR: At the World Cross Country Championships, your highlights included a 12th place finish in 2005 and a 13th place finish in 2009 amongst several other times you competed. How tough was it and how rewarding to race so well against all the top runners in the world from the mile, steeplechase, 5k, 10k and marathon who came together for one race?
KS Cross country was probably my least favorite surface to run on. I always found it so hard. My first World Championship race was in cross country. That is where I met Ray Treacy, who became my coach when I decided to go to Providence after meeting him there. I think I was relatively good at cross country, but it was so tough to compete with all those runners who did come from all the different backgrounds from milers to marathon runners. It is one of the hardest races in the world. I was very happy with having a couple of top fifteen finishes.
GCR: Your finishes at World Championships included fourth at 10k in Osaka, Japan in 2007, sixth at the indoor 3k at Valencia, Spain in 2008, eighth at 10k in Berlin in 2009 and seventh in the half marathon in Birmingham, England in 2009. With so many stellar top ten performances that were outside of the medals, how tough was it to medal on the world stage?
KS Track and field is one of the most diverse sports in the world. Runners from every continent can run. You don’t need equipment. You just need a pair of shoes. That makes it one of the hardest sports to be on top because everybody has a chance to compete. I believe that being very good in track and field is tough. People who don’t compete in track and field don’t understand that. I was happy with those finishes. When I was fourth in Osaka, it was hard to be one spot out of the medals, but I was happy with those results.
GCR: We talked briefly about the half marathon. Did you like staying close to home since ten of your thirteen victories were in the northeast United States in New Bedford, Boston, Philadelphia, Hartford, Brooklyn and Providence and do any of these stand out for a tough battle to beat a strong foe where you had to work hard in the last mile or quarter mile?
KS One that also happens to be where I ran the New Zealand record of 1:07:11 was in Philadelphia at the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon. Worknesh Keitany was second, but we ran together the whole way. There were a group of guys right behind us, but we were running side by side and pushing each other along very hard. We were running even miles but pushing. I am not particularly known for my sprint finish. We were both there with a couple hundred meters to go and I made a last push. I beat her and was particularly happy. We had a big battle there. Usually, I would try to run away early on, but I did win that race right at the end.
GCR: FORMATIVE YEARS AND HIGH SCHOOL RACING Were you an active child playing with other kids, in what sports did you participate and how did you start running?
KS I played a game in New Zealand called net ball. It is a game that a lot of girls played. It’s a little like basketball, but you don’t dribble the ball. I played that when I was a little girl. I wasn’t good at it and wasn’t good at any sport when I was growing up. We did a cross country race in primary school and everyone in the school had to run the school cross country course. I won by a lot, and it came easy and natural to me. Once I got into high school, I stated getting more into running. I didn’t train a lot until I got to college.
GCR: What were some of the highlights of your racing on the track and in cross country when you were a teenager?
KS I had some top three finishes in the New Zealand Cross Country Championships for high school runners. I was never someone that people looked at strongly or put on developmental teams. There were always a few runners who were better than me. I was a solid high school runner, but not exceptional.
GCR: Your cross country exploits down under included a 2000 New Zealand North Island Silver Medal, 2001 North Island and Australian Bronze Medals and a 2002 Australian Silver Medal plus 2002 and 2003 World Cross Country finishes of 52nd and 61st place. What stands out from these half dozen cross country races that was molding you into a tough runner?
KS I came to college in the U.S. as a freshman and went to McNeese State University in Louisiana for a year. I didn’t particularly like it, and I went home. I learned a lot because I didn’t know that many runners ran so much. It taught me to run more and to be more disciplined in my training. When I went home and went to university in New Zealand for a year, a big improvement came there. That’s when I went to Australia for the cross-country competition and got a medal in New Zealand that year. Then, on the track I won two races – one was the 1,500 meters and the other was the 3k or 5k – at the New Zealand Championships that year. I had learned that I needed to run more than twenty miles a week if I wanted to be a good runner. That experience in Louisiana taught me that. At home, the more I improved, the more I wanted to run.
