Hyundai CEO John Krafcik Hits the Ground Running
Krafcik chats with Web2Carz about his running habit.
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: August 9th, 2012
"What started to happen for me is that it became for very therapeutic," Krafcik said. "Thoughts would come because you were in this interesting place physically."
yundai's had a remarkable comeback in recent years, and Hyundai Motor America President and CEO John Krafcik has had a hand in that. But Krafcik isn't just focused on cars and business. He's also a serious runner, as we found out when we tried to keep up with him in on one outside of San Diego earlier this year.
Krafcik claimed to be slow before leaving us in the dust on the trails in La Jolla, Ca. Once we finally caught our breath, we gave him a ring to talk about running and business.
Krafcik started running during high school, participating in track and field. But it wasn't until Steve Wilhite, one of his bosses at the time (Krafcik wasn't CEO yet), challenged him to run a marathon in 2006, that Krafcik really embraced running the way he does now. He began training, and ran the 2007 New York Marathon.
"So I started running. I just remembered how hard it was to run even a mile," Krafcik said. "I started experiencing…that feeling of a second wind."
He told us that he has his best business thoughts while he's pounding the pavement.
"What started to happen for me is that it became for very therapeutic," he said. "Thoughts would come because you were in this interesting place physically."
Of course, being the CEO of a major company while juggling family responsibilities means it can be tough for Krafcik to get out there and run. The job's necessary travel makes it "horribly difficult" to find time to run, he said, but he still manages to get out about four times a week, usually twice during the week and twice on weekends.
Although he proclaims himself a trail-runner, Krafcik says he also loves running in urban environments such as those in Boston and Washington, D.C. (he told us running along the National Mall makes for an "awe-inspiring" run due to the presence of the famous national monuments).
Krafcik doesn't just run in order to get his creative juices flowing. Like most other runners, he's in it for health: "It keeps your body younger and healthier."
He's also in it for charity. Hyundai is sponsoring the Hope on Wheels 5K running events, which take place in irvine, Ca., Chicago, and Coral Gables, Fl.; with fundraising proceeds going to pediatric cancer awareness. As the race schedule suggests, pediatric cancer awareness month is in September—right before the Chicago and New York marathons, which may be fitting for Krafcik, since New York "reacquainted me with the feelings I like so much."Related Vehicles: hyundai