Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 14
By Amy B. Klatt, MBA, Marketing Manager
Herbein + Company, Inc.
t's no surprise that when we decided to feature running in this
issue, one of the first women that was mentioned was Sorita
Averill-Fitzgerald of A Running Start in West Reading. Not a new
name to Berks County, Sorita is an inspiration herself, as well as an
ongoing inspiration to many other women everyday.
A Running Start (ARS) was founded in 2004, with the purpose to
encourage people to be active. Among other things, ARS provides
custom fitting for running shoes, walking shoes, anything for the
gym, and more.
Slow to start - race to finish
Sorita is an avid runner, marathoner, cyclist, and triathlete, but
remembers what it was like starting out and uses those memories
to encourage others. Sorita's experience with running started
slowly - a minute at a time - until she ran a 5K in memory
of her friend's mother. That was when she knew that she actually
liked it, and wanted to see if she could keep it up, maybe a little
quicker, maybe a little further. She joined FAST TRACKS, a
running club in Valley Forge, and decided running was even more
fun with other people.
One night while eating dinner on Penn Avenue, she saw a storefront
for rent and fondly recalls "I would relocate here if I could open a
running store right there." Within three months A Running Start
had opened. Sorita carefully combined her favorites of other running
stores into what ARS is today. One of the most important aspects
to her was to feel welcome the minute you walk in, no matter your
athletic ability, if you are a marathon runner, or maybe someone
just looking to start walking and be active.
After almost a year after opening A Running Start (ARS), Sorita
knew she needed what she had in Valley Forge, a club of runners.
The ARS running club started out as a woman's club, from about
5-15 woman strong. Eventually they extended to men, and today
the group is about 50 strong. The group runs take place on Saturday
mornings at a location to be decided, and Thursday nights from ARS.
They are always looking to expand - and through the store often
gain new members. The goal of the club is to help keep runners
motivated and to offer a nonthreatening, safe place, for people to
meet with similar goals.
14 Women2Women Fall 2017
Sorita is the race director for Fitzys Run, held in memory of
her stepdaughter Lauren Fitzgerald (held this year on October 29,
2017), and for Run Santa Run in West Reading (held this year on
December 9, 2017).
What's going on now?
Currently Sorita is training for another Half Iron Man - which
includes 70.3 miles total, 1.2 mile swim, 56 miles on bike, and then a
13.1 mile run. For a full Ironman, Sorita trains 20 hours a week, for
a 70.3, she trains about 13 hours a week. Sorita works with a coach
to not over or under do it, as well as a nutritionist coach. From past
experience, she knows that she must fuel her body adequately to be
able to complete these races successfully and to maintain feeling well.
Sorita also downhill skis in the winter. She finds most sports are fun
for her, all of her workouts have a purpose in mind with a goal. Her
racing season ends in October - and then she focuses on having fun
with the ARS running club and biking for fun without a purpose. She
is kept busy by her 9-month-old male Chocolate labradoodle, Guinness
Avery. She is excited for when he will be able to join her on her runs.
Inspiring others to get started
Sorita values and enjoys her time training others, and attributes
her success to those that have motivated her along the way. Her
advice to those starting out: start slow and build, think about your
end goal, read and stay connected with running magazines and clubs.
Motivation is always needed, no matter how long you have been doing
it! Remember that people of all shapes and sizes can do it, have faith
you can do it. Running is about time on your feet and not speed.
Sorita offers learn to run courses through A Running Start, and
coaching and training is something she is very passionate about.
She has been coaching for almost ten years and became interested
in it after she took a class that her friend taught, where she realized