TSR Runner of the Week-Kristi Smith

By: Kayla Dodd

Congratulations to this week’s featured TSR Runner of the Week, Kristi Smith. She has been on her new running journey for a couple of years now and loves the joy of running! “I ran in middle school and high school, and I’ve always enjoyed running, but I lost touch with it and didn’t run for many years. I started running again in early 2014.”

When she started back to running, her first race back was the Charleston Distance Run in 2014, where she ran the 5-mile leg (the hills) of the 15 mile relay, with her team members! Her current 5k PR is 25:39, half-marathon at 1:56 and a marathon at 4:16. Her current running goals consist of working on getting her half marathon time under 1:50 and her marathon time under 4 hours. “I’d also like to do the 50 states challenge. It doesn’t matter what distance the race is (though I prefer half marathons), as long as there is a race medal to represent the state.” This is an awesome goal to run a race in all 50 states!

When asked what motivates her to run, “well, certainly the health benefits of running are great, but I also enjoy the social aspect of running. I just feel better when I run. It is a great stress relief and I consider it my me-time!”

The coolest thing that Kristi has seen on a run was when she ran in New York the day after Thanksgiving. “I knew I wanted to run in the city, but didn’t know my way around so I found City Running Tours and signed myself up. I did a running tour from lower Manhattan, through Chinatown and the Five Points, across the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn, ran along the waterfront and ran over the Brooklyn Bridge.” This was an amazing and great experience for her to run through NYC, I mean who doesn’t love a good run with a view?!

Kristi is currently signed up for the Charleston Winter Series races, and just completed the first race of the series on December 11th.  “I will run the UC Half Marathon in the spring and during Spring Break, I’ll run the Dark Side Challenge at the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disney.” She is also signed up for the Charleston Distance Run in September of 2017. “I am sure there will be several half marathons in between that I will run and I hope to get into the NYC Marathon in the fall through the lottery in January.”

Her dream race that she would love to participate in is the Boston Marathon. Her favorite running/motivational quote (or should I say hashtag) is, #hillsbuildcharacter. “I’ve been known to use the hashtag #hillsbuildcharacter!!!!!! I also say if it was easy, everyone would do it.”

The friendships that she has gained through her running journey have been her most rewarding experience! “Our local running community is so supportive and encouraging of one another.  I’m thankful for those who have taken me under their wing to share their knowledge and experience with me helping me become a better runner.  Also, crossing the finish line of my first marathon, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon, has been one of the best experiences not only in running, but in life in general.” The sense of pride and accomplishment you get from finishing a marathon after months of training, time spent away from your family, your home, your social life, just makes it all worth it!

Her favorite brand of running shoes are the Saucony ISO Triumph. Her favorite piece of running gear is her new Garmin Forerunner 235 (thanks to Santa!), and she also loves her new compression socks/sleeves (what a difference they can make!).

When asked what advice she would give to a beginner runner, Kristi said, “start slow, be patient and don’t give up, especially when you feel defeated and want to quit. It’s during those moments when you want to quit, that you find out how strong you are. Your body is capable of doing the work, it’s your mind you have to convince. Don’t listen to that voice in your head that tells you this is hard, this hurts, you need to stop. Remember why you started. Remember running is not about being better than someone else, it’s about being better than you were yesterday.”

Running has had such a positive impact on Kristi’s life. She has made great friends, crossed several finish lines, accomplished new running goals and she is in the best shape of her life! “I’ve met a lot of great people who I now call friends. My son, Ethan, has recently discovered his passion for running and we enjoy running together. I think that running a marathon has changed me in a way that I’m not sure how to put into words, other than to say I feel like since I can run 26.2 miles, then I can handle anything that life throws at me!”

Congratulations to Kristi on her great accomplishments and outstanding runner achievements! Team TSR wishes her the best of luck with all of her running goals. Do you know someone who should be the TSR Runner of the Week? Comment below or email kayla@tristateracer.com.

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