New location, new coach!

by Colin Moss

Attention: For those of you who live and or work in the Pflugerville area, Rogue’s latest and greatest coach will be leading a group of athletes to victory in his Austin Marathon 2011 training group. His name is Josh Baker. You may know him from his photography, which is hung up around Rogue and has been posted on this very blog.

Josh grew up in Seguin, Texas where he ran 4 years of Varsity Cross-Country and was named Mr. Cross Country his senior year of high school, not for speed, but because he recruited the entire team. If you go on just one run with this guy you will know why. He is motivated by the joy of running and wants others to experience this as he does. From jokes to entertaining stories, Josh makes it fun to run (a quick warning however: do not ask him the one about the snail and the turtle).  You will be safe knowing that Josh has your best interests in mind as he guides you to the starting line of the Austin Marathon 2011.  He might even be funny by mile 18.

Josh brings 15 years worth of running knowledge and experience. One of his favorite races is the Zilker Relays here in Austin. The group spirit and the festive atmosphere of the relays make it a great way to experience the fun and excitement of racing. He believes that the inherent nature of running as an individual sport can sometimes hide the benefit and camaraderie of training in a group. Cross country style races and relays are just one way to experience this. Another is to sign up for Josh’s Austin Marathon 2011 program and learn what the benefits of group training can be.

Josh has competed in a wide variety of running events including six marathons, 10 half marathons, lots of 5k and 10k’s, two sack races, and one beer mile. He knows what it is like to tough it out at a hot marathon in less than ideal racing conditions: he raced the Country Music Marathon in 2009 when many of the competitors couldn’t complete the race. He did pass two Kenyan runners wearing bib numbers 17 and 14 at a bench who had quit the race and felt quite good that he finished where others came up short. Josh may be a lot of fun to train with but he is there to work hard to get his runners where they want to be. Do not be fooled by his affable personality. He can and will get you running with whatever motivation his crafty mind can come up with.

Josh grew up competing in races and it is that same competitive nature that gets him out of bed for those early morning runs. He does not want to be passed on race day. He does not want his team mates to pass him in training. But his competitive side is tempered by his humor (don’t forget about the turtle/snail warning!). For those new to running, take heart in knowing that Josh is tailoring his workouts to the running trails that zig zag around Pflugerville so there won’t be a lot of running on the streets mixing it up with traffic.

Outside of running Josh spends most of his time in his studio. He owns and operates Azulox Photography. Josh tends to show up at most Rogue events and occasionally appears during training groups, so act natural if he is there taking some pictures – you may see yourself on The Rundown. Outside of this, Josh and his wife are expecting a baby early next year around the time of his favorite half marathon, the 3M. There is a chance that his child could have three first names starting with “M” if he ends up racing the 3M Half Marathon and his child is born on that day.

So if you live up north, work up north or just like running in and around Pflugerville, sign up for his Austin Marathon 2011 training group. Register and you are almost guaranteed to have the best photographs taken of you as you train for your race.

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