We started Charm City Run when Ben was 1 and Kara was a full-time mom living at my parents’ house because that is what you do when you start a business. Kara and I worked all the time and there were no employees. I guess we had the right mix of faith and stupidity. Now Charm City Run has 6 stores including VITA and an event business that manages 80 races a year bringing the thrill of accomplishment to hundreds if not thousands every weekend.
The one year old is now 16 and in high school. He loves to run and that makes me very happy. I know that he has already found incredible joy in the sport. Running is the most selfish thing I do. It is usually my time to reflect on the week, the world and how I can do better but once a week it is father-son time. No phones, no screens, no distractions. Sometimes we talk, sometimes it is quiet. I will take them both. It is one of the highlights of every week.
Sweet Lu came a few years after Ben and she was almost 2 when we opened Bel Air. Lu loves working at the store. She is 13 and enjoys the field sports more but will indulge me in a run every once in a while.
Sam was an infant when we opened Bel Air. She is our comedian. She was running this year in our neighborhood by herself and slipped on the ice. She proceeded to get into a stranger’s car to get a lift home. We need to curb her running a little. Sam really enjoyed Girls on the Run this year and likes to dance as well. Sam is 12 and has a great story about getting her ears pierced.
Kara started as and remains Charm City Run’s moral compass. She always makes sure we do the right things in the community, for our team and for our customers. Kara loves to work with customers help with apparel and has teamed up with Marie to launch the VITA concept. After leaving the classroom 13.5 years ago she is returning to teach second grade in the fall of 2015. She is so excited we could not be happier for her.
Kara invested too many hours at home alone when I was at the shop but our investment has paid off in the relationships that we forged. The kids that we hired are now big kids that run Charm City Run. They are starting their own families and they have served as role models for our children. We will be forever grateful to them for showing our kids the value of hard work, being genuine and how to look someone in the eye and treat them with respect. Our dedication and devotion to our Charm City Run family is the cornerstone of Charm City Run. We hope you feel it.