CEO | Pacers Running

Kathy Dalby is CEO of Pacers Running, a leading run specialty retailer and events production company in Washington D.C. She is responsible for identifying and driving strategic growth, branding and marketing, financial management and optimizing the relationship between all channels of the Pacers Running business. Kathy is also the publisher of RunWashington, the D.C. area’s largest and most comprehensive print and digital news source for area runners. She has served as race director for many events including the Nike Women’s Half Marathon and the USATF National Road Racing Championships.

EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: Masters of Public Health, The George Washington University; Bachelor of Arts, Michigan State University

I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: Our staff, vendor partners, friends, family, and community.

MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: We have to run an organization unlike the running stores of yesteryear. It’s critical to optimize the relationships in all business channels, refine our business practices and strategy, invest in long-term professional growth of our employees, and be unapologetic when it comes to the integrity of our brand. Customer expectations are high and while some retailers bemoan the competition, we say bring it. A rising tide really does raise all ships.

BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Give people the tools to do their job and get out of their way; always have a plan B; and remember the prime directive: stay away from boys. All they do is suck your brains and zap your strength – my Dad, circa 1990.

BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: The creation of the DCXC project, our charity to elevate the sport of youth cross country in inner city Washington D.C. and the surrounding metro area.

WHAT OR WHO (MENTOR) HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: The women in my family, especially my grandmothers, who are resilient, loving and hard-working. And my best friend and business partner, Chris Farley, who gave me the courage to make the leap into entrepreneurship. His eternal optimism and genuine empathy for all runners is a North Star for our long-range strategy and a reminder that in all we do, helping others is what really matters.

WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE? Laser-focused on our mission to support and celebrate the journey and accomplishments of all runners. It’s why we exist and how we maintain authenticity and relevancy. We also want to show our staff that community-focused retail and events are noble professions and if you work hard and take a chance on yourself, everything is possible.

BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: If its not fun, its probably not worth it.