– Kim showing off her running profiles from Ben Chan to friends. More photos of Kim here –
KIM O’ CONNELL: OUR NEW RUNNING MOMMY
First time I met Kim was at the Animo Run. We bumped into each other after the race and spoke briefly. That was it, but I knew I would never forget her: She spoke with a unique accent, such a gentle voice, and a very pleasant and cheerful disposition. Meeting her was like coming home to mom (and, by the way, my mom has a slight accent too.)
A few months after, I learned that Kim was being coached by my coach, Coach Jo-Ar. Still, we rarely saw each other.
Come November, when Annie and I were searching for a hotel to stay in for the Singapore Marathon, Coach Jo-Ar informed us that he had told Kim about us and before we knew it, Kim had helped us book a hotel room! By the time we arrived in Singapore, Kim was like our 2nd mommy: dropping by our room to check on us, giving us MRT cards, hosting a pre-race carbo loading party, and making sure we were all set before we left.
Kim arrived in Manila only last January and it comes as no surprise that, in such a short time, she has amassed such a large number of friends. She’s such a delightful person to be with.
KIM’S CHRISTMAS DINNER
Kim and her husband, Patrick, invited us into their beautiful home last Sunday for a wonderful Christmas dinner among, as Patrick cheerfully revealed, around 45 of Kim’s running friends and only 5 of his colleagues.
Kim and Patrick, who I met for the first time that evening, were gracious hosts throughout the evening. The dinner was scrumptious…and sinful (so the thought of dieting in my mind was immediately replaced with super crispy lechon on my plate), live vocals from Nino Alejandro was outstanding (for a while there I thought David Cook was serenading me) and, of course, the company of running friends made the evening even more delightful—and interesting.
I had the pleasure of dining with Patrick, Bald Runner, Capt. Espejo, Melvin from Fort Striders, Coach Rio, Coach Jo-Ar, and my hubby. One doesn’t need to wonder what we talked about for the most part of the evening. Running and everything about it: marathons, ultras, competitive running, recreational, road races, track, PATAFA—you name it, we talked about it.
After that evening, I realized that, as much as runners are bound by a common love for running, we are still very different in so many aspects: how we allow it to affect our lives, how we train, who we train with, our running goals, our vision for the sport in the country, and so many more.
If I could just add one more thing to my Christmas Wish List right now, it would be this: For all of us runners—especially the movers and shakers of the running community now—to work as one to make 2009 a bigger and brighter year for running. Collaboration is the key, not competition.
To Patrick and Kim, thank you once again for inviting us. To Kim—the most kind-hearted, generous, and caring runner around—I feel fortunate to have met you. You look soft on the outside, but you are one tough and courageous woman! Go for your Ultra!