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Word by Chris Farley - 

This week is Pacers Running CEO and Partner Kathy Dalby's birthday. So, I thought I might do a post about her.

In 2003 my family and I bought 1 Running Store in Old Town Alexandria. It made my dreams come true, at least that is what I thought…

Kathy Dalby had worked in that same Pacers store in Old Town Alexandria since 2002. A part-time employee, Kathy was just looking to be involved in the industry that she had worked in since 1996 (she was a former star employee for Village Runner in Manhattan Beach, CA). She didn't need the job; the job needed her.

There are 2 key sales jobs in my career that have defined my success. One, selling my parents in 2003 to mortgage their house to buy the store. Two, selling Kathy on quitting her job at a prominent law firm in 2005 to work with me at Pacers.

I didn't realize at the time that I needed a partner to achieve our desired success. This business was and is a team sport, and Kathy was the teammate I needed.

I have heard so many horror stories about failed partnerships, and I consider myself so very lucky. But when I think about it, it's not luck; it's very evident why it works - and this is why.

  1. Shared vision. We may have different views on how to get there, but we are in lockstep on our mission.
  2. Absence of ego - from both of us, but mostly her.
  3. We celebrate each other's success. Even more than our own.
  4. Complimentary skills. I am big on ideas, and she is big on execution.
  5. Unwavering support. It's powerful. There have been ups and downs. Agreements and disagreements. But she has my back, and I have hers. 100% of the time. Period.

Now in 2022, we have 6 locations, 10 road races from 5k to a marathon, and sell our products all over the country in multiple distribution channels.  

I believe we are the best team in our business. We reach our goal daily, which is: To help as many people as possible through running. With us working together, there is no ceiling to that goal. It's pretty exciting.

At 27, I thought I had made it because we had 1 shop in Old Town. Almost 20 years later, on Kathy's 27th birthday (wink), we are a top running brand in our market. Happy birthday, partner. Make it a good one!

- Farley