Charm City Run Overview

How to use this manual: Please read through each party thoroughly and discuss with your manager. At the end of each section, you and your manager will need to sign that you have completed the section. 

This Manual is intended to provide you with some important information about working at Charm City Run.  The material in this Manual includes information about your job, some common sense work rules for you to follow, and information about running products, shoe fit, and injuries that should prove useful to you as you work with customers.

At Charm City Run, we try to maintain an informal, family-run atmosphere for our employees.  This means we try to keep the rules to a minimum, and we hope that in most cases, an employee will have sufficiently good judgment to know what to do without looking up a rule in a Manual.  However, as a business, we do want to make sure that everyone understands that there are some basic guidelines that we all must follow to ensure that Charm City Run remains a great place to work.

This manual is not intended to create an express or implied contract or a guarantee of employment for any term.  You have the right to terminate your employment with Charm City Run at any time, and Charm City Run has the right to terminate your employment, for any reason or no reason, with or without advance notice.

Charm City run will periodically update the information in this Manual.  When we do, we’ll send out updates to our employees.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask your manager.

Mission Statement

To Inspire and Move the Human Spirit, One SOLE at a Time

Our Values

We CARE deeply:

  • About one another, our customers, our partners, and both our local and global communities.
  • About living significant lives, rich in relationships and experiences.


We CREATE daily:

  • An atmosphere that is charged with enthusiasm, compassion, and complete integrity.
  • Opportunities for learning and service, as well as memorable experiences that keep our customers coming back for more.


We CELEBRATE wholeheartedly:

  • The excitement of a new beginning -- a new customer to embrace, a personal goal, a first run or race, ... a new pair of running shoes that feel just right.
  • The goodness in people.


We CONTRIBUTE proactively:

  • To local and global causes and crises that call for leadership and action. 1% of Total Revenue goes to local and global non-profits.
  • By honoring the memory of those who’ve led significant lives.
    • Run to Remember = Over $350,000 donated through the Run to Remember fund at the Baltimore Community Foundation which benefits the Baltimore Police Foundation and the Baltimore Fire Department.
  • By creating opportunities for children to thrive.
    •  Marathon Kids = Over 5,000 children in Baltimore City and the surrounding areas run a marathon throughout the school year.

We CHAMPION passionately, our motto:

  • LIVE a life that makes you happy.
  • GIVE back generously, more than you consume.
  • RUN or walk, swim, bike, row, dance, skate -- just find your own rhythm and bring it to the world. We need you!

Live. Give. Run.

Charm City Run History

In 1997, my girlfriend and now wife and mother of our three children moved to Austin, TX from Baltimore to start a life on our own.  I was going to business school at the University of Texas and Kara was teaching PE and then 2nd grade at the St. Andrews Episcopal School.  Running had always been important to us.  I started running when I was about 10.  My mother and I wanted to be healthier and spend some time together, and my stepfather was a real runner complete with the headband and high socks.  Kara’s father was a big runner and she had always enjoyed running throughout high school into college and beyond.  Kara and I ran in every new city we visited and loved running on Town Lake in Austin before we decided to move.  Austin is a running town and runners and walkers converge on Town Lake everyday all day but especially on the weekends.  Kara and I started our weekend days with runs on Town Lake.

It was not long before we discovered Run-Tex, the running specialty company that was the pillar of the running community.  The first time we experienced Run-Tex was on Town Lake when we realized that all the complimentary Powerade and water that was provided during Saturday and Sunday on Town Lake was provided from Run-Tex.  They just did it because Powerade and water make people’s runs more enjoyable.  Furthermore, they did not pay for it, they actually did all the work with pick-up trucks and lots of coolers.  We thought this was the greatest thing ever and quickly decided we would never buy a pair of shoes anywhere else.

Run-Tex was magical.  It was always crowded and there was always a buzz.  Visitors would often discuss races and training, but more often the discussions were more about life and the upcoming week.  Regardless of the topic of conversation everyone was in a good mood, it was the mood of betterment, people wanting to get better, be better partners, parents and co-workers.  Runners of course know the secret, to be better in all of our life channels we need to feel better and feel empowered and we do that through running.

Running became more of an obsession when Kara and I trained for our first marathon together.  It was supposed to be Austin and ended up being Fort Worth because of a lacrosse tournament.  We paid the price for my interest in hanging on to the glory days. Fort Worth was incredibly hot and water on the course was scarce.  Kara was mad and hurt and it was my fault.  The lacrosse tournament was not worth it.  When I decided to do another marathon, Chicago in 2001, Kara made sure that I was prepared by getting me into the Run-Tex training program.