GCR: How did you decide to go back to the U.S. and to Providence and were there other colleges in the mix of your choices?
KS I was putting in a lot more miles. I was running about seventy miles a week that year after running only twenty or thirty miles a week. That brought my times down a lot and that is when Providence was interested when they saw my cross-country results. That is how I ended up at Providence that next year. I was a double transfer student, so I had to sit out a year when I first came to Providence. I had won the New Zealand Championships on the track and gone to the World Cross Country Championships. There wasn’t a lot of other competition in New Zealand, and I had it in my head that maybe I should go back and try somewhere else that was more suited to me. There was one guy from New Zealand on the World Cross Country team who had just finished up at Providence and he kind of talked me into it. He introduced me to Ray Treacy at World Cross. Ray was recruiting someone else. I asked him if he would give me a scholarship. He went back and he thought about it and then offered me the scholarship and I went.
GCR: COLLEGIATE RACING How was your transition the second time from being at home and racing in New Zealand to attending college in the United States in Rhode Island in terms of living away from home, more rigorous academics and adjusting to Ray Treacy’s coaching regimen?
KS The transition was much easier the second time. I was older and that helped. I liked Providence and, in general, the northeast United States. I had an easier time moving there than the south. The two places were very different. The biggest difference in training was that I hadn’t pushed myself before in workouts. That helped me to improve.
GCR: What can you relate about the 2003 cross country season where you won the Big East and Northeast Region meets before placing second at NCAAs? What was the crunch point at NCAAs that led to Shalane Flanagan pulling away to win by twelve seconds?
KS That cross-country season was a bit of a shock to me. I hadn’t raced in a year because I had to sit out as a double transfer student. I did a few road races here and there and a few track races, but nothing much. I didn’t know where I was at until I ran those first meets. Then Ray told me, ‘You are going to be one of the favorites at Nationals.’ I tried to stay with Shalane as long as I could, and she got away from me at the end. The thing that sticks out most from that race is the weather. It is the coldest place I have ever raced. It was very, very cold and a hard race. I had won my races by a lot that year up to that point. It was fun to race Shalane and to really push myself.
GCR: At the 2004 NCAA Indoor Championships, you won the 5,000 meters by 31 seconds in 15:14.18 and came back the next day to win the 3,000 meters by 16 seconds in 8:49.18. Since you won by such large margins, did you get to enjoy the last few laps of each race and savor the experience?
KS Before that weekend, I had run some fast times and there was some expectation that I would win. I wasn’t sure and this was the biggest track meet to that point that I had done. My coaches told me to go out and run hard. That was my strength that I could push the pace and run fast from the front. So, that is what we did in the 5k. The second day, in the 3k, we did the same thing. I had broken the record the day before and my coaches said I could go out and try to do that again. So, I did. My naivete at that point in my career was helpful. I did think about it much. I just went out and ran hard.
GCR: Similarly, three months later at the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Championships you won on a warm day in Austin, Texas by 36 seconds in 15:48.86 off a slow early pace. Despite the weather, were you able to savor that victory in the final few minutes?
KS There was more pressure on me at that point, but I think that at the same time everybody else had it in their head that they were racing for second place anyway. It was one of my easier races of my college career because no one even tried to go with me.
GCR: You won four NCAA Championships that year and none were particularly close. At the 2004 NCAA Cross Country Championships what was your pre-race strategy, how did the race develop and what were the key moves that led to your 18-second victory over Colorado’s Renee Metivier?
KS I had the same plan to go out hard and to try to run away from people. That race was one where I was more nervous for that than for any other race I have ever run. At that point, the expectation that I was going to win was so high that it was starting to make me very nervous. Everyone assumed that I was going to win, but things can happen, and I started to get a little too nervous. I remember being extremely relieved when it was over and it went well as opposed to being happy.
GCR: Was that day doubly fulfilling since you led Providence to a Bronze Medal team performance, just six points ahead of fourth place Notre Dame?
