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Episode 7

Joella Baker: Getting Fit is Just Outside Your Front Door

by | May 12, 2020 | podcast | 0 comments

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Joella Baker.  Joella is a USAT Level 2 coach and Coach of the Get Fit Families Youth Triathlon team which won 2nd at USAT Youth & Jr. Nationals in 2018 & 2019, has several national champions and Worlds qualifiers on the team.  This year she is the winner of the 2019 Jeff Jewell Spirit of Multi-Sport Award from USA Triathlon. 



Joella Baker: Getting Fit is Just Outside Your Front Door

Episode Highlights: 

Coronavirus impacts on the  local race season
Joella’s background & pathway to event organizing
How to build a sustainable open water swimming program & the importance of relationships with stakeholders
Development of  Get Fit Families non – profit triathlon team, cross-country team, adult run club & the Elite Tri Team & camps for youth with scholarship
Challenges of transition to remote coaching due to Coronavirus restrictions
What the elite youth & junior coaches learn from each other.
Joella’s personal health challenges with Lupus & Celiac disease.
Joella’s morning routine
Joella’s favorite workouts for all ages.

Hosts & Guests

Suzanne Atkinson, MD 

Joella Baker


Joella’s 2019 USAT Coaching Award
2019 USA Triathlon’s Jeff Jewell Spirit of Multisport Award

Elite Youth & Junior Team, Races, Run Club, Swim Series Club
Get Fit Families

Southwestern PA Race Series
Mighty Moraine Man

Family Bakery Business – Jenny Lee Cinnamon Bread!
5 Generation Bakers




About this Episode


Joella Baker is the founder of Get Fit Families, a nonprofit organization based in Harmony, Pennsylvania, that provides scholarships for low-income youth to participate in training camps and local races. In addition to serving low-income youth, Get Fit Families also offers a youth elite and junior elite triathlon team, a youth cross country and track program, an adult running club and an open water swim series.

Joella is the owner and creator of the Mighty Moraine Man Triathlon Series, the largest triathlon series in Western Pennsylvania. She has directed several other highly regarded running and multisport events in her community, including USA Triathlon State, Regional and High School Championships.

Joella is a USA Triathlon Level II Certified Race Director, USA Triathlon Level II and Youth Certified Coach, USA Swimming Coach, USA Track & Field Coach, USA Cycling Coach, Assistant Swim Coach for North Catholic High School (Pittsburgh, Pa.), certified lifeguard, waterfront safety lifeguard, YMCA instructor and yoga instructor. 

In 2001, she was diagnosed with Lupus, an autoimmune disease that can cause symptoms including joint pain, fatigue, organ damage and blood disorders. A competitive athlete in college and a marathoner at the time of her diagnosis, Baker was determined not to let her illness end her athletic lifestyle. She signed up for the Pittsburgh Marathon in 2002, finishing in 4 hours, 34 minutes. It was far from her best time — but she was back. She went on to complete 15 additional marathons, five ultra-marathons, 18 IRONMANs and one IRONMAN 70.3. She has represented USA Triathlon’s age-group Team USA at six ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships.

Credit: USA Triathlon

Zac Baker, 11 years old, racing in a local youth triathlon organized by his mother, Joella.

Zac Baker, 16 years old, racing at USA Triathlon Youth & Jr. Nationals 

Mighty Moraine Man is the largest multi-sport race and event series in SW PA 

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