Paul Carrozza was instrumental in bringing Marathon Kids programming to Austin schools. Consider make a donation in his name to support the future of free physical activity programs for children.
Paul Carrozza founded RunTex in 1988, and for a solid quarter of a century, the specialist running shop has been a mainstay of the Austin running scene. Not only a place for runners of all ages and experience levels to shop for running shoes and related gear, RunTex has also organized and hosted races around town, led training groups, and served as a seat for many events, not to mention a meeting place for runners. socialize. It was also known to novice and experienced runners as the perfect place to be adjusted by salespeople able to analyze runners' gaits and strides to match them to the perfect shoes.
The idea of launching a specialty running store came naturally for Carrozza, "with my passion for running, community and the lifestyle of keeping young people fit for a lifetime." Back in those early days, Kay morris was a member of the RunTex running group. Morris had not yet founded Marathon Kids, but his connections to Carrozza, RunTex, and the Austin running community were among the seeds of his idea for a nonprofit with a mission to instill in children the love to run and put them on the path to better health. future.
Planting the seeds of Marathon Kids
The original RunTex store was located near downtown Austin and quickly gained enough success for Carrozza to expand to other locations. “Kay was a master of public relations,” he says. “When we opened the North RunTex, she pitched the idea of doing Marathon Kids in nearby elementary schools to help us promote the new store and connect with the local community.
Carrozza loved the idea and wanted to take it even further. “We were just starting the Austin Marathon, and it was a perfect fit. I liked his idea so much that we presented it to all the schools in AISD and then to surrounding school districts.
And it worked. RunTex produced the Marathon Kids Kick-Off and Last Mile Events, providing water bottles, events, T-shirts and medals for the finishers. “It was an instant hit, and the rest is history. We were the main funders and event producers for the first 10 years, working closely with the great PE teachers and of course the magical Kay.
Changing gears and going back to its roots
Carrozza looks back with emotion on the RunTex years. “We ran a race with every business and nonprofit in town. We have put water and Gatorade on Town Lake for 25 years. He refers to the Austin running community as "a great community - like a giant Cheers"Referring to the classic TV show on a bar" where everyone knows your name. "
After the store closed in 2013, Carrozza shifted gears by returning to one of his long-time favorite running activities: coaching. He is the cross country and track coach at St. Stephen's Episcopal School, which serves sixth to twelfth graders, and also has a training program for performance athletes of all ages called Born to run. In addition, he runs a business and community consulting company called Carrozza Athletics.
Born to run and runner for life
He's still an avid runner, running between four and eight miles a day with his wife, Sheila, and friends, or with the athletes he coaches. Since quarantine began in Austin in March due to the spread of COVID-19, her running routine has changed slightly, but not by much. Nowadays he runs more often alone or with family and with smaller groups of friends. “Running does your part to slow the virus,” he says, referring to the mental and physical health benefits of regular, moderate to vigorous exercise.
When asked what he does when running gets tough, Carrozza's response is simple: "You push to profit from hard work." In his mind, dedication to running has the simple and obvious benefits of “a clear mind and a strong body”. He believes that “the body is meant to work and work hard on a daily basis. We feel better when we do. When we don't, we become weak, depressed, and sick.
For people who want to start running or are planning to get involved with Marathon Kids, whether that is by joining a running club or becoming a trainer, Carrozza is again drawing on her roots by talking about the importance of setting a goal. precise, to find his community and to leave. on the right foot: "Find a coach, join a team, get the right equipment and train for something specific."
To keep Marathon Kids free for all children, please consider donating to Paul's 25th Birthday Fundraiser.
Most people think of course as a solo venture. And while runners appreciate ( read : need ) quality “me time, ” there’s something quite powerful about running in a pack.
“Most of the time people join groups for the social experience, but the cool thing about a course group is that you can be a part of it without saying a word, ” says Scott Miller, founder of the Boulder Trail Running Breakfast Club. “It’s a great opportunity to connect. ”
Here, Miller plus five other course club founders, share tips for building—and sustaining—your own course club.
Jessamy Little, who founded the Cass Runners Club, a 100-plus person course group in London comprised of her business school classmates, suggests asking potential members what days, times, and locations work best with their schedules. Some groups may favor an early morning sweat sesh, while others may prefer meeting after work. “A recommendation for a newer club is to have two set running days, ” Little says. “One during the week that is more focused on ‘getting it done’ and one on weekends that can have a more ‘fun and footloose’ vibe. ” For Little’s group, the weekend runs were geared toward exploring new areas of the city.
“Don’t get discouraged if not a lot of people show up at first, ” says Marnie Kunz, founder of Runstreet, an NYC-based company that leads art runs—urban runs that pass by street art in cities across the U. S. When Kunz held her first art run in 2015, just one person came : a man on a bike. Kunz was disappointed, embarrassed, and considered canceling the whole thing. But the next week a few more people showed up, and then a few more. Soon, word got out. Runstreet has since hosted more than 200 runs in cities around the country “Realizing that everyone starts from scratch really helps, ” Kunz says.
Kunz stresses the importance of having your own website that houses all information about your runs along with photos. “Social media platforms can change—and not everyone is on every platform—so it helps to have everything in one place. ” Keep your communication consistent across platforms to help create a streamlined brand.
Let people know what they are getting themselves into, Miller says. His Boulder, Colorado-based group of 100-plus members meets every Saturday for a long trail run ( anywhere between two to six hours ) followed by a group breakfast. Because the group’s runs cover a wide range of terrain, he wrote several articles explaining the general variétés of conditions runners can expect and the group’s approximate pace along with safety tips.
The articles are published on the group’s MeetUp page, and when a new person signs up, Miller sends them the reading material. “If your group is not a beginner group, you need to make that clear, ” Miller says. “You don’t want people to show up and have a bad time. I try to be really descriptive about the time, distance, and elevation of our runs so people know what they are in for. ”
Many members of Miller’s group take photos during the runs and post them to the group’s page. He says it helps draw new members. “When people are looking for a course group and they see pictures of runs in amazing areas, people smiling—both men and women—they see that it’s a mixed group that likes to be social and have fun. ”
Frankie Ruiz, cofounder of the Miami Marathon and founder of the Baptist Health South Florida Brickell Run Club, a free, once-a-week, Miami-based group of about 400 runners, can count on one hand the number of times he’s cancelled runs throughout the program’s nine-year tenure.
“Our main message is that we don’t cancel, ” he says. “If it’s really rough out, we’ll go to a stationnement garage or go indoors and do a core séance. ” He says this has helped build the club’s reputation as a consistent amenity offered by the city. “Even if a runner doesn’t show up, I think there’s a comfort knowing that there is something in your city that doesn’t stop. ”
“If you have new people coming in, you can’t assume that they know the rules and guidelines, ” Ruiz says. “Communication needs to be all the time. ” Even though the group’s “weather-proof policy” may be well understood among current members, every time the skies get gloomy, the club blasts their social channels with reminders that the runs are still on. It also helps to communicate the planned route, en ligne, and pace in advance so that new members can plan their mazout and attire accordingly.