For more than 15 years, Fleet Feet Sports PDX has been a locally owned and operated specialty store dedicated to providing the Portland and Southwest Washington communities with superior products, excellent service, and unique events. Whether you are a runner, a walker, or anyone looking for a lifetime of fitness, then Fleet Feet Sports PDX is your store. Dave Sobolik established the business as Pace Setter NW in Northwest Portland’s popular retail district in fall 2000. Three short years later, the opening of a second store in Vancouver, WA prompted the name change to Fit Right NW. In 2012, with growing recognition from sports and fitness entities across the country, Sobolik and co-owner Robb Finnegan dropped NW from the business name, signaling the vast reach and broad appeal of their product offerings, events, philanthropy, and RUN training programs.
In November 2014, Alan Rice and Susan Zepernick purchased Fit Right from Sobolik and Finnegan. Residents of NW Portland, the new owners pledged to continue to operate the stores as the hubs of their local running and fitness communities. At both stores, the gait analysis and multi-level fitting process that first launched Pace Setter NW remain at the core of the exceptional customer service. Both locations offer a wide selection of fitness footwear, apparel, and accessories. Fleet Feet Sports PDX remains the only running and walking specialty store in Southwest Washington.
In early 2017 Alan and Susan retired, with store managers Rachel Ebbers and Jamie Wagner taking over as Operators in Portland/Lake Oswego and Vancouver, respectively. They are excited to continue the high level of customer service our guests have come to expect from Fleet Feet Sports and are committed to remaining local and community-focused.
Rachel joined Fleet Feet Sports PDX in August 2015 and comes with the experience of working for a footwear brand, as well as on the specialty store side of things. The buyer position feeds her creative side – she has an advanced degree in poetry and spends her spare time rearranging the chairs in her apartment. But she’s organized, too – you should see how she’s organized her stationery collection! She thinks the only thing that’s hard about working on the west side of the river is that the east side has much better pizza. When she’s not at work, you can find her at the Saltzman trailhead, Sparky’s pizza, or her front porch.
Kevin Cooper (aka Coop) has been with Fleet Feet Sports PDX since 2011. In addition to being the Sales Manager in our Lake Oswego store, he frequently attends races and other events promoting Fleet Feet Sports PDX. Coop has also been the head coach for our Intro to RUN Training Programs. As for his running, he enjoys cherry picking races of all distances with the weakest possible fields so he can place well overall and in his age group while doing the absolute minimum amount of training.
Hugh comes to Fleet Feet Sports PDX as a Fit Expert and Sales Lead. Being a multi-sport athlete, Hugh is knowledgeable in many different sports from snowshoe to cyclocross. In the last few years, his primary focus has been spent training as a mountain trail ultra runner. Hugh’s main goals for the upcoming year are to complete the Western States Endurance Run or complete a qualifier for entry into the 2017 lottery. Hugh has completed triathlons from sprint to Iron Man distance, has raced run events from 1 to 100 miles, and completed solo circumnavigations of Mt. Rainier and Mount St Helens. When he’s not assisting others to run their best, Hugh can be found enjoying the great outdoors.
I started running in high school as a sophomore and ran in college. I moved on to a lot of local races after college as well as multiple half marathons including the USA Half Marathon Championships in Houston in 2014. I completed four marathons: New York, 2x Twin Cities, and ran Boston this year. I started working at a running store in Pennsylvania in 2011 and moved to Minneapolis in 2013. I worked at a Fleet Feet Sports in Minneapolis until moving to Portland!
An enthusiastic runner for many years, Melissa has competed in numerous half and full road marathons throughout the Midwest. It wasn’t until the summer of 2014 that she completed her first trail race—a 60K ultramarathon. Next was a 50-miler. Exhilarated by the act of trail-running, Melissa decided to trade the snow and gentle rolling hills of Indiana for Pacific Northwest rain and mountains. As a recent transplant, she enjoys learning about local runners’ go-to routes and training tactics. After a workout Melissa can be found taste-testing Portland’s abundant vegetarian food scene or exploring the wilderness.
