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MEET THE COACHES & STAFF

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HAYDEN COX

Head Coach

Hayden founded Railroad to offer athletes an elite coaching experience, regardless of their pace. He believes that no matter your goal, you deserve a coach that will work with you with the same passion and resources offered at the NCAA D1 and professional levels. He sums up his training philosophy in 3 steps.

  1. Prioritize long term over short term

  2. Create and sustain consistency in training & in life

  3. Vary workouts & paces throughout a training cycle


In his 9 years of Athletics coaching, including stints at the High School and NCAA DI levels, Hayden has helped countless athletes achieve their dreams during his career. Here's a sampling:

National-Class Results

  • 4th, Anna West @ 2023 McKirdy Marathon, (2:35:04, OTQ)

  • 9th, Alyssa Bloomquist @ 2023 McKirdy Marathon, (2:36:29, OTQ)

  • 17th, Allen Sumrall @ 2023 USA Outdoor Championships (10k)

  • 8th, Allen Sumrall @ 2023 Garry Bjorkland Half Marathon

  • 12th, Allen Sumrall @ 2023 USA Indoor Track & Field Championships (3000m)

  • 26th, Cassidy Heaton @ 2022 Chicago Marathon (2:39:08)

  • 5th, Melissa Anastasakis @ 2022 Greek XC Championships (8k XC)

  • 10th, Megan Wagenaar @ 2022 Canadian Outdoor Track Championships (Steeple)

  • 16th, Allen Sumrall @ 2021 USA Half Marathon Road Championships

  • 16th, Anna West @ 2021 USA 15k Road Championships

Hayden is particularly proud of how each athlete developed. When Hayden met Anna, she wanted to be a marathoner but didn't think she could run more than 40mpw after constant injuries in college. In two years of working together, Hayden slowly introduced higher volumes and she's since run 2:35 and qualified for her first U.S. Olympic Trials off a safe & healthy 80mpw. With Alyssa, she was a 33 year-old mother-of-two with a 2:41:24 PR. She didn't have time for higher mileage, but needed to somehow find a 4-minute PR in her 7th Marathon to qualify for the Olympic Trials. With patience, a longer-term training plan, and speed emphasis, she crushed it and ran 2:36:29 to qualify for her 3rd Trials. Allen joined RR thinking he had reached his potential, but with a splash of speed and more effort-based training, his PR's dropped from (5k) 14:29 to 13:57, (10k) 29:44 to 28:44, and (Half) 66:32 to 64:13 in only a year. 

Melissa started as a 1500m runner. Yet, in her first postcollegiate season, she improved her aerobic strength to earn 5th in her country. Megan had never raced a steeplechase before, but wanted the best possible national finish. In her first year, she earned top 10 in Canada.  When Cassidy joined Railroad, her Marathon PR was 2:51 and she'd never broken 18 for 5k. Now, she's the North Carolina 5k State Champion in a race she won in 16:48. She followed that up with a 12min PR in the Marathon, running 2:39 in Chicago. 

Hayden stresses that these national-class results, while​ fast and fun, are as meaningful to him as the countless PR's and podiums like: 

  • Scott Beardsley earns his first race win and sets PR's in the 5k, 10k, and Half. 

  • Emma Allison BQ's and sets a huge PR (placing 2nd) in her first marathon with Railroad.

  • Grace Marmaras improves her Half by 19 minutes and finishes her first marathon.

  • Taylor Smith sets a PR on the notoriously difficult Austin Half course

  • Brody Wooten sets 5k and 10k PR's and several age group wins

  • Eli Decker places 2nd & PR's at Run for the Water 10 miler

  • EJ Porras & Taylor Smith set Mile PR's together at the Schrader Mile

  • Liam Collins sets a course best at the Austin Half

  • Braden Videon sets a 5k PR

Hayden claims Kevin Jermyn and Rita Gary as his biggest coaching influences. He has previously held coaching positions at Elon University (Assistant Cross Country/Distance Track Coach), Chattahoochee High School (Assistant XC Coach), Furman Running Camp (Assistant Director), Furman Running Club (Head Coach), and C.C.R.C. (Head Coach).

He is a USATF Level I Certified Coach.

Coaches & Staff: Meet the Staff
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