Kim KRod Rodrigues Live in Grace, Live in Peace

By Kimberley Williams Photos by JamGuy Graphics

A run fashion icon, self-proclaimed introvert who feeds off of the vibes of others, mother, grandmother, and overall amazing soul, Kim KRod Rodrigues is facing the battle of her life. 

Born in Georgetown Guyana, she came to the United States at the age of 7 with her 4-year-old sister.  Contrary to popular belief, Kim’s last name is pronounced Rah-dreeks, not Rodriguez.  Her last name originates from her father who was Portuguese and from Guyana.  Bred in Brooklyn in the Remsen Village neighborhood, she grew up just a walk away from the Brownsville and Canarsie neighborhoods. To date Kim still resides in the same neighborhood which has changed some, but still feels like the place that she grew up in.

She attended Tilden High School which was 3 blocks from where she grew up. During those formidable years Kim ran track-cross country, and the indoor/outdoor seasons.  She ran middle distance races, anywhere from the 400 to 1600 meters.  At one point she was thrown into the 400M hurdles.  “I give a lot of respect to 400M hurdlers because it hurts!”  Kim joined the track team because she was hanging with the wrong people and cutting classes.  She had a friend in the neighborhood who told her to come out and run track, and the rest is history.

Kim did not run post High School because she began working. At the age of 21 she had her son, and then started running again to get back into shape.  She’s a mother of 2, a son Calvin, and a daughter, Shanice.  She also has 3 grandchildren, Syier, King, and Caliese who is the oldest. Kim loves being a grandmother as she takes her grandchildren to the park, while there she often gets surprised reactions from others at being called grandma. Kim’s style is one of a kind, and it’s no wonder she receives looks of shock when people realize she is not the mom but the grandmother.

In the back of Kim’s mind, she always wanted to run the New York City marathon.  After always watching it on television, growing up she said, “One day I will run that race!”  Kim met a co-worker who ran the NYC Marathon.  She asked her “How did you run the race” the co-worker replied 9+1, and of course, no new runner knows what 9+1 is so in 2008 she did her 9+1 (running 9 New York Road Runner races and volunteered at 1) and then the following year ran New York City Marathon in 2009 for the first time.  In preparation, Kim downloaded a marathon training app from the Internet, which she didn’t even end up following.

On race day, she got to the marathon village which had a very different set up than what it is today where runners waited in a big open field, as Kim waited, she became very emotional in the village, and throughout the entire race.  She didn’t expect the thousands of people that were lining the streets of New York City, cheering for people that they didn’t even know.  She finished her very first marathon in 5+ hours.  At this time there were no run crews, no run clubs, none of the benefits that today’s runners have, so she trained solo for her first marathon.

To date Kim has eight to ten NYC Marathons, she stopped counting after Hurricane Sandy back in October 2012.  While she was on her way to the expo to pick up her bib the marathon was cancelled that year as she ran the NYC Marathon every year up until the storm hit.  She’s run the Chicago Marathon once and was invited to run the Boston Marathon by Bridge Runners and Cliff Bar.  We touched on the uproar others have regarding invitational entries into the Boston Marathon.  Kim says.

“I think those people want to get into Boston, and when you are invited, they feel a way.  Like, why are they being invited when other people must earn to get into it.  I did earn it!  I’ve been running all these years; I can run it…why not!” 

In the end, Kim does have a goal to BQ one day.

In today’s current run climate, Kim recommends finding a crew or club where you feel like you belong. “Not many of the run crews are friendly, and I say that because I’ve experienced it myself.”  Kim runs with Old Man Run Club & Bridge Runners.  At group runs when there are new runners in the group they are asked “Who’s here for the first time.”  Kim makes it a point to introduce herself to new runners and introduce those new runners to the captains so that they feel welcome.

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