If you have had the absolute pleasure of training with this man then you know how famous this guy is. When he runs a loop on Town Lake his arm gets more tired from waving at everybody he knows than his legs do from running. Bobby can find water fountains on a run faster than you can refill your paper cup at the water coolers under Mopac. His picture is featured in the dictionary under the words: Kind, caring, loving and thoughtful. As a Rogue coach he has the greatest water stops ever. He may be the finest ambassador for running that the Austin area has ever seen. If you are reading this and have never met Bobby Garcia and think that this might be an over exaggeration, go and talk to just one member of his “Sole Survivors” training group and you will be convinced that he is all of this and so much more.
Bobby comes to Austin from Ballinger, Texas, south of Abilene and north of San Angelo. He has been coaching for Rogue for the past five years but has been running for quite a while now. He has raced 18 marathons (with a PR of 3:43) including New York, Boston in 2006 and Chicago which is his favorite. Bobby currently finds himself identifying with the quote, “I may not be fast but I am slow.” His goals are to push through to the end of races, injury free, and to feel happy about his race.
If you are new to running, new to Austin or are a seasoned runner looking for more than just a group of people to run laps around a track with then Bobby Garcia’s Sole Survivors is right for you. Bobby’s group tends to stay a group after their races. There is a camaraderie there that some other training groups just don’t match up to. Bobby will be there every second of your training from your first step to his famous post marathon parties. That’s right, he throws you a freaking party when you finish the race. How awesome is that?
In Bobby’s own words when asked why he loves to coach is responded, “I love connecting with people. I love to witness the transformation – physical, mental, and spiritual – athletes make during the course of training for a marathon. Some athletes come to Rogue and know exactly what they want in a training program. Others come with apprehension in their minds and perhaps some doubt in their abilities. My job and that of my fellow Rogue coaches is to meet the athlete where she/he is and help develop their physical and mental stamina for the multiplicity of challenges that will be in front of them. Athletes not only need and desire a roadmap to follow they want to know that Rogue is there every step of the way. I see my job is to ignite a passion for running and help the athlete find true meaning in what the Rogue Running experience is for them.”
The coaches at Rogue will support the long runs during the training season. Usually they set up water coolers on the trunk of their car and stay there throughout the morning shepherding runners to the end of their long run. They clean up after all the athletes dump empty gel packets and paper cups. The coaches offer advice and support for the troubled runner and will drive the injured or exhausted back to Rogue. On the really long runs Bobby Garcia does this but he goes that extra mile that makes all of the difference. His water stops have tables set up with tablecloths. He slices hundreds of oranges and sets them out in bowls for the weak and weary. Not only is there water but there is CHOCOLATE as well. It sounds simple, but at mile 16 of a 20 mile run it will change your whole outlook on the morning. There are a few more surprises that Bobby’s Sole Survivors offer, but some things are better left to discovery.
Think the marathon distance is just too far? Not sure about training with a group of strangers? Are you doubtful of your odds on making it all the way to the starting line? Go ahead and sign up with Bobby Garcia and see if all these questions vanish. Take the leap, jump right on in with both feet and sign up now!!!
Bobby will be coaching for the Austin Marathon, downtown on Tuesday evenings at 6:00pm.