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March 30, 2011

Jane Austin

Written by Dena Evans
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Jane Austin is 48 years old, married with 4 kids and one granddaughter.  One of her children is a 27 year-old sergeant in the Marines, one is a 25 year-old 1st grade teacher, one is a college student and her youngest is 9.  Jane has been a professional stuntwoman for 23 years who has lived in the LA area her whole life. Married to a stuntman, they have their own business, Hollywood Stuntworks, that manufactures fire gel and does rigging for movies and tv shows (think reality show challenges). You may have seen her in the Naked Gun movies, Star Trek Generations, Law and Order SVU, and other shows.  Her Husband did Pirates of the Caribbean and was on that set for 9 months last year.


Jane coaches cross country at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, and assists with her son’s club track team, Santa Clarita Storm, as well.  With her sister, she just completed the LA Marathon on Sunday March 20th.



Coach: How did you start running?

JA: I did track in high school, and actually made it to state twice.  I went to Corvallis High school (small school), but was a sprinter.  Being a stuntwoman, I had to stay in shape, so did every single thing -  spinning, martial arts, etc, but didn’t get into running until about 6 years ago. My sister got into half marathons, doing one for her 50th birthday.  It turned into our every other month sister activity, and all of a sudden, two marathons later and who knows how many 5ks and 10ks later, I’m hooked.  My first marathon was LA last year, and my sister didn’t even do it with me…I just wanted to run the course, growing up in LA all these years.  And now, I’m the head cross country coach at my son’s school and he signed up for a club in Santa Clarita valley with me coaching his division.  My husband runs with us also- the last four weekends, we’ve had three races.  Last weekend, we were getting into the car at 5am and were just looking at each other saying, hey, this is what we do for our family activities!


Coach: Who is your running role model?

JA: It is my sister, Kim. I come from a family of nine kids.  Out of the nine of us, I am probably the most athletic.  My sister is a pastry chef and can basically make anything out of chocolate.  She made up her mind to do this running thing, and she got me doing it, at my age!  When she did her first one, I was like “Why? That is what cars are for!”  Now, we are out there in the pouring rain last weekend.  She was really the one who got me to break 5 hours.


Coach: What has been your most memorable running / racing experience?

JA: To date, it has got to be the marathon last Sunday.  We had some of our family members meet us at certain points along the course. At the end, my son, my brother in law, my niece, and my husband all ran parts of it with me. Running through the puddles, it felt like you already had your ice pack before the race was over.

Coach: What have you enjoyed about working with Focus-N-Fly?

JA: I love FNF because my schedule often changes.  I do tae-kwon-do, other activities, and all I have to do is just tell the schedule to have it change.  I don’t have the knowledge to know what I need to do- the mileage, etc.  I‘ve had personal trainers.  Countless personal trainers, actually!  But FNF is like having a personal trainer, it is so customized to me.


Coach: What is one part of your racing routine you can’t do without (sleep, pre race meal, tie shoes certain way, other ritual)?

JA: My thing is that I have to have a banana and a cup of coffee when I wake up on race day.  Have to. That is religious for me.  I have this counter in our mud room with everything laid out perfectly – Garmin, shoes, number pinned on my shirt.  As long as that is all laid out and my automatic coffee maker set, then I can go to bed. If I don’t have everything laid out like that, I can’t sleep.


Coach: What is your favorite place to go for a run?

JA: My most favorite place I have ever run was Hyde Park in London.  I looked at my Garmin and it said 5 miles, and I thought I had run one.  But my favorite routine run that I run all the time… Pt Mugu State Park.  It is really tough, with breath taking views from the top.  Just beautiful!!!


Coach: In the next year, what goals do you hope to accomplish?

JA: My best time in the half is a 2:01, so I really want to focus on the half in the near future.  My sister just signed up for CIM [California International Marathon] in Folsom, but marathons are so long to train for! My next half is a Cinco de Mayo in Irvine, and a Memorial Day one in Laguna.  By that time, I will probably sign up for another marathon, probably the one with my sister.  But then a friend of mine was talking about a triathlon, so who knows!

Last modified on September 12, 2011
Dena Evans

Dena Evans

Dena Evans joined runcoach in July, 2008 and has a wide range of experience working with athletes of all stripes- from youth to veteran division competitors, novice to international caliber athletes.

From 1999-2005, she served on the Stanford Track & Field/ Cross Country staff. Dena earned NCAA Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year honors in 2003 as Stanford won the NCAA Division I Championship. She was named Pac-10 Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2003-04, and West Regional Coach of the Year in 2004.

From 2006-08, she worked with the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative, helping to expand the after school fitness programs for elementary school aged girls to Mountain View, East Menlo Park, and Redwood City. She has also served both the Stanford Center on Ethics and the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession as a program coordinator.

Dena graduated from Stanford in 1996.

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