Searcy, Ark. – Imagine that you want to run a marathon but don’t know where to begin. Or maybe you’re looking for an activity to relieve stress and help you overcome life’s challenges. That’s why Start-Her Running Company was invented. Layne Pace, a junior marketing major at Harding University, built her own business at the beginning of the pandemic last spring. She wanted to use her talent and passion for running to help encourage other women. 

The idea was born back during Pace’s freshman year at Harding when she heard a young, successful entrepreneur speak to her class. They instantly inspired Pace to start a business. She knew it needed to be rooted in something she really loved in order to make it worth the risk. 

“…You need to find something you’re deeply passionate about and make sure there’s a purpose behind it,” said Pace. “So I decided I wanted to be a running coach and I wanted to build a brand around changing the mentality of running amongst people my age and amongst women in general.” That is how Start-Her Running Company was created.

Start-Her is an instructor-led community where women come to learn how to run and how to use running as a tool to get through difficult mental and emotional battles. So far, Pace has virtually coached about 70 clients through her personalized running programs. 

“My goal is to really bring running to the average woman,” said Paice. “To women who want to find an outlet to be able to express themselves and even be able to exercise and work through hard things.”

Pace has been able to turn to running during difficult times in her life and wants to help other women be able to confidently do the same. 

“That’s been the best part of running for me– being able to work through those things,” said Pace. “Being able to recognize my strength. So I built Start-Her to empower women to run with passion and purpose. Not to just physically see what they can do, but to see how far they can stretch their minds through an activity.” 

When Pace was in the fourth grade, she ran her first 5k. By seventh grade, she had run her first half marathon. Growing up, Pace was very active — something that runs in the family. Her mom, Tish Pace, was a distance runner and Layne grew up going to all her races.

“It was really fun getting to be in that environment,” said Pace. “I was instantly like, ‘I want to be a really young runner and do something cool.’” And that’s exactly what she did.

While Pace has wanted to host her own events and group runs, the COVID-19 pandemic has made that rather difficult. Still, she made the most of it and hosted her first group run in early April with HU HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living), a Harding University student organization dedicated to helping students live healthier lives. Pace said the group run was a very inspirational morning, and she can’t wait to host more events in the future.

If you visit her website and purchase the running plan that’s right for you, Pace will send you additional information, your own personalized plan, then be in contact with you every step of the way to encourage you on your running journey.

“I’m ultimately just creating a way for people to create a habit of running and make it a recreational activity and a crucial part of their lives rather than a hard task they never want to do,” said Pace.

To learn more about Start-Her Running Co.’s running plans and pricing, head to their website and have Layne set up your own running plan today!