KS We were third the year before as well and we wanted to win. But we had some injury problems on the team. It was a little disappointing, but it’s always good to be in the top three. The year before was more exciting because we were ranked further down, and we finished third.
GCR: TRAINING What are the primary concepts of mental and physical training that you learned from your coaches, and could you give at least one big principle or idea you learned from each coach that molded your development as a runner?
KS In high school I ran, but I wasn’t too motivated. When I went to the U.S. and learned that you had to run more than twenty miles a week to be good, I started to get into it. When I went home, I asked my high school coach, Terry Cunningham, to coach me again and he did so. I had more input at that time when I went home. We increased my mileage a lot. When I went to Providence College, Ray Treacy was my coach and a big difference in my training that I had never done before was tempo runs. We did a lot of tempo running. That helped me and suited me in my training. Having training partners was also a big factor. It helped having women on my team who were so good like Mary Cullen. Mary and I did a lot of our workouts together, many tempo runs, and we pushed each other. The year I was second to Shalane Flanagan at NCAA Cross Country, I think Mary was fifth. We had pushed each other to new levels of fitness, and she was a major factor for me in getting to that next level for sure.
GCR: You have mentioned only running twenty miles a week in high school and building up to seventy miles a week collegiately. What was your typical weekly milage post-collegiately as you transitioned to the half marathon and full marathon?
KS For the marathon, I would run somewhere between ninety and a hundred fifteen miles a week.
GCR: During marathon training, how long were your long runs and at what pace compared to your race pace?
KS I never ran further than a marathon. The longest run I did was twenty-five miles. The long runs weren’t at marathon pace and were at an easier pace. They weren’t me favorite training runs.
GCR: Did you ever do some long runs that weren’t quite as long but were around seventeen miles where you would run a minute slower than marathon pace for ten miles, five miles at marathon pace and then the last two miles a little faster?
KS I would do tempo runs where I would run five miles easy, ten miles at marathon pace and five miles easy.
GCR: What were some of your favorite strength and speed workouts as a 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter runner and did they change as a road racer focusing on longer distances?
KS Occasionally, when I was marathon training, I would still get on the track. That is the way Ray coaches. But there were longer reps. I would do five time two miles at half marathon pace or three times three miles at that pace. When I was racing the 10k, there were much faster workouts.
GCR: How important to you were concepts such as ‘hard easy’ training, running on soft surfaces, and hill training for power?
KS We didn’t do any specific hill workouts, but my coach had us do runs that went over hills. We did long runs on hilly courses. I wasn’t a huge fan of soft surfaces. I always liked running on the roads. The easy days were important. In Ray’s training, there are more easy days in between the hard workouts than other coaches. His philosophy is you must hurt on the hard days, so run easy on the easy days and hard on the hard days.
GCR: Did you do cross training such as swimming or biking, weight training and stretching?
KS I didn’t do much of these. I was a pure runner and left the other things out. If I was injured, I didn’t run.
GCR: WRAPUP AND FINAL THOUGHTS We discussed many of your races from your entire running career. Are there any top races that we missed where you beat a tough opponent, came from behind with a great kick, ran a big personal best time or all three that stand out?
KS One race that was memorable was when I ran my 5,000-meter personal best time indoors. I had done two very good track workouts when I came back from New Zealand on the flat indoor track at Providence. I did a workout where I did a mile in 4:40, then 1,200 meters in 3:34, 800 meters in 2:20 and 400 meters in around sixty-five seconds. I did it again in reverse and ran each faster with the mile in 4:30. It was about fives miles worth of work. Ray said, ‘You need to find a race next week because you are very fit.’ We found this ‘Last Chance before the NCAAs’ college meet in New York and I asked someone I know if they would pace me for a couple laps so I wouldn’t go out too fast. She paced me for a kilometer and then I ended up lapping the field something like three times. I tried to run fast, and I ended up running 14:39. There isn’t always a race when you need it and that was there, so it is always one that sticks out in my mind.
