Due to unprecedented demand and shipping delays, some items may be low in stock.

We apologise if your choice is not currently available. Please check back during the first week of February for an update.

Please allow 5 working days for delivery, plus 2 days if you are rural delivery.

HOKA'S 1:05 HALF MARATHON HOT SHOT - WHO IS MATT BAXTER?

November 30, 2020

HOKA'S 1:05 HALF MARATHON HOT SHOT - WHO IS MATT BAXTER?

I have been a competent runner since primary school, but it wasn’t until age fourteen that I picked up my first coach and started taking the sport seriously. My passion for the sport developed while at New Plymouth Boys’ High School and continued to flourish through my participation with Egmont Athletics. In my final year of high school in 2012 I won the NZSS Cross Country Championships and the NZSS Track and Field Championships 3000m in a record time of 8:15.50 — this record still stands. 

After high school I spent 2.5 years at AUT in Auckland studying criminology and trying to continue running at a high level. Although my studies were going well, I felt like I needed to be challenged more with my running so I decided to go to the US and compete for a college over there. This was when I made a big jump in my athletic abilities. During my time at Northern Arizona University I was a part of 3 NCAA D1 cross country team titles, I got 5 first team All-American awards, I placed 2nd as an individual at the NCAA cross country championships in 2017, and I ran 13:31 for the 5000m and 28:10 for the 10,000m on the track. These performances were what led to HOKA Northern Arizona Elite, based in the town I went to college in, offering me a professional contract to join their team. I accepted this and have been running for HOKA NAZ Elite since January 2019.

 

 

As a pro athlete I have won 2 New Zealand national titles, run 62:57 for the half marathon, and broke the NZ indoor 5000m record running 13:27 earlier this year. I am now back in New Zealand preparing for the domestic track season where I will be working towards qualifying for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics in the 5000m.

I plan to return to the US in March next year and rejoin my HOKA NAZ Elite teammates in the mountains of Flagstaff. In the meantime I have a big domestic track season planned over the next few months. There is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now, but I am incredibly grateful to be in a country where racing and life is continuing as normal. When I left the US at the start of September that certainly was not the case.

 

Training during COVID has been difficult. From March-September I couldn't get access to a gym, I spent a lot of time training on my own to avoid contact with anyone (including my teammates), and I got into an awful cycle of going from one injury to the next. To add an extra stressor to the situation, my partner was pregnant and gave birth to our first child in June. His first two months of life consisted of looking at people in masks from a distance, before we came out of our isolation hotel in mid-September. My motivation to continue training during this time came from being hopeful that there would be racing opportunities available in the near future. Thankfully, after arriving in New Zealand the opportunities are plentiful and I am now back to the fitness I was in before the pandemic began.

I typically live and train in the US, but I always love coming back to New Zealand to train. The parks, trails, and beaches are like nowhere else in the world. We are so fortunate to have such beautiful places to run. With the current situation surrounding COVID in the US, it has presented me with a unique opportunity to spend seven months at home and I have loved every moment of it so far.

 

Although running is now my job, I still do it for all the same reasons that I took up the sport in the first place. I love pushing my body to its limits and the comradery that comes with training with other passionate runners. The feeling of being absolutely exhausted after a race or workout and having teammates and/or friends to share that experience with is what makes this sport so special. I have had a lot of individual and team success over my career so far, but the team successes are certainly the ones I have enjoyed the most. Running is often viewed as an individual sport and more often than not it is, but when you have the opportunity to compete as a team it is easier to push yourself a little bit harder. Keeping running fun and social has been a key part of why I continue to enjoy the sport.

The HOKA shoes that I frequently use are: The Clifton 7 for my everyday runs, the Mach 3 for some shorter runs and workouts, and the Carbon X for longer workouts. This season I have raced in the Rocket X, it is definitely a fast shoe. 
Matthew Baxter




Also in HOKA BLOG

10 Things I Wish I’d Known About Trail Running Before I Started
10 Things I Wish I’d Known About Trail Running Before I Started

January 21, 2021

I started running on trails back in 2005. I was living on the eastern shore of Maryland and accidentally found myself running on a trail one day as a way to add some distance to my road run. I loved it from the first crunch of dirt and quickly found myself wanting to get as many of my running miles on the trails as possible. I liked how I’d sometimes get a glimpse of a turtle or a deer, how I saw a lot less man-made things, how the pine trees smelled, and how I didn’t have to worry about cars. I wrote this piece to help anyone who may just be getting into trail running, or who has always wanted to try it but wasn’t so sure it was for them.

Continue Reading

THE CARBON X 2 WITH HOKA SENIOR FOOTWEAR DESIGNER ODILE BOYER
THE CARBON X 2 WITH HOKA SENIOR FOOTWEAR DESIGNER ODILE BOYER

January 13, 2021

On May 4th 2019, one of HOKA's most innovative shoes was unveiled in a way that challenged limits. The Carbon X was showcased by HOKA athletes from around the world in attempt to conquer the 100K world record in Folsom, CA.
After another 18 months of development by the HOKA Design, Product and Innovation teams, the updated Carbon X 2 is here. We sat down with Senior Footwear Designer Odile Boyer to learn more about how the Carbon X 2 updated from its predecessor and how this shoe can help inspire athletes of all types to reach for their personal best.

Continue Reading

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: JIM WALMSLEY ON PROJECT CARBON X 2
UNFINISHED BUSINESS: JIM WALMSLEY ON PROJECT CARBON X 2

January 07, 2021

HOKA ultrarunner Jim Walmsley set the running world on fire with his 50-mile world record at the 2019 edition of Project Carbon X. However, he has some unfinished business, as he wasn’t able to hold that pace through 100K (roughly 62 miles). With the upcoming Project Carbon X 2 on January 23rd at 7am MST, Jim has a chance at redemption, so we sat down with him to learn about 2019’s race, how training has gone this year, and what his goals are for Project Carbon X 2, and more.

Continue Reading