To hear his parents tell it, Joe’s running career began somewhere around age 5, when he would go to the backyard of his family’s home in Brockton, Massachusetts and would run in circles with their dog Princess until the two of them would simply fall over. This might not have been the most auspicious start to things, but it was certainly a thrilling one. That backyard felt huge.
About 6 years later, after a few family moves up and down the East Coast, Joe’s parents encouraged him to join his middle school cross country team, which he did when he was in the sixth grade. That moment marked the beginning of a lifelong running career—both competitive and recreational.