Running A Business: Founder of North Coast Runners, Kevin Staples
December 12, 20224 min read
Searching for meaning in things we do is a basic human motivation, and we love showcasing our community's bold stories to motivate and inspire you to do the same.
After spotlighting this soon-to-come store in our #SmallBusinessSaturday post, onInstagram, and Blog, we got curious in knowing more about the story. So, today we talk with the founder from one of our partners, North Coast Runners: Kevin Staples. Staples is a father of a young daughter, a college teacher, running miles for charity, running around the world, and is now Running A Business! Read on to dive into his journey to opening a store, and get inspired to unleash the desire to work with what you love!
Tell us the story of your business, North Coast Runners Supply. Why did you decide to open the store? When is it officially opening?
I run for a charity in honor of my mom, who died of Ovarian cancer on April 24, 2021. The day after she passed, I ran the Eugene Marathon virtually in Jacksonville, FL. After that, the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition reached out to me and asked if I would run with them and Team Teal in the TCS NYC Marathon. That hooked me, and I decided I wanted to run a marathon on every continent, as well as all 6 World Majors. I've completed 3 continents now, and I am confirmed for both Tokyo and Berlin this year.
Last year was the first year that NOCC received bibs for the Berlin Marathon and they asked me to join them with Team Teal. As a college teacher, it's hard to ask for time off while school is in session, but I asked my Dean and I was told I couldn't go. After a lot of thought, I realized I have a unique opportunity to help raise money and awareness for OC. Being told I can't run in a race that is close to my heart, was the motivation I needed to do what I love. Why am I working for anyone who tells me I can't do something?
Why do you think North Coast Runner's will be unique and different from other running stores out there?
There are no running stores within 2 hours of my location! Our town is full of runners, the town has a wonderful paved path along the Columbia River that goes for miles, and a massive system of mountain bike trails that are wonderful to run on.
What does running and running a business have in common? (Can be anything, e.g.: grit, focus, determination…etc.)
I am working full time right now. I leave college at 5pm, run home to get my dogs, head to the store and then focus my attention there for a few hours. But, it doesn't feel like work! It feels like an accomplishment and as though I will make a difference in someone's life. I feel whole, the same way I feel after finishing a run.
How did you get into running? Why do you run?
I was a US Navy Diver. We ran all the time to stay in shape, but as most veterans will tell you, it was something I did to stay in shape, not for enjoyment. As I got older, I ran to lose the weight when I let it slip too far. When my wife and I separated in Nov 2019 running was a way for me to focus my thoughts, and let's be honest, the best weight loss programs are usually after a hard break up. In March of 2020 my Dad drowned while we were snorkeling in Maui. The pain of that experience was intense, and I ran to put the thoughts behind me. In December of that year my mom entered hospice and I joined her in FL to care for her and help. The only time I had for myself was when she would take a nap in the afternoon, so I ran during that short window. I run now (after a lot of serious counseling time) to stay in shape and to train for my next big race. I'm still focused on my two goals, and running is where I can battle the demons that keep popping up from time to time.
What motivates you to keep on running (both, running and soon North Coast Runners Supply)?
I was 240 pounds in 2019 and a 'closet smoker'. I am now 173 and I can't stomach the smell of tobacco. I never want to turn back to where I was when I was 'happy' in my marriage.
Where is your favorite place to run and to work?
Long Beach, Washington has an amazing trail called the Discovery Trail. It's nestled in the dunes along the Pacific Ocean, so you hear the crashing waves, but the cold breezes don't reach you at all. As for work, looking back my favorite place I worked was with fellow Navy Divers on the ocean floor.
What is next for you and for North Coast Runners Supply?
At this time, we're just excited to open our doors and seeing other people motivated for living their best lives!