MEMBER: Joe Foley
Name: Joe Foley
Hometown: Howell, Michigan
High School: Flint Powers Catholic HS
College: Bucknell University
5k - 15:27
8k XC - 25:42
Half marathon 1:15:03
Marathon - 2:31:36
14th place at the 2010 Philadelphia Marathon
By: Kevin Brandon (03/24/19)
Joe, thanks for taking time to speak with us. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you end up in Philadelphia and running with PRTC?
I moved to Philadelphia in 2009 to attend law school at Drexel University and have been here ever since. I currently work as an attorney in center city and I live in South Philly with my wife, Christine, our 2 month old son, Liam, and our two dogs, Pepper and Casey. I've been running the whole time I've lived in Philly but did not join PRTC until this year when I decided to get more serious about training and racing and figured I would benefit from having some like minded people to get runs and workouts in with.
When did you first become a runner? Did a specific event compel you to take on the sport?
I started running my freshman year of high school. I was the 4th of 6 kids and all of my older siblings ran track and cross country so my parents had become fairly involved with the teams as a result. By the time I got into to high school, I had already been spending a lot of Saturdays in the spring and fall at track or cc meets and knew all the coaches for the HS team so it was just kind of natural that I followed the same path athletically.
Once you began running, how did your career develop? Take us through day one to today.
I wasn't a great runner in high school but I ran just fast enough to garner a little bit of interest from college coaches. One of those colleges was Bucknell University and after visiting the school and meeting the team I decided that's where I wanted to go so I packed up my bags and left Michigan for Central Pennsylvania. I spent 4 years at Bucknell running xc, indoor track and outdoor track where I would say I was a middle of the pack runner. After graduating Bucknell I moved to Philadelphia and kept training and racing on my own for a few years, but after about 2010 I fell off the competitive running bandwagon and spent the next 8 years as more of a recreational runner. Sometime in 2018, I decided to get in shape and qualify for the 2019 Boston Marathon, and then I figured I might as well try and train and race my best at Boston which led me to PRTC.
What is a favorite running accomplishment or moment?
Favorite/best accomplishment is probably my 2010 Philadelphia Marathon where I finished in 14th place. And although it's not really a specific moment or results related, I did meet my wife while running with the Drexel University track club so that should go up there as one of my best moments too.
How about a not-so-great moment?
There was a sort of tradition on my college team for some seniors (the ones that were dumb enough, basically) to run from State College, PA, where Penn State is located, to Lewisburg, PA where Bucknell is located after the outdoor track season ended. You would start with a lap on Penn State's outdoor track then run 55-60 miles, most of it straight down route 45 through central PA, to Lewisburg where you would finish up with a lap around Bucknell's outdoor track. I was one of the seniors dumb enough to do this, and I would say it gave me the lowest moment of my running career when, about 50 miles into the run, I found myself literally lying in a ditch unable to move because every muscle in my legs had cramped up, very painfully, at the exact same time. I did end up getting up and finishing the "run" by walking the 8 miles that I had left, but I definitely learned that ultramarathons were not something that I would ever be dabbling in.
Regarding your running future, what are your near and long-term goals?
I am running Boston this year along with 2 of my brothers and our marathon prs are all within about 2-3 minutes of eachother. This will be the first time we've all lined up for a marathon together in reasonably close fitness so there are a lot of bragging rights on the line. Near term, I would like to beat my brothers at Boston but also hopefully run under 2:35. Longer term, I would like to break 2:30 in the marathon.
Preferred pre and post-race meals?
Don't really have a preferred pre-race meal. Post-race is definitely a beer or multiple beers…
Can you share with us what you're currently up to professionally?
I'm a lawyer. I work at a law firm in Philadelphia handling mostly real estate related civil litigation.
What inspired you to pursue this field?
Honestly, I really just wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life after I graduated college and law school was kind of my default plan. That decision easily could have back-fired but it has turned out mostly ok so far.
Any non-running related hobbies, hidden skills or talents we may enjoy hearing about?
Basic juggling. Not like swords or torches or anything, but if you have three oranges I could probably entertain a toddler for a few minutes.