On Tuesdays with Toyota, we highlight some of USATF’s most dedicated members through a short feature on USATF.org and our social media channels.
This is our feature with USATF athlete Kathleen Bibby, a proud USATF New Jersey member from Montclair, NJ.
Why are you a member of USATF?
As the pandemic began and social connections decreased, I found myself searching for community. Fortunately, the run wasn’t cancelled, and I found a USATF club – Garden State Track Club – that was offering opportunities for group runs, races, and workouts. When winter approached and snow fell, the club bulldozed the track to provide one clear path for exercise. According to the coach, all you need is one lane – I knew then I had found my people.
What is your “why”?
Simply put, there is joy in being useful. That could be at work when I help a patient, at home when I help my family, or on the road when I help a teammate or club. It is a pleasure to be helpful in so many ways.
What helps you focus during training?
When I practice alone, I focus on the sounds around me. The crunch of salt or ice under my feet, and the birds above my head. Squirrels (at least I tell myself they are squirrels) move through the leaves. The wind rustles in the trees. Focusing on the beauty of the great outdoors helps keep me engaged in my individual endeavors. When I train with friends, I focus on counting down the intervals and rewarding myself with a cup of coffee at the end.
How has USATF influenced you?
USATF has provided many opportunities for growth in the pandemic and beyond. As work slowed down, I spent my free time earning my USATF Level 1 Internship Certification and official USATF Trainee Certification, all via Zoom. Armed with some coaching knowledge, I helped coach the USF Montclair Youth Running Club, and enjoyed sharing my love of running with the kids (including my daughter who also tried and enjoyed the long jump). I have worked as a referee but I have realized that it is difficult to be a good referee when you are so distracted by the power, beauty and grace of the athletes that you forget that you are actually working. Finally, USATF has provided me with a place and opportunities (Club XC Nationals and LDR Grand Prix races) to be truly excited about turning 50.
Outside of USATF how do you spend your time?
I am an orthopedic surgeon, wife and mother of three children. This keeps me very busy. But apart from that, I spend a lot of my free time with my teammates enjoying life. And I spend a lot of my time with my best friend, Kim, having a good time. Watch us on IG @kathlinandkim.
What is your favorite USATF memory?
USATF XC club Nationals in 2021 in Tallahassee. I haven’t raced XC since 1992 but the 50’s gals need a third member. My mom hasn’t seen me race XC since 1992, so she came with me too. The joy of walking the line with the Jersey Girls in Tallahassee, landing on the stage and sharing it with my mom is something I will remember forever. I’m trying to bring my mom back to Tallahassee in 2023 but this time to run, I’m sure she has a chance to win the W80 championship.
Is there an athlete or person who inspired you to join this sport?
I’ve been running since middle school and my first memory of being inspired was reading about Vicki Huber. She inspired me to run XC and track in college. There’s a place on our 50s team if she wants to join!
“Creator. Troublemaker. Reader. Tv nerd. Proud beer advocate. Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Introvert. Certified zombie practitioner. Thinker.”