At the time of this interview, ASICS Greenville Track Club-ELITE's Kimberly Ruck is currently 23rd on the 2015 IAAF World Rankings at the 10,000 meter distance. Ruck's 33:17.05 performance at the Stanford Invitational on April 3rd also has her 10th in the current USA rankings.
Q: When did you consider running post-collegiately?
KR: I considered running post-collegiately when I began graduate school at USC. My roommate and I were former collegiate runners and our love for the sport only grew when we left undergrad and went to graduate school. We realized how hard it was to train without a regimented program and a team, so that’s when I contacted Mike and Laura Caldwell inquiring more information about GTCE. When I ran a mediocre race at the Greenville Downtown Run, the Caldwell’s decided that I had a lot of unreached potential and that’s when we made the agreement that I would join the team and become their first female runner.
Q: How did you decide to join the GTC-ELITE program?
KR: I was really impressed with the training regimen and benefits of the program. We have many reputable sponsors such as Asics, Boston Bills Sunglasses, and Soleus watches, as well as access to injury-prevention outlets such as Performance Therapy and Carolina Spine and Rehab. The team is also given housing on top of all the other benefits. Another big reason I joined the program was that they encouraged the athletes to have a job. I knew I wanted a stimulating job to compliment my running career and when I found that they supported that, I was sold!
Q: What are your favorite things about living in Greenville?
KR: I love all the local support, the beautiful downtown, and the somewhat predictable weather. I also like how Greenville is a growing city but can still have a small town feel with lots of opportunities for exploration.
Q: You have performed well at different distances, which one do you prefer?
KR: 10k is my preferred racing distance.
Q: What is your favorite training season?
KR: My favorite training season is the spring because I love the mix of road and track races.
Q: Each of the GTC-ELITE athletes also work in the Greenville area? What is your job?
KR: I am a Human Performance Lab Manager employed by the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville and work at the Greenville Health System.
Q: You are known for experiencing many of Greenville’s coffee/eating establishments. Which is your current favorite?
KR: Moe Joe coffee is my favorite coffee and eating establishment in Greenville. Their coffee is phenomenal, food is delicious and at night they turn into a music café and bar. They offer something for everyone!
Q: What has been your best experience since joining GTC-ELITE?
KR: I had the privilege of going out to Stanford to race an elite 10k. I was very thankful for the opportunity and it ended up being one of the most fun and memorable trips to date. I was able to travel with my coach, Laura Caldwell, and it was a blast because I had someone to share the success with and to explore San Francisco with, all which made the trip much more enjoyable.
Q: What are your upcoming goals?
KR: For this year, my goals are to qualify for USATF Championships 10k in June, get a personal best in the 5k and 10k and to remain the number one female in South Carolina.
Q: Do you adhere to any particular diet regimen?
KR: I do not adhere to any particular diet regimen, but I try to eat healthy on a regular basis focusing on whole foods. I especially love Indian, Thai and Mediterranean food and find myself eating a lot of fish and seasonal foods from the Farmers Markets.
Q: Preferred pre-race meal?
KR: Anything from Panera!
Q: What are your favorite running shoes and why?
KR: I have always been easy to please when it comes to shoes, but anything ASICS I absolutely love. I run in the HyperSpeeds on the roads, BlazingFasts on the track, and Excels and Cumulus on my easy days. I love each shoe differently and they are all durable, comfortable and reliable.
Q: What is your favorite song?
KR: Anything upbeat and techno is music to my ears!
Q: How many water bottles do you carry on your long runs?
KR: I don’t carry water bottles on my long runs, usually about 2 hours. If I need water, I will do a loop back to my car or to a water fountain and take a few sips and continue on.
Q: You didn’t compete in high school, so how did you start running at Clemson?
KR: The Greenville Track Club, my parents, and the iRun group at Run In are the ones who encouraged me to try out for the team. As a freshman at Clemson I had success in a few local road races, and next thing I knew I was doing workouts with GTC and trying out for the Clemson team. My tryout/walk-on was a one mile time trial (my first ever timed mile) and I ran a 5:23. That was good enough for the coach and I was on the team!
Q: How long to you plan to continue competing at the elite level?
KR: I plan to compete at the elite level as long as my legs, schedule, and lifestyle allow it! Definitely through 2016 and the Olympic trials, and after that I will reevaluate where I am and plan to continue if everything lines up.