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New Zealand Olympian Kim Smith to serve as honorary chair of Manchester Road Race

Smith had won the women's division twice, once in 2004 and again in 2005.

MANCHESTER, Conn. — Editor's note: The video above originally aired November 28, 2020

Manchester Road Race officials announced Tuesday that Kim Smith, a three-time Olympian from New Zealand, will serve as the event's honorary chairperson. 

Smith, 39, won the Manchester Road Race's women's division twice, once in 2004 and again in 2005. 

When she beat Amy Rudolph in 2004 to win the women’s division in 24:47, Smith finished in 25th place overall. She defended her title the following year with a time of 24:23 and placed 27th. Approximately 10,000 men and women competed in each race.

RELATED: Manchester Road Race registration is open

“Kim Smith is an extremely versatile and talented athlete who had marvelous performances here,” said Dr. Tris Carta, Manchester Road Race President. “It’s very difficult to win our race two years in a row, but Kim made it look easy.”

Smith won four individual NCAA championships in track and cross country while competing at Providence College. 

Smith transferred to Providence from the Auckland College of Education in New Zealand during her junior year and won four individual NCAA championship titles.

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Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Kim Smith, of New Zealand, competes during the 115th running of the Boston Marathon, Monday, April 18, 201, in Wellesley, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Smith represented New Zealand at the Olympic Games at Athens in 2004 (5000 meters), at Beijing in 2008 (10,000 meters) and at London in 2012 (marathon). 

“We are extremely honored and pleased that Kim has agreed to serve as our honorary chairperson this year,” Carta added. “It will be great to welcome her back to Manchester.”

Retired from competitive athletics since 2016 and now living in Rhode Island, Smith set 14 New Zealand national records for track and road racing. They include times of 14:39 for the indoor 5000 meters, 30:35 for the 10,000 meters, 1:07.11 for the half marathon and 2:25:21 in the marathon.

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Smith’s record of 1:07.11 in the half marathon, set in 2011 in Philadelphia, was the fastest time ever posted by a woman in the event on U.S. soil at that time.

The 85th annual Manchester Road Race will be held on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, at 10 a.m. The race starts and finishes on Main Street, in front of St. James Church. 

More details and online registration are available on the race's website.

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