Monday, September 24, 2012

5 years at Capital RunWalk

 Wow, it's almost hard to believe that this month marks the 5th anniversary of part-time job working at Capital RunWalk in Cameron Village. I had been a customer going back to the 90's ( The store opened in 1994) and I knew the owner, Mike Zimmerman through his support for many events with the NCRC over the years. I had talked to Mike about 6.5 years ago about a possible full time job when my regular job was in jeopardy due to a a company bankruptcy but things worked out so that I was hired by the new company that took over my accounts. Mike told me if I ever wanted to make some hours to just let him know. So five years ago, I was looking to fill some free time since I was getting off work around 1pm on average and I couldn't run ALL the time . Some extra money to finance my trips to races would be nice too so I called Mike and asked if the offer was still good.  He said he'd talk it over with the Management Team, Jon Baker and Matt Thomas and luckily they agreed I would be a good fit for the store with my work and running background.

   I soon found that just because it is a running specialty store doesn't mean that all the customers are runners but despite the usual issues in dealing with the public in a retail environment most of the customers are very good to work with. And although my job is to sell stuff, I still get to talk a lot of running. It is especially satisfying to talk to some beginners or someone training for their first half or even full marathon and they seem to truly appreciated the tips and encouragement as I answer their questions.

  One of the best things for me is having the opportunity to work there with some real quality young people. Most of the staff are either students or recent grads from area colleges, mostly NC State bit a few others. Most have run track and cross country on at least the high school level and right now we have 3 current members of the NC State team.  I have really been impressed with  these intelligent, highly motivated young people and I know their parents are very proud of them. And I am proud to consider them friends.

 It's been really cool to be able to work with Bobby Mack over about 4.5 of those 5 years years and watch his progression to the Elite level.  Bobby was an All American XC runner at State but when he came back to work with us he was in Grad School and recovering from injuries. It's been great to watch him go from wondering if his best running years were behind him to becoming the National XC Champion, 8k National Road Champion, achieve his goal for running a sub 4 mile and compete in the Olympic Trials at 10,000 meters among his many other accomplishments. I would take credit for this but I had absolutely nothing to do with it. Bobby has the fire within and loves running and has gotten great coaching over the years, mostly from Rollie Geiger at NC State.

  So I'm not going to do a commercial for the store but if you need running stuff there is no finer place to shop for it and if I'm not there anyone on the staff can give you great advice and service. I really didn't expect to be here this long but if they'll keep putting up with me I think I'll stick around for a few more years at least.

 Thanks to Mike, Jon and Matt for the opportunity.

 Ok, here is a link to the store website.

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