Sarah impulsively signed up for a half marathon in 2014 and became fatally addicted to running. Since running a dozen half marathons and making the mistake of signing up for an ultramarathon, Sarah has completed two 50Ks, a forty mile race, and a fifty mile race in 2016. When not loading up her ultra vest and disappearing into Wildwood for the day, Sarah enjoys a good beer, science fiction movies, the Pacific Northwest, and eating entire pizzas. She joined the Fleet Feet PDX team in the winter of 2015.
I have been running for the last 6 years. I competed in triathlons for 4 years including 1 Ironman and 6 half Ironmans. My proudest accomplishments were competing in Half Ironman World Championships in Las Vegas in 2011 and competing in Elite division in a few Olympic distance triathlons. I'm currently attending Oregon State University to further my education in Kinesiology. When I'm not studying, you can find me cheering on the Timbers, eating at one of the many Vegan restaurants in Portland or traveling around the PNW.
Originally from Michigan, I moved to Chicago to finish college and find a better opportunity for myself. After I graduated with my degree in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois at Chicago, my girlfriend and I decided Portland would be the best place to live. I joined the Fleet Feet Sports PDX team in June 2016 with the experience of having worked as an assistant manager for a sporting goods store in Chicago. I've run the Detroit/Canada marathon twice, the Chicago marathon, and I plan on doing more. When I am not at work, I am usually running, playing basketball, and sharpening my design skills.
Born and raised in the PNW, Sam is a competitive runner at Clark College in Vancouver. Still figuring out exactly what he wants to do after college, he is attending Clark in order to earn a transfer degree which he hopes to use to fulfill his dream; to attend and compete for an NCAA Division I University. In his free time, Sam can be found running all over the Portland/Vancouver area, trying out hole-in-the-wall authentic restaurants, shoe shopping, and playing his trombone with the Clark jazz band. He hopes to stay in the running specialty industry, as it allows him to share his passion of running with others.
Born and raised in Columbia, Missouri, I ran my first 5K road race when I was six years old and have been running ever since. I ran Cross Country and Track and Field at the University of Missouri-Kansas City for five years, Roo up! I worked at Fleet Feet Sports Kansas City for a year before moving to Portland with my fiancé who is a member of the Nike Bowerman Track Club. I enjoy running competitively still and have been venturing out onto the roads in half marathons. I, one day, hope to move up to the marathon distance. When I’m not at Fleet Feet I can be found running or rooting for my favorite sports teams.
Kayla was born and raised in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. She was interested in pursuing running in college and moved to Kansas to run for Wichita State University. After five years in Kansas she decided to make the move to Portland, to experience the great atmosphere and running community. She has competed in cross country and track for years, but would like to get into road and trail races as well. Her goal is to become a physical therapist, and this year she is applying to graduate schools. Always open to new adventures, she thinks the west coast is a great place to explore, hike, and camp.
Eryn is originally from Seattle, and moved to Portland in 2008 where she played basketball at Portland State University. Having run in high school, she has competed in a few half marathons since and is excited to race more again now that she is done playing basketball. She is currently working towards becoming a registered dietitian and in her free time loves to hike with her dog Waffles, run with her Fleet Feet friends, and eat brunch at every place in Portland!
Brittany started running track in high school and eventually picked up cross country her junior and senior year - swearing to herself she'd never run a step more than a 5K. Fast forward a few years and long runs are not only her primary form of exercise, she actually really (really) loves it! This year she completed her second marathon and plans for her first ultramarathon are in the works. When not at Fleet Feet she can be found climbing, running on a trail somewhere, or hanging out with her dog Maile.
Miwa is a lifelong athlete whose athletic roots are in swimming, but she took an unexpected liking to running six years ago. Over the last six years, Miwa has run a 5K or two, a handful of 10K races, a sprint triathlon, several half marathons (including a trail half), two Ragnar races, and Hood to Coast. This year Miwa plans to run a 20-mile trail race, Hood to Coast, and a few other races. In her career, Miwa has worked in specialty outdoor retail, with developmentally disabled deaf adults, and for twelve years as a K-12 interpreter for the deaf. Miwa has a master’s degree in professional writing and aspires to write grants for nonprofits. Outside of work, Miwa can be found walking her three dogs, sewing, drawing, hanging out with her husband and teenage son, and, of course, running.