April 2021 ambassador
Mar 30, 2021
Kim is a professional runner living and training in Flagstaff, AZ and has represented the United States eight times, including at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games – she is also aiming to compete at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Kim made her first Olympic team in 2012 in dramatic fashion, taking the third and final spot by four hundredths of a second, while also meeting the Olympic “A” standard by 21 hundredths of a second. She qualified in the 5000 meters again this summer, albeit with a three-second gap on fourth place this time around
How did you get into athletics?
I joined a club team when I was 11 because I found softball too boring—I wanted to run around more!
What has been your greatest achievement?
At the 2012 US Olympic Trials I launched a comeback effort over the final lap of the 5000m to go from fifth place to third place. With a lean at the finish line, I earned the final qualifying position on the Olympic team by .04 seconds and ran under the Olympic standard by .21 seconds. In that fraction of a second I qualified for the London Olympic Games and effectively launched my professional career. In the aftermath of that race I signed a contract with New Balance, which had allowed me to train and compete professionally in the years since. In 2016 I returned to the Olympic stage in Rio.
What is your preferred running distance and why?
My favorite distance is a road 5k—still fairly short, but without running twelve and half laps around the track.
Did you have an athlete role model who inspired you at the beginning of your career?
Sara Hall was a senior at my high school when I was a freshman. She taught me about goal setting and being disciplined in pursuit of your goals. She continues to inspire me today with her success in the marathon!
What motivates you to train and compete at the elite level?
I love to run and I love the process of training, improving, and working my way toward my goals. I was not a top-level athlete when I began running, but my love for this process has allowed me to gradually ascend to an elite level.
What advice do you have young athletes looking to get into competitive running?
Start with a foundation of love. Running competitively takes hard work and dedication, but if you love what you are doing it won’t feel like a sacrifice.
What are your other interests outside of running?
I love reading, writing, and snuggling with my dog, Smokey. When my training is less intense, I like to hike and mountain bike also.
Describe your perfect weekend.
Traveling somewhere new, finding a beautiful location for a long run, having a great run, and then eating a delicious meal afterwards.
Why did you decided to use Beet It Sport for your running performance?
I have teamed up with a performance nutritionist, Will Benitez of On Pace Wellness, and he advised me to consider a beet supplement to boost performance. Beet It Sport has the highest concentration of nitrates on the market so it was an easy choice.
What are your sporting ambitions for the 2021 and beyond?
Right now I am training to earn a spot at the Tokyo Olympics. After this year I will turn my attention to the marathon in preparation for 2024.