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Meet Iman of Step x Step Run in North Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Iman.

Iman, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up in North Carolina, moved to New York City to study and work in fashion for 12 years. When I discovered my passion for running, I traded in my high heels for trainers.

In 2008, I ran my first 5k which was the gateway to my running 7 marathons in 4 years- 2 x NYC, 2 x Boston, Vermont, Bermuda, and my hometown Greensboro, NC. It was in NYC I understood the value of being a part of a running community.

I found my tribe with North Brooklyn Runners (NBR) where I developed lifelong friendships that extend beyond running. I felt welcomed by folks who understood my lifestyle, goals, accomplishments, terminology (like, not having to correct someone who calls every race a marathon) in a harsh fast-paced city such as NYC.

It was normal to wake up early just to cheer each other on at races, go on road trips and travel to foreign destinations only to pace or be paced by your teammate because the goal was to see you succeed. The run community is an AMAZING space to feel support and to celebrate one’s ability to run, regardless of pace.

So naturally, after I left New York for Chicago, my priority was to find a running community to connect, explore, and stay motivated while I trained for my second Boston marathon during the worst winter described as “The Polar Vortex.” I only lasted for two winters; however, it was a test of fortitude to know the kind of conditions I could run in – and my limit was at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

Which brings me to San Diego. I moved here two years ago, for two reasons- the weather and to be happy. I needed a change in scenery and on a visit to San Diego, I could easily imagine my life here.

As I had in previous cities, I looked for the closest running community, which wasn’t hard to find. I fell into the Milestone Run Club which hosts 3 or 5 mile runs on Wednesday nights in North Park. They are everything that I missed about running in NYC.

After working at a start-up company and a brewery in San Diego, I made a list of all the things that make me happy and to put action behind it: I love being active, running, connecting with people, and exploring new places. So I decided to start a business based off of that.

Has it been a smooth road?
If I were to write a book, I would title this chapter in my life “Taking a Leap of Faith and Learning to Land Gracefully.” The challenges have been learning to listen to my instincts and trust the process.

“Nothing great in life comes easy.” – is a mantra that I’ve repeated several times when I’m running a race, and it’s the same mantra that I tell myself when I am mentally exhausted from working on this business.

Currently, the challenge has been trying to connect the dots for potential partnerships to show how my company can be of service to their customers.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Step x Step Run Co – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am the owner of Step By Step Run Co. We provide guided runs for people visiting San Diego. We offer unique experiences through guided run tours like Sunset Cliffs Run at Sunset, a Donut Run Tour, North Park Brewery Run Tour, to name a few.

We also provide PacePartners for people who are traveling and want to stay accountable for their training. Whether they want to be paced for a long run or simply want to get off the beaten path by their hotel and to run like a local, we connect travelers with local runners who want to explore, run and have fun in San Diego!

Running has been my anchor everywhere I’ve lived. Some of my best and most memorable workouts have been with running partners. My mission is to create a company that makes running accessible for active travelers because San Diego is an amazing playground for runners to roam.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I absolutely love being within proximity to such beautiful natural spaces – Torrey Pines, Sunset Cliffs, Mission Trails, Cowles Mountain, the coastline, the mountains – I can’t get enough of it. I’ve lived in urban settings for 14 years that I am fully engaged in wanting to surround myself in the presence of nature whenever I get the opportunity.

The tacos, beer, beaches, and sun! There are very few complaints that I have about San Diego, how can I when I wake up in paradise every day?!


  • starting price at $25

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Image Credit:

Zandy Mangold

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