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New Zealand’s Ace: 5 Questions With Kim Smith

The Kiwi will race the Yokohama Marathon this Sunday.

Kim Smith is one of the best distance runners on the planet. The 30-year-old from New Zealand owns six national records and won the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon last year, running the fastest half marathon on U.S. soil with a quick 1 hour, 7 minute and 36 second clocking.

Smith contested the marathon at this past summer’s Olympic Games, where she placed 15th in 2:26:59. She won the inaugural B.A.A. Distance Medley title with a victory at the B.A.A. Half Marathon in October, pocketing her $100,000. Smith had been set to run the New York City Marathon earlier this month before it was canceled due to the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy.

Smith lives and trains in Providence, Rhode Island, where she attended school, and continues to be coached by Ray Treacy. recently caught up with Smith, who will race the Yokohama Marathon this Sunday.

What are your thoughts about the New York City Marathon’s cancellation? Please tell us the emotions you felt when you heard [the race] was cancelled.

It was definitely disappointing when the marathon was cancelled. I love racing in New York City, especially for the marathon. I trained really hard and felt fit and ready to run well. In the end the mayor and New York Road Runners had to cancel it. They tried the best they could to not cancel but in the end it was the only option and it was obviously understandable.

What’s next for you racing-wise this year and next year? Will you be running Boston [in 2013]? If yes, what changes (if any) in training will you be undergoing for the 2013 race?

When I heard about the cancellation I wanted to find another marathon to race right away and the Yokohama Marathon on the 18th of November seemed like a great option, so I was lucky enough for the race director to let me into the race. I just didn’t want all the good training to go to waste.

Tell us about your Olympic Marathon experience? The course and the day were reported to be really tough. Do you agree? Is there anything you would have done differently that day in preparation or racing?

I found the course to be really tough. I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be, especially on a wet day. The turns, twists and cobblestones were really rough for me as more of a rhythm runner. In hindsight I probably should have gone for the 10,000, as no matter how much I practiced that kind of course will never suit me.

Any plans to return to the track for the world championships in 2014 or will you be focusing exclusively on the roads? What are your plans and goals for Rio in 2016?

It’s definitely a possibility for the world champs. I do love running on the roads but I miss the track as well. I will make more plans for next year after I run Yokohama. I definitely hope to make my fourth Olympic team in 2016. I will have to decide if that will be on the track or in the marathon.

There are a lot of athletes changing coaches and/or locations right now. Any plans to make any coaching or location changes? How is your relationship with Ray Treacy and how has that relationship evolved over time?

I have no plans to change locations or coach. I have been coached by Ray for 11 years now and I feel like it works well and have seen improvements every year. Our relationship has evolved over the years for sure. I have more input into my training now. He listens to my ideas and we discuss training quite a lot.


About The Author:

Duncan Larkin is a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released in July.