MEMBER: JOshua Hibbs
Name: Joshua Hibbs
Hometown: Hatboro, PA
High School: Hatboro-Horsham High School
College: Iona College
Favorite Place to Run in Philly: Forbidden Drive
5k - 14:37
8k - 24:30
10k - 30:45
10 miles - 49:44
Half Marathon - 1:06:07
Marathon - 2:22:57
2005 Footlocker Finalist
2007 & 2008 NCAA Division I Cross Country Team Runner-Up
2015 Broad Street Run, 7th Place
By: Kevin Brandon (07/07/18)
Josh, 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?
Thanks! The short answer; love brought me to Philadelphia.
The long answer; I'm from the suburbs of Philadelphia, but up until 2 years ago I was working and living in the Bronx, training mostly in historic Van Cortlandt Park. In 2014 I came back to visit Philadelphia to run the half marathon course with another former Gael, Ramon Laboy. It was on this visit I met my wife, Elyse. When she saw me racing a few weeks later she turned to her friend and said, 'I'm gonna get me some of that!' The rest is history.
I moved with her to Roxborough a year and a half later and shortly after we got engaged. After a year or so of training mostly on my own and with my dog (Belle), I decided it was about time I got more involved in the running community and joined PRTC.
When did you first become a runner? Did a specific event compel you to take on the sport?
Running and I got off to a rough start. I apparently quit soccer at the early age of 6 because 'There's too much running'. Eventually, after a long hiatus, running and I found each other again. Fast forward to my teenage years, I started running track to maintain fitness as a hockey player. After figuring out I was a decent runner, I added it to my yearly regiment of sports, hockey, baseball, and swimming. For a year I tried to do it all, often times running the 7 miles to hockey practice on the days I missed cross country practice. I didn't fully commit to running until I was 17 and my coaches, Robert Ayton and Russ Coleman convinced me that I had a chance to really do something special.
I would say the I owe my commitment to running to those two coaches. Coach Ayton had coached multiple state champions and Foot Locker finalist. Coach Coleman was himself a Foot Locker finalist, All-America and for a short time, professional runner.
Once you began running, how did your career develop? Take us through day one to today.
Once I fully committed to running my senior year of high school, I made some pretty big jumps, qualifying to Foot Locker Nationals in 2005. That race helped me secure a scholarship at Iona College, a small, but a perennial powerhouse of Division I distance running.
At Iona, I ran for two years under Mick Byrne. His rigorous 70's style of training along with his many Irish sayings fit perfectly with my mentality. After Mick left for Wisconsin, I ran for Ricardo Santos and competed at the NCAA championships several times up until finishing my eligibility in 2011.
Leaving the team atmosphere, I struggled to find my place in the post-collegiate running world. I gave myself a year to figure out what I was doing and simply run because I felt like it. That year was where I regained my love for running. I think many people lose it to the pressures of competing at the collegiate level, and I was fortunate enough to find it again.
Since I was never much of a track guy, I decided to commit to the roads and the longer distances. My approach to running 'because I wanted to' led me to try to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials in 2016, but coming up short.
Now I'm hoping to give the trials another shot while trying to figure out life as a teacher, husband, and father.
What is a favorite running accomplishment or moment?
I've always loved the community and team environment that running has, which is why my favorite moment was when Iona finished 2nd at the NCAA championships to Oregon in 2007 and 2008. I was a team captain in 2008 and although I was an alternate for both those races, I felt like my efforts that season helped get the team to that point.
How about a not-so-great moment?
I once dislocated my shoulder in the steeplechase at the NCAA regional meet, so that wasn't fun. However, I think the lowest running related moment were the times when I forgot why I enjoyed running. I think it's important to always enjoy running and if you're not, re-evaluate what you're doing.
Regarding your running future, what are your near and long-term goals?
I'd like to think some of my best races in the marathon are ahead of me, so my goal, for now, is to try and qualify for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. Long term though, would be to share running with my daughter, whether that's watching her compete some day or relishing in runs with her in the stroller.
Can you share with us what you're currently up to professionally?
Professionally, I'm teaching at First Philadelphia Charter School as a 7th grade Social Studies teacher. I'm also doing some private coaching and hoping to build on that more into the future.
What inspired you to take up teaching?
I look at the impact the educators in my life impacted me and want to do the same. I also did my undergraduate thesis on the role of education in developing nations and saw the huge impact it had on their development. Up until that point, I thought I wanted to work for an NGO working with third world countries, but this made me realize there were plenty of things the education system was lacking in our own country. I felt like I couldn't commit to working with other countries until I did something to improve our own education system and what better way to do that than being in the classroom (steps down off soapbox).
I understand your family is about to grow by one. Do you see yourself joining the PRTC Dad running stroller gang? I hear Paul can go 5:30 pace.
Paul's got a bit of a head start with two, which may eventually slow him down, or make him stronger. Only time will tell. Hopefully, I'll eventually get up to his level.
I'm also thinking of starting a 'Dad's on the Run' stroller running group. We've got a growing number of pretty competitive Dad's in Philly (Paul, myself, Ramon Laboy and Martin Heir just to name a few) so I think it would be cool to see a squad of Dad's pushing strollers cruising at 6 minute pace on Kelly Drive. Eventually, we may be able to redefine the term 'dad-bod'.
Any non-running related hobbies, hidden skills or talents we may enjoy hearing about?
I really enjoy baking and cooking, which my wife really appreciates. I bake a lot of bread and like thinking up new meals. I also picked up my Mom's green thumb and have a decent garden, which helps with the cooking.
My teaching related obsession is geography. We have a 'map room' in our house decorated with various maps and globes. Currently the count is at 11 with plans for expansion.