Kristen Smith

aka, “Coach K or K-Rock”

The Low-Down on Kristen Smith

Coaching and helping others is what Kristen loves to do: she says it’s so important to teach individuals how to be patient, improve physically and mentally, make and achieve goals, receive unconditional support and accept challenges. After graduating in 2006, Kristen moved to Wilmington and started working as a personal trainer with Tom Clifford, and shortly after they started their coaching careers with Without Limits. Since then, she’s coached over 25 Ironman finishers, 30 half Ironman finishers, 90 Spring and Olympic Triathlon finishers, 50 half marathon finishers and over 30 marathon finishers.

What She Coaches

Level 2 Running, WOL Swimming, Cycling, Triathletes, and some Performance Testing

Guilty Pleasure

Chocolate and craft beer

Top Songs on her Playlist

Wake Me Up – Avecii, Iration – Falling, Passion Pit – Take A Walk

Favorite Events

It’s a tie – Visiting my grandmother every year and 5K Open Water Swim

Kristen’s Mantra

“I believe one of the most important relationships an athlete can have, outside of family and friends, is their coach. We can spend hours together through trainings and traveling to events. This relationship is important to me, as it can lead to a life-long friendship. To me, a great coach thinks of the individual as a person versus just an athlete. I enjoy coaching my athletes to live a good life with a balance of proper, structured and efficient training methods allowing them to reach their goals.”

Chat with Coach Kristen

Latest Races

2016 SwimRun Georgia Finisher
2016 SwimRun Casco Bay – 4th place female team
2016 SwimRun Hanging Rock – 3rd place female team
2017 SwimRun Casco Bay – 2nd place female team
2017 SwimRun Hanging Rock – 1st place female team
2018 Uwharrie Mountain Run 20-Miler
2018 SwimRun Hanging Rock – 1st place female team
2019 Uwharrie Mountain Run 20-Miler
2019 Conquer The Rock 50K
2019 Rockman SwimRun

Coach Certifications

  • Level 1 USA Swimming Certified Coach
  • Level 1 USA Triathlon Certified Coach
  • Level 1 USA Track and Field Certified Coach
  • Level 3 USA Cycling Certified Coach
  • Level 1 and 2 U.S. Masters Swimming Certified Coach
  • Certified Personal Trainer
  • US Master’s Swimming NC LMSC Chair 2019 – Present
  • US Master’s Swimming NC LMSC  Vice Chair 2016 – 2019
  • US Master’s Swimming NC LMSC  At Large Member / Coaches Chair 2013-2016

Accomplishments & Accolades

2015 OtillO Swimrun World Championship Qualifier and Finisher

  • 2007 2nd in AG for NCTS
  • Ironman Lake Placid 2008 Finisher
  • 2009 1st in AG for NCTS
  • 2009 Beach 2 Battle 70.3 and White Lake 70.3
  • Ironman 70.3 Vineman 2013 Finisher
  • 2007 OBX Marathon
  • 2008 Myrtle Beach Marathon
  • 2009 Myrtle Beach Half Marathon
  • 2010 New York Marathon
  • 2011 Chicago Marathon
  • 2012 Houston Half Marathon and Outer Banks Half Marathon
  • 2012 Uwaharrie Mountain Run 8-miler
  • 2014 Grandma’s Marathon
  • 2014 Philadelphia Marathon
  • 2015 Grandma’s Marathon
  • Director of Swim The Loop – 1st Open Water Endurance race in the Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach area
  • 2012 Short Course Master’s Nationals – 50yd Free, 200yd Free, 500yd Free TOP 20
  • 2012 Short Course Master’s Nationals – 200yd Free TOP 15
  • 2013 State Master’s Championships – 100yd Fly, 200 Medley Relay, 100yd Back, 200yd Free, 100yd Free, 200yd Free Relay, 500yd Free, 800yd Free Relay, and 200 Mixed Medley Relay TOP 3
  • 2013 Pan-American Master’s Championships – 50m Back 2nd in AG
  • 2013 Pan-American Master’s Championships – 100m Fly 3rd in AG
  • 2014 FINA World Championships – 800m TOP 10 in AG
  • 2014 FINA World Championships – 3K Open Water Swim TOP 20 in AG
  • 2014 FINA World Championships – 400m TOP 20 in AG
  • 2014 FINA World Championships – Women’s 4 x 50m Medley Relay TOP 10 in AG