Jessi Davis owns and runs the Palmer Divide Run Co. with her husband Chad. She’s also a member of the 2016 Simple Hydration Ultra Racing Team. In this interview Jessi shares what it’s like to own a run store, how she got into ultra running and her love of the Simple Hydration Bottle. Enjoy.
Q. What year did Palmer Divide Run Co. open?
A. We’re a very young company, having just opened in 2015.
Q. What drove you to open the store?
A. My husband, Chad, and I have had the dream of owning our own running store for years. It was always one of those, “you know it be cool if we did that” kind of conversations. However, when we moved to Palmer Lake and became part of the local trail running community, we knew we’d found the right place to make our dream a reality.
Q. Are you from that area in Colorado?
A. No, I’m actually a farm girl from western Kentucky. Marion, KY is that quintessential small town where everybody knows everybody and the most exciting thing to happen is the high school football game on Friday night. (Man I miss those games!) I’m so thankful for my southern Bluegrass upbringing, but in Palmer Lake, I’ve definitely found “home.”
Q. How long has the store been open?
A. We’ve been open since June 2015.
Q. What has been the most rewarding aspect about running the store?
A. This venture has allowed us to meet some amazing people and give back to the trail running community and Palmer Lake. Plus, I get to go to work in sweaty, smelly running clothes and no one notices!
Q. Explain the setup of the store and how it is run?
A. PD Run Co is the definition of Mom-n-Pop. Some people say we do things differently, but what they really mean is we do things better. We’ve been known to deliver shoes to our customers’ homes and even loan out our own running shoes, packs, or bottles so that some one can take them for a “test drive.” That’s how much we believe in the products we carry and in building community.
Q. What is your running background?
A. I’m definitely a late bloomer when it comes to distance running. I was always active in team sports in high school and was a casual runner through college, but didn’t even run my first road marathon until I was 30. Once we moved to Colorado and started running on dirt, that all changed.
Q. How long have you been running ultra races?
A. Last summer was actually my first attempt at ultras. I just decided that this is what I wanted to tackle next. I sat down at the computer, signed up for my first 50 and 100 milers, then hired a coach. Ultras push your body to a level we don’t often reach in our current world of comforts. I’ve been blessed with an able body and I love seeing just what she’s capable of.
Q. How did you first learn about the Simple Hydration Bottle?
A. We actually saw someone using one at a race and became curious. That runner was nice enough to tell us about you guys.
Q. What was your reaction after using it?
A. Where have you been all my life?!? I HATE carrying a bottle and really only throw on a hydration pack for longs runs. You guys solved my water bottle problems!
Q. I understand that you show people mid-race how the bottle works. What do you say to those runners?
A. You wouldn’t believe how often people ask me, “What type of bottle is that?” My response is always to hand it to them and say, “Trust me, you just need to try it.” In my opinion, handheld water bottles are one of the worst things to happen to running. They throw off your gait and balance, not to mention the general annoyance of it.
Q. How do you use the Simple Hydration Bottle when you run in training and in races?
A. Most of the time, I run with my Simple Hydration Bottle in my shorts or tights, but on long runs/races, it fits perfectly in the front pockets of my hydration pack.
Q. What races do you plan to run in 2016?
A. – Lincoln 10-Hour Run
- Sufferfest 50K
- Palmer Lake 24-Hour Fun Run
- Collegiate Peaks 25 Miler
- Palmer Lake Half Marathon
- North Fork 50K
- Silver Rush 50 Miler
- Indian Creek 50K
Q. Any new plans for your store in 2016 that you want to share?
A. We’re hoping to add camping gear to our inventory. This will lend us to being a true outdoor shop.