HRC Couch to 5K – Your 2024 Coach

Hi! I’m David Baumgart. I started running in 2009 in my mid/late 40’s with the encouragement of my wife, Joan Clifford, who already was a runner. I swam and cycled for fitness and enjoyment since high school but never thought I would run. It was literally intimidating to me and I never wanted to run. Wow, did I ever have the wrong impression. Running was actually fun after I got used to it and that didn’t take long. I signed up for my first road race that year and I was hooked. And it naturally led me to triathlons since I already swam and cycled.

Running together is more social than cycling and certainly more than swimming. We have made great friendships with fellow runners. I also find it meditative when running alone. We have run many interesting places around the world as well. I have run many distances from 5K to ultramarathons, and on roads and trails, and qualified for the Boston Marathon numerous times. Tokyo this March is my 20th marathon.

Joan and I joined HRC in 2014 and always enjoy the support and socializing. It makes the tough days easier and the easy days spectacular. My goal is to pass on the joy of running.

Hi! I’m Catherine Jencks, better known as Cat. Growing up I did not play any competitive sports, and did not start running until 2011. When I first started running I was convinced I would NEVER run outside and I would NEVER run without music! Well, 13 years later I can say I NEVER want to run on a treadmill and I am happy to ditch the music and run with friends instead.

I got hooked on running because it showed me how strong my mind and body truly are. I love the competitive yet supportive atmosphere, and pushing myself to find my limits. Running has now become my meditation. I enjoy running all distances, but marathons are my favorite (I have run 13 since 2015).

I have been a member of the HRC since 2016 and look forward to being a member for years to come. Catch me on the roads or out on the trail, often pushing my 3.5 year old daughter.

Through my teenage and young adult years, my passion revolved around sports, particularly soccer and basketball. Initially, running was just a sporadic fitness activity in between the real “sports.” As my 30s unfolded, a busy life and soccer-related injuries led me to neglect exercise, witnessing a decline in my health. Approaching 40, I decided to make a change, stumbling upon the world of running. The Cleveland 10K during the marathon weekend marked my first official race, and the vibrant crowd’s energy left me captivated. Before I knew it, I was training for marathons, aiming for my first Boston qualifier. Eight years later, I’ve completed 17 marathons, including all World Marathon Majors, alongside numerous shorter races. As a self-coached individual and a data enthusiast, I delve into running physiology and training articles and podcasts in my spare time, applying my learnings through trial and error to both my own and my wife’s training.

I reside in Sherborn with my wife Josely, a fellow HRC member and runner. Our two teenage girls embrace the cross-country season in their high school, and we thoroughly enjoy it alongside them!