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 7 retail stores and an event business that manages 150 races a year bringing the thrill of accomplishment to hundreds if not thousands every weekend.
The one-year old is now 18 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. She is 16 and enjoys the field sports more and when she runs she runs alone. While I would love to be with her, I love my alone time on the roads so I get it.
Sam was an infant when we opened Bel Air. She is our comedian and 14. She goes in and out of running and loves the feeling and hates the pain. She enjoys taking our dogs to Lake Roland and running on the path.
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. After being retired for 15 years Kara went back into elementary ed and taught 1st grade at Gilman for two years. With Ben going to college soon and the business in need of her finesse, she’s excited to be back. Kara loves to work with customers, help with apparel and continues to assist with back-office work.
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.