Partner Spotlight: Pacers Running

By: Christine Bean

We recently caught up with Chris Farley, owner of Pacers Running, to chat about their long-standing partnership with MightyMeals, and how they continue to be the premier neighborhood running retailer in the DMV.
Q: How long has Pacers been in business?
Chris: Pacers Running is a family-owned company that has been open since 1991. I started working as a sales associate in 1999 in the Alexandria store, which was the only existing store at the time.  I somehow convinced my parents to mortgage their house, and we bought that store in 2003. Sixteen years later, we are in a great rhythm with five Pacers storefronts throughout DC and Northern Virginia.
Q: What makes Pacers unique?
Chris: Pacers is a specialty retail fitness store managed by a community of runners aiming to be a resource to the fitness community in a variety of ways. Footwear and apparel drive most of our business, but if you want to know where to go for a run, how to get over an injury, what the best running groups are in the area, we are able to help with those things, too. We are proud to be a fitness community gathering point; we put on road races, neighborhood runs, and workouts at each of our stores.
Q: What connected Pacers to MightyMeals?
Chris: Pacers was actually the very first MightyMeals pick-up location back in 2015. When Dan Graziano (MightyMeals’ Co-Founder) and I met, and he told me about MightyMeals’ mission, I immediately felt a strong connection to the brand. We are very like-minded business owners; they have this amazing entrepreneurial spirit and passion towards helping people live healthier lifestyles. I loved their idea of convenience for the busy fitness consumer. It really resonated with me, and I knew we’d be a great match. We started-out having one MightyMeals pick-up refrigerator in our Alexandria store, and we now them in all five Pacers locations.
Q: How does MightyMeals benefit Pacers patrons?
Chris: It is definitely a mutually beneficial partnership. They’re catering towards that individual who is busy, health-conscious, fitness-oriented and who doesn’t not have a lot of time to cook their meals or time to waste driving to pick-up their meals. Pacers is walking-distance for many people in the neighborhood, so it works out well. We are able to offer our customers a unique service of grabbing healthy food when they’re on the-go,-and this gives them more time to go for a run or spend time with their family. If it benefits our customers, it benefits us.
Q: What is your go-to MightyMeals dish?
Chris: My top meal has always been the Tomato & Pesto Penne with Turkey Meatballs; I mean you gotta do the carbo loading for the next day’s run, right? But recently, I’ve gone with the All-American Breakfast: bacon, sausage, home-fries, eggs… what’s not to love?  I am a big fan of breakfast for dinner!
Connect with Pacers on Facebook & Instagram for the latest on running trends and events around the DMV, and tune-in to Pacers’ podcast for the inside scoop on all things DC running!
About Chris Farley: Chris Farley is the owner and President of Pacers Running // Chief Running Enthusiast. A lifelong runner, Chris has been in the running specialty industry since 1999 and is considered an industry leader and subject matter expert in running retail. Chris was lauded as a “40 under 40” for the Sporting Goods industry by SportsOneSource in 2011. Currently, Chris oversees Pacers Running’s retail operations.  Chris also hosts “Pace The Nation” a weekly podcast that has been voted a top 5 Running Podcast by Feedspot. Chris is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he ran for the University’s Cross Country and Track teams. A lifelong resident of Arlington County in Virginia, Chris, along with his wife Julie have 2 young sons, James and Paul.