Story

longfellow-bridgeIt came to me on the last mile, the idea of RUNFELLOW that is. I was running along Boston’s Charles River, crossing the Longfellow Bridge (iconic with Bostonians & runners alike), when the idea bulb lit. I was struggling to keep my pace – to get myself back home, fighting my internal urge to walk, when I passed someone who smiled at me. He must have felt for me. But that smile was all I needed; that silent, unspoken sense of encouragement from another runner, who at one point had been in my sneakers (the ones just trying to finish a jog and get home). A fellow runner, crossing the Longfellow… a RUNFELLOW.

JILLIAN DAMATO_1RUNFELLOW is a running community with a focus on motivating and inspiring fellow runners. Our positive, quirky taglines catch your eye, make you smile and push you a little further. We’re not just another running clothing company, we’re a community of runners and for runners. Think of it as a “hands free high-five”. It’s a little extra boost for the person running past you. A momentary sense of acknowledgement between two people doing the same thing, most likely for different reasons. Whether it’s to help them complete their first mile or cross the finish line of their 26th, it’s about recognizing that we’re all in it together regardless of goal or ability. The running community is vast but there has always been a divide between the elite runner and the beginner, even though we’re all out there doing the same thing. The idea behind RUNFELLOW is to motivate and inspire each and every “fellow runner”. It’s as simple as that.

Urban running was the catalyst for the idea. Passing people on paths or streets, having interactions at crosswalks and traffic lights or jogging along the river and dodging geese together. But the idea and community behind RUNFELLOW evolved from the desire to make that unspoken bond between runners tangible. It’s hard to explain but easy to understand. Fellowship, motivation, encouragement. Why not help to spread this positivity even further? I couldn’t think of a reason not to and I couldn’t think of a city more running centric than Boston to do it. The idea may be simple, but what it’s representing is big; a community for runners of all abilities, to share their love (or momentary disdain) of running. We all have good running days and we all have bad. RUNFELLOW’s here to help make the bad ones just a little bit more tolerable.
ribbon

Last but certainly not least I should mention that $1.00 from each shirt purchased from the shop will be donated to the Young Survival Coalition, an organization and resource for young women facing breast cancer. Each donation will be made on behalf of RUNFELLOW, in honor and memory of my oldest and dearest friend Christine. At 26 years young, after a three-year battle with breast cancer she left us to go run in heaven, leaving her footprints forever in the clouds. She was an all around athlete and such a positive, spirited inspiration to all. I only wish she could participate in this venture as I know she’d be the biggest cheerleader for its success.

ABOUT ME

​Hi there – I’m Jillian. Somerville resident, Buffalo native and​ ​s​elf proclaimed fair-weather runner​…​until now​​. ​​​I’m hoping to motivate fellow runners and looking for the same in return.​ Recognizing that I a​m​ not an expert on the topic but ​understanding ​that running is for all abilities​ and walks of life, so I want to help others ​to get out there and ​achieve their goals. ​

When I’m not hosting Run Club or designing the latest RUNFELLOW gear, I work as a commercial Interior Designer at an architecture firm in Cambridge and sit on the Board for Somerville Local First. I take every opportunity to try new local restaurants, travel near and far and catch up with old friends with my feet in the New England sand.
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