A Runner’s Mind

Run Big, Shop Small

Owner: Monte Keleher

LOCATIONS

  • 1111 Howard Ave. Burlingame, CA / (650) 437-2217
  • 3575 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA / (415) 800-7575
  • 3541 Plaza Drive, Lafayette, CA / (925) 310-4312

A Runner’s Mind was founded in 2010 by owner, Monte Keleher. A local in the Burlingame community, he had worked previously in a running specialty store next to his high school which eventually closed. This left a hole in the community which ultimately inspired him to open a shop of his own—not to replicate what the old store had accomplished, but instead, it gave the community a new space to come together, run, walk, shop and enjoy life through their doors. Originally starting as a small shop nestled on a quiet street corner, the store’s group runs started simple: a couple of friends and Monte. After a few months, it grew steadily into 30-40 runners and walkers in attendance each week.

In 2013, A Runner’s Mind opened their second store, which settled in the gorgeous Pacific Heights/Presidio area of San Francisco. Within months of that, the original store in Burlingame relocated into a much larger space—just three doors down from its original location! It was like constructing two stores within six months of each other. (Yikes!)  Then, in 2016, the need to further expand resulted in ARM’s first store in the East Bay. They now have a location in downtown Lafayette which is a beautiful, tight knit community tucked deep in the scenic valley. Internally, the team grew as much as the stores did, and in the same year, two co-owners were introduced to build an unstoppable team: Dawson Alexander and Kyle Ballard.

The way A Runner’s Mind strives to differentiate their store from any other in the Bay Area is with their extreme focus on customer experience. It is their goal to make sure that every person who walks through the doors is greeted as if they have always been part of the family. The staff genuinely cares about your needs and concerns.

4x Olympian Meb Keflezighi hanging out with the team in Burlingame, CAStore mascot, Liberty, showcasing one of her well-earned medalsAn infamous Backyard Party with Olympians!A classic Burlingame fun run starting from the shopSaucony leading the pack at the inaugural Gobble Wobble 5kThe infamous San Francisco Cable Car Chase

A Runner’s Mind prides itself in being a small, local business.  Whether they are sponsoring a local 5k/10k benefitting the community’s school, a high school cross country invitational or donating what they can to local youth or veteran chapters, this team is fully engaged and integrated in their community.  The store provides team nights that allow track and cross country teams to come to the store individually and also sponsors as many cross country races as possible. The annual Gobble Wobble on Thanksgiving Day, benefitting CALL Primrose and the Lakas Shimizu Philanthropy Fund, attracted over 1,000 participants in its inaugural year setting high expectations for the years to come.

In addition to planned events, A Runner’s Mind has brought the community together by providing a gathering place open to everyone. After outgrowing their original location, Monte, Dawson and Kyle installed “The Backyard” when they relocated to the current Burlingame store. This area is heavily utilized for post-run hangouts and has even held boot camp classes put on by area crossfit gyms.

“In order for our industry to continue to strive and excel, we have to constantly push the envelope and reinvent the expectations of customer experience. People have become accustomed to “acceptable” service, but to us, that’s unacceptable. Our stores strive for incredible customer experience, and that’s the difference. We don’t provide just a service; it’s an experience that leaves our customers with something to talk about with their friends and family members.”  - Dawson Alexander

CUSTOMER HIGHLIGHT

“A Runner's Mind has built a wonderful running community in Burlingame.  Whether you want to buy new shoes/apparel, inquire about race training programs or just hang out, this is the place to go.There is nothing Monte likes to do more than jump in and pace you during a race. He has done this for me more than once.  His demeanor, humor and support have helped me achieve PR's that I never thought possible. There was a period of time when he would meet a small group of us for a 6am practice and run with us in our mile repeats or whatever "fun" workout he had planned.  He pushed me to become better at a sport I love.  I couldn't have had the race results I did without Monte and A Runner's Mind." – Miss J.

STAFF PICKS

ARM San Francisco Store Manager, Carlos, is the Pumpkin King with his trusty Zealot ISO 2sChris workin’ it in the Saucony Guide!ARM Burlingame Assistant Store Manager, Eileen, loves Saucony so much, she keeps a stockpile!

TOP 3 RACES

  • Gobble Wobble  - Coyote Point, Burlingame, CA
  • Jig and Jog – San Francisco, CA
  • Summer Light Series – San Francisco, CA

POST-RUN IN TOWN

  • “The Backyard” at A Runner’s Mind, Burlingame.
  • Blue Line Pizza, Burlingame.
  • Steelhead Brewery for post-run beers at Burlingame.

SAUCONY SQUAD

  • Shadow Rep – Megan Rhodes
  • Sales Rep – Curtis Jensen

FOLLOW THEM ON SOCIAL!

By: Megan Rhodes, Saucony Shadow Rep

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