The concept of Always Running as a business originated in 1993 but its roots took hold 14 years earlier when Coach Tony Williams ran his first mile as part of a fitness test in the 8 th grade. Here, Tony's career took off and it hasn't stopped for the past 27 years.
As an elite athlete Tony has always asked himself what people needed in order to maintain their fitness. How were gyms failing the mass population? Coming from a career in counseling, Tony knew he had to look at each person as an individual – each of us has a unique genetic code, requiring different tools to reach the same goal. Coach himself had the experience of someone trying to fit him into a mold during his college days. Having come from a High School Coach who paid attention to his individual needs to college where he was given the workouts that the coach assigned year after year – he rebelled and looked at his needs as an individual.
In 1993, Williams had just moved to Seattle and was approached by someone at a race to coach her husband and, thus, his coaching career began. Over time, more and more people approached him about coaching. As clients' needs grew, so did Always Running.
The first few clients were one-on-one through mobile support, utilizing the parks throughout King County. For his own training, Coach Tony explored the hundreds of trails throughout Puget Sound, such as Tiger Mountain, Cougar Mountain and the Iron Horse Trail. Always Running’s group run events grew from his clients' desires to check out the same trails. To bring his clients together for group runs, he knew that he needed to accommodate their various paces so he developed a staggered start time, where he would start the slowest group first followed another every 2-3 minutes and everyone would see each other on the trail and finish at the same time. As the courses became more elaborate, Coach Tony would run the course first, chalking the directional symbols so that no one would get lost. Today, the group runs have evolved into an inventory of over 100 trails throughout the Puget Sound area, so clients never run the same trail in the same year.
Always Running continued to grow throughout the years based on clients' needs and resulting in Tony hiring his first employee in 1997, a personal trainer to help build clients' strength training. In that same year, Always Running opened its first mini-gym location in a one-car garage.
As clients' confidence in Coach Tony and his staff increased, they began to ask for coaching outside of running, including triathlons, climbing and cycling. Coach Tony also developed a Medical Liaison program, attending doctor appointments with clients for their fitness-related injuries.
After building a strong foundation of clients and programs, Always Running began to expand again in 1999 moving from the Eastside to its current location in Greenlake – the hub of Seattle’s running community – right next to Super Jock n’ Jill. This gave Always Running the space to offer more cardio and strength training equipment as well as a fleet of mountain bikes, access to Greenlake for open water swimming and indoor cycling and core classes The next 5 years were spent fine tuning the base elements developed during the company's first 6 years and adding additional services such as on-site nutrition and massage from Always Running’s independent service providers.
Today, people recognize Always Running as the place to go if they have no experience or need guidance to reach their training goals.
Sign up today for a free consultation to learn more about Always Running and how our personalized service can help you achieve your fitness goals.
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