FOUNDER & OWNERS

Fueled by community, powered by the people that make up our team.

Rob Reid

Founder & Owner, Frontrunners

Rob was a runner at Western University. He relocated from Calgary to Victoria in 1987, and opened the store in 1988. A former elite marathoner, Rob is the chair of the Terry Fox Centre,  a founding sponsor of Every Step Counts, a cabinet member for the not-for-profit Cool Aid Society, and founder of Kenya’s Rift Valley Marathon and run camp.

Rob's Favourite Things...

NICK WALKER

Co-Partner, Frontrunners

Nick began as a sponsored athlete of Frontrunners in 1997. After completing his degree at the University of Victoria he opened Frontrunners Westshore with friend Mark Nelson in August of 2005.

Nick's Favourite Things...

STEFAN JAKOBSEN

Owner, Frontrunners Nanaimo

Stefan started working at Frontrunners Victoria in 1992 and opened Frontrunners Nanaimo in 1999.

When did you start working at Frontrunners and what took you down this road?

1992.  I was going to University and running cross-country and competing in triathlon’s and it felt like a dream job.  I knew it was what I wanted to do and when we saw an opportunity in Nanaimo we just had to make it work.  I am really thankful for Rob Reid who owns Frontrunners Victoria because I love what I do, the community that I live in, and the people that I work with.

Who are some of the people that most inspired you athletically?

I think the people that inspired me the most were the people that gave me belief in myself through their generosity and time. My parents, who never pushed me, but were always there for me when I needed to get to my 5 a.m. practices. Al Porter was my first real swim coach and I think he believed in me more than anyone. My second swim coach Ron Jacks who use to drive me the 45 minutes back to school from swim practice if my parents couldn’t (that happens with five kids). My middle school teacher, Mr. Corbett who use to go for runs with me at lunch and after school. My high school track coach Jack Maggie who use to drive all the kids to meets and practices. Bill Hingley who got me started in triathlons. Tony Theriault and Peter Culligan who were so kind in helping me get to races and my training partners and friends that always pushed me and encouraged me. They are the people that inspired me the most!

What was your first athletic memory?  Most memorable?

It would be tough to nail down my first athletic or most memorable memory. I just remember being really driven when I was young. I literally use to dream about the Olympics, and sport, everyday.  I don’t know how I focused on anything else!  What is most memorable to me are the friendships that have been built, the travels that I have been lucky enough to experience, the life lessons I have learnt, and what has now become a complete and most rewarding lifestyle.

An unexpected hobby?

When I have time I like to tinker in the yard and one day I would love a little work shop to do some wood working.

A book or two worth a second read?

I couldn’t put down the ‘Girl with the  Dragon Tattoo’ trilogy.  That is going to be a tough series to beat!

A perfect day off?

Just one? Camping in the VW with Finn and Ceri after a day spent exploring some trails or playing in the surf.  An evening paddle and dessert around a campfire would be great way to finish.

NORM THIBAULT

Owner, Frontrunners Nanaimo

Norm is a co-owner of Frontrunners. He first began working at the Victoria store in 1995 and moved to Nanaimo in 1999.

When did you start working at Frontrunners and what took you down this road?

I started working at the Victoria store in 1995. Stefan and I moved up here in May of 1999 to open the Nanaimo store in September of 1999.

What was your first athletic memory? Most memorable?

I remember getting my training wheels off my bike just after my fourth birthday and ripping around the neighbourhood on my bike. I used to do longer distance running races like the 10k etc. when I was around 11 years old. I would line up on the front with Bruce Robinson and we would rip the first 100 meters and then die and walk run the rest of it.

Most memorable?

Not even sure where to start here. A lot of events – a lot of big events. Finishing the 28 day Mizone Tip to Top of New Zealand race in 2001 was the most challenging and biggest event I have ever done. Getting to the finish line at that one was a monumental task.

Who are some of the people that most inspired you athletically?

I have always admired athletes that perhaps were not the most naturally talented but worked really hard and could come through when the conditions were the worst, athletes like Wendy Simms.

An unexpected hobby?

No time for hobby’s honestly.

A book or two worth a second read?

Rarely time to read.

A perfect day off?

Day off work? Perfect would be a balance of time with the kids, a bit of exercise finished with ice cream.