Today we get to talk with Paul Carrozza: entrepreneur, community leader, and fitness philanthropist. Paul shares his background in running with us, what about the Austin trails spoke to him, even back in the late 1980s, and how the iconic RunTex store led the model of lifestyle and running-based stores. We chat with Paul about his work with Marathon Kids, and how it started off pretty big, with over 5,000 participants, and goes to inspire children, teach them the basics of good running, and encourage them to earn their feeling of self-esteem and accomplishment. Paul also helped bring back the Zilker Park Trail of Lights, and the BoneShaker project, which encourages our community to get out and enjoy the beautiful nature Austin has to offer. Paul is a leader in community-based programming, and strives to bring people together, whether it’s on a business “glocal” level, showing kids that running can be a lifetime social sport, or just providing them with cool water after their run at Lady Bird Lake.
[2:47] Paul came to Austin in 1985 for the summer, and never left!
[4:05] Paul talks about the trail system around the lake, back in 1985.
[5:51] RunTex was a very trusted store in Austin for runners and athletic needs.
[7:08] Paul gives his background, going from competitive runner. He got the attention from coaches for very impressive running times, but his experience had some drawbacks because he was being pushed too hard, and felt as though he wasn’t trained properly.
[11:45] He was constantly shopping the running shoe market and looking for the perfect shoe.
[12:26] Paul is asthmatic, so he had to be extra careful with his training and nutrition. Paul stays away from white sugar and white flour, eats red meat sparingly, and cuts out as much processed food as possible.
[15:18] RunTex was a reflection of Paul’s values: bring the community together, educate and help people with the best fitting shoes, teach and help them with health.
[18:13] Their events were always non-profit and helped different causes, each event.
[19:21] The best time to rehydrate is immediately after running, with cool water. They provided people with cool water after their runs at Town Lake.
[22:03] Sweating pushes the electrolytes and minerals you need through the skin.
[23:30] Paul gives the background on RunTex and how the idea of Marathon Kids came about.
[25:27] One of the focuses of Marathon Kids was teaching them how to pace themselves. The kick off was over 5,000 people, which was way over what was expected! This showed how influential teachers and the school district was, and how important it is to “connect with connected people.”
[26:48] Thank you to our Sponsor, the Papasan Properties Group.
[30:57] BoneShaker was founded by avid cyclist Todd Reed. They were looking at ways to take what Paul’s expertise was, and apply it to make BoneShaker even better. The ideas are to go into schools and create a casual, non-competitive environment for them to enjoy running. In the $100 fee you get a coach solely focused on running.
[36:52] RunTex was ahead of the curve on running lifestyle stores.
[37:56] Paul loves providing a marketplace and lifestyle business where people can make a living and purposefully make money off their passion.
[40:28] The next model is there to support people in the physical world but on a virtual platform. Name is TBD! The vision is like the doctor/pharmacy model, where you go see an expert and then get “prescribed” something that is a right shoe for you, and work together until it’s a perfect fit.
[46:50] Next week we will be joined by Kim Overton of SPIbelt.
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