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Tell us a little bit about yourself, including where you are from and how you ended up in Austin.
I grew up in Corpus Christi as the youngest of three and sports were a focal point of the family dynamic, mainly basketball and running. My sister, the eldest, earned a college scholarship for her running talents and her trajectory had a huge influence on me. I was fortunate enough to be recruited for my own talents and stayed home to attend Texas A&M Corpus Christi on a Cross Country & Track and Field scholarship, earning Academic All-American honors in the steeplechase during my tenure. While working towards my business degree, an employment opportunity arose at the local Fleet Feet and the 19-year old, mull-hawk-wearing version of myself hasn’t looked back, haha. After graduation, I moved to Dallas to explore my first “big boy” job and was transferred to Austin after two years.

How did you get involved in the Austin running community?
I would often travel to Austin for races in high school and college, so I leaned heavily into friends and co-workers once I moved to the city in 2014. In addition to my old racing friends, I had (and still have) a great friend, mentor and boss (at the time) in Paul Perrone, who was kind enough to show me the ropes and his influence is still running its course today— pun intended. I worked alongside Paul as a sport specialty sales rep and my move to both Dallas and Austin were executed under his guidance and with his company. The running community connection came to fruition rather naturally since our job entailed an intimate level of engagement. Sure, there were days where work was work, but I knew in my heart Austin was where I wanted to be and the running community was a huge influence on my quality of life.

What significant changes have you seen with the evolution of Austin’s running scene since you’ve been in Austin?
Austin has grown rapidly since then and the significance lies in how our running community has continued to expand into new and more inclusive run groups. Across the board, one can find a morning or evening group any day of the week and it’s important to realize the effort put forth by those run group leaders who inspire others to keep coming back for more. If there’s been a silver lining associated with the pandemic, it’s that it’s caused individuals to take a step back and reevaluate their value structure and how they’re taking care of themselves on a day-to-day basis. Thankfully, a lot have turned to running as their chosen outlet and Austin thankfully has the bandwidth to support their endeavor, regardless of ability level or background. It’s stinkin’ cool.

Where do you think the Austin running community will be in 5 years?
It’s easy to say Austin running community will continue to flourish over the course of the next few years, given the macro variables at play. The city’s expansion will only open up more opportunities and it is imperative we’re open to the changes associated with tomorrow. I mean that in regards to both the landscape of our running community and the ways local run specialty stores will operate and service the demands of tomorrow’s customer. It’s exciting as hell.

Are you still running on a regular basis, and do you have any events you are training for?
My running routine is nowhere near what it once was, nor will it ever be again, and I admit I’ve grown accustomed to enjoying easy miles and maybe a bit too much. Ha! Walking has also been integrated into my regimen the last few years and let me tell you, it’s absolutely underrated. I look forward to Zilker Relays every year and do my best to put some effort into its lead up, but I’ll most likely sprinkle in a few races this year—-and look forward to shuffling in the armadillo costume once again at the Cap10k.

What is/are your favorite workout(s)?
Oh! If we’re talking all-time workouts, I’m a huge fan of 1k repeats. Actually, give me reps anywhere between 600m and 1k and I’ll find a way to learn something about myself in the process. I like the rhythm that flows from a solid 8x1k workout and it’s always been a good indicator of my fitness. Did I mention how much I enjoy easy miles? Ha.

What is your go to running shoe style?
I’ve always said that my favorite pair of shoes is my next pair of shoes—and I mean it. I’m grateful to work alongside so many high-quality footwear brands and the level of innovation they bring to the industry is jaw-dropping. Every brand brings something to the table and I’ve compared them to ice cream; I can’t pick just one….and now I want ice cream.

Favorite workout music style/genre/song?
I’ll listen to a lot of indie and alternative rock on a regular basis, but enjoy the faster pace of rap beats or electro pop when I’m moving. The beauty of music is it aligns nicely with running; slower stuff for warm ups and cool downs and faster stuff when I’m looking to get on my toes.

Can you share a hidden fact that no-one would normally know about you?
I am absolutely fascinated with space science; astrophysics, space exploration, quantum physics, you name it. My favorites include developments in our knowledge of black holes and the theory of general relativity, but I’ll thumb through just about anything and fall asleep to documentaries about the topics on a regular basis. Keep an eye on the James Webb Space Telescope; it’s going to increase our knowledge about the birth of the universe and I am so excited for what it will uncover. We’re fortunate to have this life and we’ll never be omniscient, so it’s inspiring to witness our continued push for knowledge.