WMS people

Rod Dixon Visit

By Theo Grayson

Today we welcomed Rod Dixon.  As a runner, Olympian, and health advocate, Rod spent a half hour talking with the team and some WMS Kids’ Marathon runners before heading out to the track.  Rod shared his experiences, a few stories, and his philosophy with us.  He very much mirrored our WMS philosophy.  While out on the track, Rod ran a lap with the runners and spoke about the three elements of running:  physical, mental, and spiritual.  Pat’s Track captures all three of these as runners enjoy the remarkable setting. Rod was clearly impressed.

One story that struck me personally, was Rod sharing that his childhood hero was New Zealander Sir Edmund Hilary, the first person to climb Mt. Everest with NepaleseTenzing Norgay.  Being from New Zealand, Rod was in awe of Hilary who was a national and world hero.  After Hilary’s climb apparent he made a statement about Everest not being high enough for everyone’s goals and dreams.  You can always dream bigger.  This inspired Rod, who was about ten at the time, and became center to his cross-country running as he started a few years later.  At 21 years old, Rod won his Olympic medal.  He was asked by the media who inspired him and he responded, Sir Edmund Hilary.  The interviewer asked if he had every shared that with Hilary.  Shocked at even the notion, Rod said no; however, was left with the idea of doing so.  He did.  Knocking on Hilary’s door, greeted by Hilary’s wife, then by Hilary, Rod personally thanked Hilary for his inspiration and shared his medal.  Hilary’s response was, “Good, now do something to inspire the next generation.”  At that, Hilary closed the door.

Here is a brief bio on Rod:

For 17 years, Rod Dixon was one of the best runners in the World. He is an Olympic Medalist, two time World Cross Country Championship Medalist, and the 1500m Champion of the United States, France, Great Britain, and New Zealand. And, to this day, his victory in the 1983 New York City Marathon remains one of the most dramatic finishes the event has ever seen.Rod is now a passionate advocate of the worldwide children’s health and fitness movement. He knows that kids around the world are not getting the physical exercise and nutrition they need. It is Rod’s goal to bring the KiDSMARATHON program to thousands of children around the world, so they can experience the true value (and fun!) of exercise and nutrition, and develop positive life-long habits.

Thanks for joining us today Rod!

Keep running strong.