Meet Kim Kocher (Free Hugs)

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We would like to introduce Kim Kocher. She is a very important part of the Ornery Mule Racing team. Kim (along side Debi Haas) host our Ornery Mule Racing YouTube channel. Kim is is so encouraging of everyone in the community, truly loves people, and we are so grateful to receive her kindness. She is a great role model of what Ornery Mule racing stands for. Kindness, community & ordinary people doing epic things!

Age:36 but I have a spirit age of 14 (LOL)

Hometown: Sugar Grove

Where you live now, and number of years you’ve lived in current state: Yorkville Il (5 years in Yorkville) IL since born

Family – kids, spouse/partner/best friends: Yes, 2 children Maya age 11/ Mitchell age 8 /Married to Eric Kocher 10+yrs.

Occupation and how many years at job? I work for Advocate Medical Group for 14+yrs. I work in the Physical Therapy & Behavioral Health Department in the Business office/Receptionist. Previously owned my own business prior to children in Massage Therapy seeing over 75+ clients in a month. Fitness and Health is my life.

When and why did you start trail running? I started running trail in Freshman year (age 14) during cross country season. I was recruited during the 8th grade PE mile requirement which I never ran a mile before and ran it in under 6 minutes. My coach told me I need to run with them for the summer and to please join their cross country team. I found that running helped me to cope with living with a parent that was disabled and unable to walk. Seeing my mother suffer through her physical therapy sessions due to her spinal cord complications motivated me to move for her. She tried so hard but due to her complications, she was 100% wheelchair bound until she passed from a stroke at age 56. My father also died at a young age of age 55 due to a heart attack. So between both of my parents dying before the age of 60, I want to lead the healthiest life style I can. The trees have called me and I that is my sacred place of healing.

What is your favorite distance to run? 50k because it’s long enough to get a good run in but not exhausting enough to enjoy the rest of the day to play and explore. When I race a destination race, I like to plan an extra day to explore.

What race accomplishment are you most proud of?  So far, Hennepin 100 for finishing the race in under 24 hours and pushing myself to see how far I can go.

What, for you, is the best part about volunteering at trail races? Giving HUGS and cheering for every runner every time I see them. I love to let that runner know I CARE AND I WANT THEM TO DO GREAT!

What have you learned from trail running? That no matter the hill to get over, there will be another so just push through it. What goes up must come down. As Scott Kummer says, Don’t be stupid the first ½ and don’t be a wimp for the second ½.

What advice would you give someone considering getting into trail running or racing? Just focus on one aide station at a time. Don’t think of the WHOLE DISTANCE at once. It can overwhelm you. Eat often, Drink often and most of all, it’s ok to take a little walk break as long as you keep in mind how long you stop at aide station. Get in and get out.

Do you have any goal/big trail races in 2019? Yes, I would like to attempt a trail 100 race.

What is your favorite pre-race meal? VEGGIE PIZZA with all the cheese that you can stuff on it.

What is your guilty pleasure meal? PIZZA with beer

Michele Hartwig