Meet Our Newest Team Member- Jim Pacey!

Welcome to this weeks’s blog post; consider it comfort reading on this beautiful, Fall afternoon.

I am really excited to announce that Jim Pacey, a long time Austinite, trail runner and endurance athlete has joined our team full-time at the shop!

Jim comes with a wealth of knowledge in running over the last 35 years! He has completed to date a wide range of events from marathons, to triathlons, the Transrockies Stage Race, hiking the Wonderland Trail and lot’s of trail and ultra events.

In addition to helping me (Pam) with the store, Jim also teaches a Leadership EQ course at ACC and UT, so look for announcements on those periodically. The course is based on Emotional Intelligence and neuroscience.

The next course is at ACC on February 19th and then again on April 21st at UT. If you’re interested in learning more, contact for more details.

Thanks to Jim for taking time out of his busy work schedule to introduce him to our great community!

ATRC: You have an extensive background in being a part of the Austin community via the YMCA, trail running, Leadership Austin, your involvement with AISD and teaching Leadership classes. What do you love about being a part of Austin?

Jim Pacey: That’s pretty easy. The people in this town are the BEST! I am constantly surprised by the kindness, openness and how accepting people are. I remember first moving to Texas and the phrase on license plates was “The Friendly State” and Austin absolutely has shown that to me over the years. It’s why I’ve lived here for over 25 years and it’s what keeps me here. It’s like coming home to that comfortable couch, or wearing your favorite pair of shoes. Everyone here is family to me and it remains a small town in so many ways. It’s also one of those cities that others want to come to. The reputation of Austin goes beyond just being friendly, it’s so cool. Despite our growing pains, people have always made this place special!

You have been an endurance athlete since the 80’s! What are a few things that you have seen changed over the years, for better or worse?

JP: Wow, the science of training has changed so much. My first marathon was Houston in 1981. I trained on Braes Bayou and there was no water and I never even carried water with me. I don’t think gels were even around, so no water, no nutrition. Somehow I survived. Now, the science and availability of product is very prevalent. As I transitioned from road marathons to triathlons, training and coaching became incredibly important, and the equipment was getting lighter and stronger and easier to use. We fretted over ounces and grams, along with the miles and hours of training. It seemed like a right of passage with triathletes – how many hours on your feet, in the water swimming, or on the bike. Then a the move to trail running. It was a relief. Put shoes on and run. All the equipment and science has found its way into this sport too. I learned a lot from triathlon and applied it to trail running to stay organized and focused on the important logistical and training issues. I think just the incredible availability of outstanding coaching and the evolution of apparel and products in endurance sports has been nothing short of impressive.

What do you like about being a part of the Austin Trail Running Company team?

JP: It always about the people, so being a part of this team is something special. The bonus is it is also about an activity I love, trail running. We carry some of the best products you can find. We all use it and stand behind what we sell! All this to serve people in a meaningful way that helps them achieve their goals is icing on the cake!

ATRC: What advice do you have for someone just getting involved in trail running that has been out of an active life for 10-20 years?

JP: Take it slow. More of a good thing, doesn’t necessarily make it better. Being away from running for an extended period of time means that we must be slow to add miles to our training. The same is true about coming back from injury. I see too many people, myself included, that tries to do too much too quickly. I believe in not doing more than 10% increases in mileage each week. I also like the message the book, Atomic Habit by James Clear., espouses – focus on being 1% better each day. It will all fall into place. Additionally, take care of your body – massage, yoga, stretching, etc., and mind – meditation, goal setting, motivation, habits, etc. Most of all, have fun and enjoy it!

ATRC: You have completed a lot over the years(!): 10 marathons, 9 half marathons, 21 trail races, 8 ultras and a stage race, a hike around Wonderland, 8 triathlons, 3 half ironman and a full ironman. What is the craziest experience you’ve had to date?

JP: Crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Ha! I think the most fun I’ve had was the 6 days, 120 miles of TransRockies. The people (new friends from all over the world) the challenge of the course (Colorado Rockies), the fun and incredible logistical support made it a very special event. They all became my family and a common thread no one can ever take away from us. That experience is one of a kind. I’m most proud of my Ironman Wisconsin (2006) finish in a cold rain. 15+ hours of survival that went beyond anything I could have thought possible. The 2003 Boston Marathon stands as (in my mind) the event that truly tells me how hard work and having a little talent can help one achieve great things. So all of these things involve doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results, in a good way!

ATRC: What is one area of training you see most people overlook the most?

JP: Without a doubt, not enough cross-training. Not enough thinking beyond the sport and not enough “listening” and taking care of your mind, body and spirit. We tend to ignore what our body and mind are telling us for fear it doesn’t fit within what we want others to see about us. In the end, it’s our spirit that is compromised.

ATRC: What are three pieces of gear you CAN NOT live without?

JP: My shoes (La Sportiva Unikas), my wireless Bose headphones (what?) and a comfortable pair of shorts!

ATRC: Polite nudge, here is a link to the Unika’s:

The La Sportiva Unika!


ATRC: If you could only visit three more places in the world, where would you go?

JP: Patagonia (the country, not the company headquarters), Chamonix, and New Zealand!

ATRC: What are some of your recent favorite books?

JP: I just finished Atomic Habits by James Clear. I’m inspired by Dare to Lead by Brene’ Brown and I’m impressed with Why Leaders Eat Last, by Simon Sinek.

ATRC: You get to invite 3 people from any time past or present over for dinner. Who do you invite?

JP: Realizing how important they were in shaping my life, I would want my parents there to tell them again how much I appreciate everything they sacrificed for me. I’d want my wife, Vicki, there to hear it!

Wife Vicki (right), Jim (center) and a store favorite JoAnna B. (left)

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