Rod Dixon 1 on 1: NYC Marathon Winner, 4X Olympian and FlavaFan!

I had the pleasure of meeting Rod at the Falmouth Road Race Expo (at our booth!) five years ago and we have been good friends ever since. A generational talent, Rod is perhaps best known for his epic come from behind win in the 1983 NYC marathon. Rod is an inspiration, not only for his running achievements, but also for his commitment to children through KIDSMARATHON. Please enjoy this recap of my recent discussion with Rod:

Rod, what are your most memorable running achievements?

Some of my most vivid memories date back to childhood. I still remember my first race, a 100-meter sprint at a Sunday-school picnic when I was 10 years old. I beat all the rugby kids – they couldn’t believe it! A few years later I won the New Zealand national junior titles for both the mile and cross-country and, at age 22, made my first of four Olympic teams. Earning an Olympic bronze medal in the 1,500M race later that year was one of the highlights of my career.

At age 30 I shifted my attention to longer distances and entered the 1983 NYC marathon. Despite running at my planned pace, I was two minutes behind with six miles to go. Fortunately the marathon is 26.2 miles (rather than 26) as I passed the race favorite, Geoff Smith of Great Britain, with 385 yards to go! Rod’s time of 2:08:59 was the second fastest NYC marathon ever run!.    

Tell us about your inspiring journey with KiDSMARATHON?

I credit Sir Edmund Hillary, conqueror of Mount Everest, for directly encouraging and inspiring me to start KIDSMARATHON. KiDSMARATHON is an 8 to 10 week “In School” running and nutrition program that enables kids to complete a full marathon by running approximately 3 miles per week. The final mile is often run at a famous venue such as Dodger stadium. To date, over 100,000 young kids have graduated the program, all with big smiles! Check out more at 

What is your philosophy on nutrition?

My philosophy on nutrition is to keep it simple and clean. If you can’t read or pronounce the ingredients, don’t eat it. Keep added sugar to a minimum and avoid over processed foods. It’s also a good idea to know where your food comes from. I eat local fresh vegetables and fruits whenever possible.

What are your thoughts on cocoa flavanols? How do you like to #HavaFlava? 

I was first introduced to FlavaNaturals at the Falmouth road race Expo. Intrigued by the high flavanol levels, I read the labels and inquired further. The labels were clean, the beans were sourced from fair trade farms in Ecuador and the processing was minimal. Next, was taste, because for me, great flavor is a must! I tried a sample and thought this is how real chocolate should taste.

My absolute favorite FlavaBar flavor is Blueberry and I routinely enjoy FlavaMix cocoa in my yogurt with some berries and nuts. Wonderfully, I’m able to share this with my New Zealand friends and fellow athletes. Congratulations FlavaNaturals, you’ve done it the right way.