A Running Start was founded in May, 2004, by Sorita Averill-Fitzgerald, an avid runner, marathoner, biker and triathlete. Sorita moved to Pennsylvania in 1987. She worked as an office manager at a Philadelphia architectural firm for 2 years, leaving to take a position with SmithKline Beecham (now Glaxo SmithKline) in Human Resources, where she established and conducted training programs and managed accounts.
During this period, she earned both a Bachelor’s (Cabrini College) and Master’s degree (University of Pennsylvania) in Organizational Management. In 2000, Sorita left the pharmaceutical industry to pursue a sales career, initially with NCR and later with Paxar, where she received numerous sales awards and designations. In 2004, she left the corporate world to pursue her dream of opening a customer-friendly, service-oriented running specialty store.
Originally located in the 600 block of Penn Avenue in West Reading, A Running Start has since become a leader in the retail running business by offering professional service and top quality merchandise for runners and triathletes. In 2007, the store moved to its current location at 705 Penn Avenue. In 2010, A Running Start received a “Top 50″designation for outstanding customer service and professionalism, an award presented to only 50 running specialty shops in the United States. In 2012, the store was expanded to accommodate an ever-growing customer base.