Episode 134: Matt Baxter grew up running in New Zeland. He comes over to the states to run for Coach Smith and the NAU Lumberjacks and helped lead the team to 3 straight Cross Country titles. We talked about the mental game of not always having your best race and his transition to running as a professional for NAZ Elite
1:15 How did you get started running in New Zeland?
1:51 what is high school running like in New Zeland high schools?
3:02 When did you make the transition to coming to the United States to run for NAU?
3:22 What was it like coming to Flagstaff and running at elevation?
4:40 Why did you decide to come to the States?
5:53 3 years and 3 national titles, was there one that was more special?
7:15 In 2017 you were second overall at Cross, but then at Indoors you didn’t even qualify for nationals in the 5k, what happened?
10:05 When you are a high school runner you can have a bad race and still win a race, but when you are running at a high level it is different, what is it like mentally to get used to that?
12:06 In 2018 you were the favorites, but there was a lot of talk about BYU. Coach Smith said that on that day even though you didn’t have a great race it was great because of how tough you were, can you talk about how that race went?
15:15 What is it like running under coach Smith?
17:04 With you and Tyler gone from NAU cross country now, what do you think this year holds for them?
18:33 Why did you choose to run with NAZ Elite and Ben Rosario?
20:27 You ended up heading back for New Zeland after you signed, was the plan always to be gone for 6 months?
23:17 What is your favorite place to run in Flagstaff?
24:23 What is the biggest difference between training under Ben and Coach Smith?
26:13 You have a new young crew at NAZ, what has it been like?
27:37 What is it like having a former competitor like Rory as a teammate now?
29:34 What events will you focus on the next few years?
31:12 You could have 4 countries all represented in Tokyo, have you talked about that as a team?
32:55 The NAZ group does a lot online reaching out to runners and making the sport look fun, you are drawing in young runners as fans, what can we do to make the sport even more attractive?
36:20 Thousands are racing on weekends, what do we do to reach the hobby joggers and get them in the stands?
40:08 What is the next race for you?
40:52 You running with Tyler in Flagstaff again?
43:00 Talking about Tyler running as a professional blows my mind with how far he has come since high school.
Final Surge 5 questions in under a minute
Favorite endurance/running book? – Once a Runner
Current trainers you are wearing? – Clifton
Favorite race? – NCAA Cross
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? – Oatmeal
Your favorite workout – Mile repeats or long tempo