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Josh Maio

Founder & Head Coach

For more than a decade, Josh Maio has been a running, racing, and coaching fixture in New York City and beyond.  His history with the sport is a tale as old as time with its humble roots as a stress reliever whilst in academia and working life to becoming an integral part of who he is as a person and coach.  Despite a very limited history in his earlier years, Josh quickly found his stride post-collegiately having run and raced all over the US and abroad.

A student of the sport, "Coach Squatch," as he is commonly referred to as, began training runners through a New York-based charity team, Race With Purpose (RwP), which raised money to help the fight against childhood obesity.  After two successful years with RwP coaching more than 55 athletes through the Chicago, Marine Corps, New York, and Philadelphia marathons, he decided to move on and break out on his own working more hands-on with individuals.  In 2009 he established Team Sasquatch, which consisted of more than 35 local and virtual athletes training for everything from their first 5k and 10k to half, full, and ultramarathons.

Over the next several years, Josh worked with a number of organizations in addition to Team Sasquatch, further developing his coaching skills.  He helped develop the Paragon Sports Run Club and worked with a number of charitable organizations leading their half-marathon and marathon training programs, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and the American Heart Association (AHA).  As JDRF's National Endurance Team coach, he successfully coached over 500 Team JDRF runners for half and full marathons in New York City, Long Branch (NJ), and Miami, as well as the Goofy and Dopey challenges at Disney World (FL). 

In 2013, at the urging of friend and mentor coach Frank "Gags" Gagliano, Team Sasquatch evolved, taking on the guise of Josh's free-spirited, and nerdy, yet focused personality and rebranded as Gotham City Runners (GCR), paying homage to the greatest City and comic book character EVER.  The club continues to grow and prosper in New York, having placed well in New York Road Runners team competition since the team's inception, and has now expanded to Denver, Colorado, where Squatch currently resides.  

Along with his various coaching accomplishments, Josh has contributed to Runner's World, Women's Running, Fitness, and New York Runner.  He has also represented Brooks Running as a member of their Inspire Daily (ID) program since 2011, when he was was awarded ID Member of the Month honors, and continues to as a Brooks ID Coach. 


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Maura Holland

Operations Director & Coach

Maura arrived in NYC from Galway, Ireland in 2005, but didn't get back into running until 2010.  She completed the NYC marathon in 2001 and 2002 while still living in Ireland.  Shortly after re-starting her running in NYC in 2010, Maura met coach Josh Maio and shortly thereafter became what she calls a “Sasquatch believer”; she credits Josh not only with her running successes (Boston qualifying 2014, New York qualifying 2015, several age group wins), but with helping to build much of her own self-confidence as a runner. “In 2011, I asked him if he thought somebody my age could still do a sub-4 hour marathon. If he had shown even the slightest doubt, I would have doubted myself, but he was always so certain that I eventually started to believe it myself.”

This is the same sort of confidence Maura aspires to pass on to her teammates. “I especially love bringing new kids on the team into the fold,” she says. “I like to think of them as starting with me and then graduating on to the faster bunch. I sometimes have to give them a push out of the nest . . . but then they start to believe, and it’s fabulous to watch them grow in speed and confidence.”

Maura has been with Josh since his solo coaching days, through 'Team Sasquatch' and now with Gotham City Runners.  As Gotham City Runners continues to grow and prosper, Maura has partnered with Josh to continue the club's mission in NYC.  Maura is an RRCA certified coach and is gaining further 'on the job' coaching expertise as an active member of the coaching staff. 


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Noa Besner

Coach, NYC

Noa wasn't always active.  In fact, she was pretty lazy growing up, preferring movie marathons to running marathons (or athletic feats of any kind). She changed her ways when a friend challenged her to take a Level 1 NYRR running class to learn how to run a continuous 20 minutes.  She survived and ran the Nashville Country Music Marathon the following year, surprising everyone, including herself She was hooked. Ten full marathons, five olympic triathlons, and countless shorter distance races later, Noa is rarely not active, hence her Neverstoppingnoa monicker. 

She loves to challenge herself and other runners, setting goals that might seem scary at first but are only impossible until they're done. Noa has shared that message with other runners, first through many years with Team in Training, where she learned the power of running for something outside yourself - whether it's for a cause like the the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society or for the larger team. She took that passion to Gotham City Runners and loves helping athletes - new and seasoned - reach big goals ranging from first marathons to chasing down that elusive Boston unicorn. 

Noa joined Josh and Gotham City Runners almost three years ago to double down on her own speed training and start coaching runners in a small intimate and effective setting. She's hit many personal records and achieved life long dreams by chasing down two BQs and counting. 

It's all about targeted training, a supportive running squad like Gotham City Runners, and mental strength - "she believed she could so she did."


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Carolyn Brafman

Coach, NYC

Carolyn has always been active and a self-described “gym rat”.  It was 7 years ago she found the love of running.  She started running with Team In Training, raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Carolyn moved through the ranks of TNT from participant, to mentor captain, team captain and then becoming Assistant Coach since 2013, coaching half and full-marathoners.  On top of running marathons and half-marathons, she’s a certified Cycling instructor teaching at NYSC.

She came to GCR through a running friend in 2014.  In that time, with the knowledge and guidance of Josh, she was able to overcome years of set-backs and return to running at her PR level.  

Carolyn works in advertising as her “day job”, as a Senior Project Manager.  She guides various teams and process throughout the day working on a variety of marketing initiatives.  But fitness is her true love.  Whether on the run course or in a spin class, she’s constantly finding motivation to encourage others.  She loves seeing people reach their goals and looks forward to doing that for the GCR crew!