The program not only taught me the ins and outs of proper marathon training, it put me in Run-Tex every Saturday morning.  I noticed several things that I liked.  The first was that I met some great people through the sport that I would not have met in my everyday life.  Running for the most part knows no socio-economic or racial boundaries.  That was refreshing.  Everyone in the store was always in a good mood.  The owners kids were always around and they had a special relationship with the Run-Tex staff.

After 2 years at Dell Computer, another year at a small software company, I was looking for some professional meaning in my life.  Kara and I had a son, Ben, and we were contemplating a move home to the Charm City.  On a visit home during a run on the NCR trail, Kara said you know Baltimore needs a Run-Tex.  I tried to shrug off the comment.  It seemed like a big endeavor and I am more of a traditional company guy, but the thought and the possibility nagged at me every day.

After working for free at Run-Tex part-time and then leaving my software job to devote myself completely to Run-Tex and what would become Charm City Run, we moved home and opened Charm City Run.  The goals were to provide customer service second to none, create a work environment in which we would want to work, and pound-for-pound give back more to our community than any other Maryland company.

In April 2002, we opened Charm City Run in Timonium.  In June 2005 we opened in Bel Air, in November 2008 in Annapolis, in June 2010 in Clarksville, and in March 2012 we opened in Locust Point.  In September 2015 we moved the Clarksville store to Columbia.  It has been a great ride.  I feel like we have accomplished many of our community goals, but the goal is unattainable.  We can always do more.  We have created a fun and rewarding place to work.  We attract “A” players that have outstanding work ethic and more outstanding integrity.  Everyone that works here loves to help people attain their fitness and life goals as much as we do.

We have three kids and only one still in elementary school.  Members of our CCR family have been married and some have started families.  I have witnessed their already-strong values become stronger and seen their passion for Charm City Run grow just as strong.  It has been a privilege to work here.

We give you the opportunity to work in a great sport in a great community with great people where you have the chance to inspire someone every day.  Do not miss your opportunity and please never take it for granted.


Josh & Kara


1% for Maryland • Run Happy Revolution • Shoes for the Homeless• Eco Bags

Entrepreneurs are generally pretty competitive.  They want to compete on several metrics: financial success, industry success, growth, mentoring, and community initiatives.  Like many others before us, Kara and I wanted to create a special company that stood for far more than a profit or loss statement and the number of shoes we sold.  I hope that our legacy will be that Charm City Run made a difference.   

I think we have improved thousands of people’s lives by helping them achieve a running goal and putting them on the path of lifetime fitness.  Charm City Run manages over 80 endurance sporting events a year and those events raise $500,000 for local non-profits. The races that we founded contribute over $50,000 a year for local non-profits.  

Although we give of our time and contribute hundreds of gifts to local community endeavors, this is not enough.  Charm City Run wanted to invest in an initiative that would be demanding and hold us accountable to our original mission of  Our answer was to become a 1% for the Planet member.  1% for the Planet is an international organization in which members donate 1% of their revenues to environmental non-profits.  

1% allowed us to accomplish two goals.  We had an outside audit that made sure we contributed 1% of our revenue and we could give to all local non-profits.  However over 2015 Baltimore’s many challenges were especially apparent and we believed that we could hold ourselves to the same 1% standard but invest more deeply in causes that catered to our local under-served.  In 2015, Charm City Run launched 1% for Maryland and we will donate in cash and in-kind services 1% of our revenue to local non-profits.  We will also donate an additional 0.1% in goods and services to the local non-profits that exist where our stores are located.  

Charm City Run will still invest in environmental efforts but have the flexibility to help more of Baltimore’s more under-served population pursue growth through fitness and education.  This year we will launch live.give.move and with our partner Brooks, the Run Happy Revolution.  These programs will target adults that have health issues that can be aided by exercise and proper nutrition.  We will continue to support Marathon Kids that challenge Maryland K-5 children to run 26.2 miles over the course of the year.  Charm City Run is active in Bridges a long-term support network for Baltimore children starting in 4th grade continuing through college.

Pound for pound we want to do more than any other business.  We want to lead by example.  We want customers to be proud to shop here.  We want you to be proud to work here.  We want you to have a little swagger in your step when you meet someone and they say, “You work at Charm City Run?  They do so much for the community.”  We want you to say thanks for noticing, but we do it because it is the right thing to do.  INSPIRE SOMEONE TODAY.    


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