every runner has a story

Meet Kim Baker

Kim’s story exemplifies the transformative power of running, showcasing how it not only fosters fitness but also provides profound connections and opportunities for personal growth.

Born and raised in Lakeland, Kim’s journey into running began as a transformative quest for health and familial connection. “I started running after losing approximately 50lbs,” she shares, reflecting on her motivation rooted in family bonds. “My son had joined the Navy and I wanted to get healthy for him and our 8-year-old daughter.”

Embarking on her running journey in 2018 with walks, Kim transitioned to running in early 2019. “I started slowly and haven’t been able to stop,” she shared, reminiscing about her initial steps into the world of running.

Kim’s integration into the local running community was serendipitous, spurred by a friend’s invitation. “A friend from bowling told my husband, Chris, and I about the Saturday morning group run from Black and Brew downtown,” she recalls. “We started going there a few times, then to the hills… then we were completely sucked in!”

This immersion led Kim and Chris to volunteer with the Lakeland Runners Club (LRC), with Chris actively involved in organizing races. Kim’s first LRC race, the Mayfaire 5K, marked the beginning of a cherished journey. Reflecting on her favorite race, the Houston Marathon holds a special place. “Maybe because it was my first marathon or maybe because it is a great course,” she muses. “But I still believe that absolutely no races compare to the ones we put on with LRC!” Kim is co-chair of the Race Planning Committee and serves on the Board of Directors.

Running, for Kim, transcends mere exercise; it’s a catalyst for personal growth and familial bonding. “Running has made me a better person,” she asserts. “It has shown me that I can accomplish anything that I put my mind to.” Notably, Kim’s running journey has deepened her relationship with her twin sister, Cindy, who recently joined her on the pavement.

Navigating her training with RunnersFix Coaching Services, Kim’s approach favors interval running. Whether alone or with loved ones, she finds solace and joy in every stride.  Her journey wasn’t devoid of setbacks; a severe case of plantar fasciitis took a while to get under control, and she credits recently losing 73 pounds with helping her get back to regular training.

Favorite running memories often intertwine with travel. “We are going to Ireland this summer and will be running the Cork City Half Marathon,” Kim shares excitedly, anticipating her first international race. Yet, amidst her adventures, she imparts a valuable lesson: “Don’t go out too fast. It will get you every single time!”

Beyond running, Kim dedicates her time to volunteering for the club and relishing moments with family and friends. Her advice to newcomers echoes her own journey: “Have fun and don’t take it too seriously. There are going to ebbs and flows, don’t compare yourselves to others. That is one of the hardest things for all of us in life, not just in running.” With a steadfast commitment to pounding the pavement and crafting cherished memories, Kim eagerly anticipates the next chapter of her running journey, fueled by love, camaraderie, and personal growth.

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