Buongiorno East Nasty! Most of us have run a race in Nashville at some point in our running careers (Tomato Arts 5k or Country Music Half/Full Marathon anyone???). Some of us might have even traveled outside of the state of Tennessee to run a race. But how many can say they have traveled to Europe to run a MARATHON in one of the most beautiful European cities- Florence, Italy? I know of at least one, this week’s East Nasty of the Week, Kristen Kimmel!
Kristen’s running career started while she was a student at The University of Virginia. Since she wasn’t playing organized sports anymore like she did in high school, Kristen needed to find something to keep her active. After a couple of false starts with snowboarding (two broken bones on two consecutive trips!), running was the simpler and safer alternative. She had made some friends who ran, and she realized that even with asthma, if she ran really slow she could run further than a mile. A few years after she graduated a friend asked her if she wanted to train and run for the Charlottesville 10 Miler. Even though she was super intimidated she agreed. Her friend ended up backing out of the race, but Kristen stuck with it and felt so empowered. It’s no surprise a year later in 2009 she ran her first half marathon in Richmond. Kristin thought she would be a one and done kind of half marathon girl, but running was in her blood and in 2010 after moving to San Diego, she joined a running group. Training, longer runs, and races became the norm.
When faced with a move to Nashville that she wasn’t all too crazy about, one of the first things she did was start to research Nashville and she found the East Nasty website and that was all she needed! She was sold on East Nashville and told her husband Tom that this was the ‘hood for them. Andrew Leahay, a friend from college living in Nashville, sent a Facebook message to Kristen telling her that she would get along well with his wife Emily and even though he was going to be out of town, Emily would take her to East Nasty that first Wednesday she was in town. She still remembers that out and back Musica run!
Kristen’s biggest running accomplishment is running a marathon. She’s run two- San Diego in 2012 and she just recently ran the Florence Marathon in November 2013! She’s hoping to run another in 2014 as well.
One of her favorite things about East Nasty is the community. She has been able to meet so many different runners and constantly feels encouraged and inspired by other East Nasties. She also enjoyed her time as a coach in the P2T program during the summer. Traveling with a group of East Nasties in 2013 to run the New Orleans Rock and Roll Half Marathon was a pretty memorable experience. Kristen met a bunch of new runners and had a blast!
When Kristen isn’t running or working as the marketing manager for PearlPoint Cancer Support, she is pretty obsessed with her two dogs Samson and Sheba. She supports East C.A.N. and she is also a volunteer for the national animal rescue organization Animal Rescue Corps. Additionally, she volunteers at the YWCA and is a member of the book club “broads, brews, and books.” She also enjoys being 3rd wheel to her husband Tom and fellow ENOW Duane Stephenson at a little local watering hole you might have heard of, 3CB.
Congratulations Kristen! We are so glad you found East Nasty and Nashville! Ciao bella!