GCR: From your many years of racing, who were some of your favorite competitors on the track, in cross country and on the roads due to their ability to give you a strong race and bring out your best?
KS I always liked racing against Shalane Flanagan. We pushed each other in some races. In college and after that she is a person that sticks out in my memory. There were so many different people from many countries that pushed me, but Shalane was always one I had my eye on.
GCR: What is your current fitness routine and some of your goals for the future in terms of staying fit?
KS I don’t have any desire to race anymore, but I like being fit. I coach a couple women and I have jumped in some workouts which is fun though it bugs my feet. I do some personal coaching on the side which is fun to do. I have no real goals for myself.
GCR: What are your top few tips for runners who are moving up from 5k and 10k racing to the half marathon and marathon in terms of training and race day execution?
KS There is a big jump in distance. A runner must put in the hard work if they want to make that jump. It is different in training and different in racing. You must learn a slower pace and how to fuel for marathons. It is a big jump, but the high you get after running a marathon is worth it.
GCR: When you are asked to sum up in a minute or two the major lessons you have learned during your life from the discipline of running, being a part of the running community, balancing life’s components and overcoming challenges and adversity, what you would like to share with my readers that will help them on the pathway to reaching their potential athletically and as a person that is the ‘Kim Smith Philosophy of Life?’
KS Having fun and enjoying what you do is so important. Making sure to listen to your body is vital. I probably didn’t do that enough when I was running. Having time off when you are injured rather than running through things, like I had a habit of doing, should be done. It always comes back to bite you, so listening to your body is so important.
  Inside Stuff
Hobbies/Interests Most of my time is spent with my two children. Also, I like to read a lot
Favorite movies My favorite movie when I was growing up was ‘Grease’
Favorite TV shows I like a lot of TV. I’m a big TV watcher. I like ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘Sons of Anarchy,’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and all kinds of TV shows
Favorite music I don’t listen to much music these days. I was into Grunge music when I was growing up as a teenager
Favorite books I like mostly mysteries and crime novels
First car I got my driver’s license when I was twenty-six years old which was sort of old to get a license. I’m not a great driver. I had a Yaris, which we still have and my husband drives
Current car I drive an SUV and I don’t even know what model it is. I’m not a car person
First Job I don’t know if I even had a job as a teenager. When I was in college, I worked in the Providence College mail room. That was probably my first job
Family I have two kids, a six-year-old and four-year-old, who just had birthdays this summer. There names are Violet and Callum. I have a twin brother and an older brother
Pets We had cats and dogs when I was growing up, but no pets now. Children are enough
Favorite breakfast I usually eat cereal or oatmeal for breakfast
Favorite meal At dinner I like lamb and other meat. I’m a big meat eater
Favorite beverages I love coffee and drink a lot of coffee. I like red wine
First running memory It was running at my Primary school for cross country
Running heroes When I was growing up, there was an 800-meter runner in New Zealand, Toni Hodgkinson. She is still the New Zealand Record Holder. She was the big superstar when I was a kid in the 1990s and she was a big hero for me. I read a book about Liz McColgan when I was a kid and thought she was amazing
Greatest running moments The first NCAA Championship win was huge for me at the time. Qualifying for the Olympics for the first time for sure. Being fourth in the World Championships in Osaka. I won the World University games 5,000 meters and that was a big thing for me at the time. Then Philadelphia at the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon where I set the New Zealand record of 1:07:11 and outkicked Worknesh Keitany
Worst running moment The first year of my marathon debut. I tried to run the New York City Marathon and I had gotten sick a couple of days before the race. I probably shouldn’t have run. My coach told me not to run, but I tried anyway and dropped out. That was a big low point for me
Favorite places to travel Now I like to travel to New Zealand since I live here in the U.S. At this point, I think I’ve lived here longer than I have in New Zealand. We haven’t been able to travel there for a year-and-a-half now. I got to race in so many cool places like Rome, Monaco and Paris. It was a great perk of my job that I was able to travel to all these cool cities and to see them. It’s always fun to go to New York. I raced there so many times, and maybe more than any other city