Interview Conducted on: 2013/03/27
Race: 2013 Two Rivers Marathon (Lackawaxen, PA) on 2013/03/30 in 3:51:54!
Cause: Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN)
Name: Eunji Jen Kim
Hometown: Queens, NY
Current Location: New York, NY
Occupation: Pastry Chef
Blog / Website: N/A
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/eunji.j.kim
Press Articles: N/A
Running Clubs: Marathon Maniacs #4806
Favorite Running Books: The Bible
Favorite Running Websites: Ryan Hall
Favorite Quote: "I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free." - Psalm 119:32
First Marathon: 2011/01/30 @ 2011 Miami Marathon (Miami, FL) in 4:08:49
Total Marathons: 10
Total Ultras: 0
Total Marathons+Ultras: 10
Marathon PR: 2012/11/18 @ 2012 Brooklyn Marathon (Brooklyn, NY) in 3:43:20
Training Miles / Week: 0 to 20 miles per week
Favorite Charities / Running Causes: Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN)
Fundraiser Sites: N/A
Amount Raised: $2,105
Amount Raised for PanCAN: $2,105
1.) Describe your life before running.
I was never involved in any sports growing up so I didn't know that I had a spirit of competition in me. Running has taught me so much about perseverance and resilience. I don't believe that any other sport or activity would have made me as strong as I am now-physically and mentally-like running has.
2.) What prompted you to start running, and how old were you at the time?
I started running when I was 21 because I wanted to get in shape. It was torturous and I don't think that I ever went past one mile. I stopped running for a few years and started again at 25 and ran four miles every morning before work. I signed up for a half marathon and did surprisingly well considering I'd never run more than four miles. I became addicted to running races and finishing fast. I ran 15 half marathons, and many 10k's and 4 mile races before I ran my first full marathon in 2011.
3.) Why do you love running and what keeps you motivated to continue running?
I love the feeling of pushing through the lows and feeling the highs and finishing strong. I feel like there is a story happening during each run. I love the camaraderie of races and especially the community of runners. As long as my feet and heart will carry me, I will keep running!
4.) What is your prior experience with charity running and fundraising?
Running for PanCAN has been my one fundraising experience. I had donated to my friends who raised money for different causes but I had not been one to raise funds. PanCAN is an amazing organization with extraordinary people on staff and I am so grateful to have been a part of their team.
5.) Why did you volunteer to become a charity runner with Kino, and what about marathons appeals to you?
I had not known anybody who had been affected in any way with pancreatic cancer prior to my involvement with PanCAN. Kino had a very close uncle pass away from the disease as well as another one of our friend's mother. At that point, Kino had already raised thousands of dollars and had motivated so many people to run for this-as well as many other causes. It inspired me to see what one person could do and I wanted to get involved. It was an amazing experience from beginning to end. I was so grateful to all of the people in my life who donated money. But the best part was meeting the PanCAN team and coach as well as the survivors (and runners!!) of pancreatic cancer. It was truly humbling and the race was challenging but so amazing. I will never forget my first marathon for so many reasons.
6.) How has your experience been raising awareness and funds for PanCAN/BoMF/WTC?
Since being a part of the organization, I have been an advocate for people to get regular check ups for pancreatic cancer. I have also had the opportunity to link a friend whose father was recently diagnosed to speak with other people who have had family members with the disease.
7.) Describe your 2013 Two Rivers Marathon charity race experience. How different was it compared to not running for charity (i.e. Why do you feel that using running is a useful tool in helping out charities?)?
This was a great race because I was able to run it with my friend, Kino, and represent PanCAN together. It has been the third race where I was running for the organization and it is more meaningful to run for a cause and not just for personal pursuits. Running is a great tool for helping charities because it is a great way to present a certain cause in an exciting way. Social media has also been a great tool in raising funds and awareness.
8.) Do you plan to run a race for charity again, and if so, what charity will it be for?
I would like to continue to run and raise funds and awareness for PanCAN. I am also interested in JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). A very close friend of mine has a daughter who was diagnosed with Juvenile diabetes and is a very strong advocate for awareness and in finding a cure. I am inspired by their lives everyday and reminded about how grateful I should be for my health and for being able to do something I love so much... run!
9.) What are your current running goals?
I would like to qualify for Boston.
10.) Feel free to add anything else, give thanks, or shout outs.
I would LOVE to thank my dear friend KINO-because if not for him, I would have never run my first marathon! And second, third....tenth! He continues to inspire and encourage me as well as hundreds...thousands of others. His running history is amazing and truly shows that if you work hard and believe in yourself you can accomplish some pretty unbelievable things. His charitable works have reached so many people and will only continue to grow. Steven Thunder Lee has been such an amazing mentor to me and I am endlessly grateful to him for his motivation and kindness. He is as fast as he is gracious...and he is FAST!!!!
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