Fleet Feet Columbia may be new, but our team members sure aren’t! Our owner Nancy Yaeger, a longtime runner and triathlete, managed a specialty running store prior to opening Fleet Feet.
Our employees are triathlon team captains, retired cross-country moms, Olympic Trials qualifiers, Ironmen and more. We come from different places but are united by one passion – making sure YOU are ready to hit the pavement.
Fleet Feet Columbia opened in mid-July 2017. Even before our doors were opened, runners were crowding outside and racking up miles. You've probably seen us running and walking around Columbia.
However, there’s only so much you can learn online. Come in and say hello!
Nancy has been a runner since her gym teacher encouraged her to run in first grade. Eight years ago, a friend persuaded her to take her love of running and start competing in triathlons. Her first trip down the pool was not pretty but she kept going and did her first triathlon at Trizou in 2009.
She is in her fourth season as the head coach for the Stephens College Cross Country team. She is the founder of Tiger Endurance Company, a youth triathlon team in Columbia, Mo. and was one of the founders of the Heart of Missouri chapter of Girls on the Run. She has encouraged and coached numerous athletes. Nancy loves helping others reach their goals.
As a coach, Nancy is dedicated to making sure her athletes learn proper form and make good use of strength training to lessen injury risk. She brings that same passion to the store to help walkers, runners, and triathletes to find what works for them.
Kaleb is a senior at the University of Missouri studying marketing merchandising in the textile and apparel management program. He previously worked in a specialty running store environment and loves staying up to date on the latest running technology. Kaleb is a member of MU’s triathlon team and has more than seven years of experience in the sport. When he’s not in the store, you can catch him scaling a rock wall, jamming at a concert or in steam fly-fishing – anything to avoid studying.
Twenty-seven years ago Debbie married Mike, a runner. She detested even the thought of running but in 2010, a friend began the mission of convincing Debbie to run a half marathon. A few weeks later, Debbie agreed and even recruited a few more friends. Little did she know that the new sport would be her lifesaver. In March of 2010, Debbie’s mother was suddenly ill and passed away. Running and her new group of friends kept her going and encouraged her to get out of bed every day. Since that first half marathon in July 2010, Debbie continued to run and has completed many more half-marathons and two full marathons. Debbie formerly held a career in accounting but is now a stay-at-home mom. Debbie and Mike have three children: Alyssa, 22, a pharmacy student at Drake University; Grant, 20, who is studying pre-med at the University of Pittsburgh; and Jacob, 16, a junior at Rock Bridge High School. She has worked in the specialty running industry for several years. The customers she meets continue to be an inspiration and she finds a joy in helping the other runners in her community.
Born and raised here in Columbia, Shawna loves the COMO culture. In 2003, Shawna quit smoking and started the healthier habit of running. After a few 5Ks, she built up to a half marathon in 2007. She trained for a full marathon in 2010, but Mother Nature had other plans. One year later, she crushed the distance in Austin, Texas. She joined the Columbia Multisport Club in 2009 after watching a friend complete Trizou. Seeing people of all ability level cross the finish line inspired her to try. Her first triathlon was in Republic, Mo. with her close friend, Nancy Yaeger. Since lacing up her shoes, Shawna has traveled to Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina and many more locations to run new races. Shawna is a self-proclaimed middle/back of the pack runner. Her number one goal of every race is to cross the finish line. Her number two goal is to have a great time and enjoy the experience. Shawna is passionate about helping others do the same and find their own finish lines.
Marcia has always found something to keep her active. She has played softball with Columbia Parks and Rec and in her 20s played on one of the first soccer teams in Columbia. In 1978, Marcia started taking aerobics classes and was hooked. Nearly 20 years later, she became a certified instructor and began teaching classes of her own – something you can still catch her doing at one of several fitness centers in town. In 2008, at 53, Marcia trained to run her first half-marathon. Today, she’s run a total of seven halves and several 5Ks and 10Ks. In 2009 and 2010, Marcia began coaching new runners to the finish line of a half marathon but was then sidelined by cancer. Now 62, Marcia is a cancer survivor, one of the oldest fitness instructors in town and has resumed her coaching career, this time helping athletes complete a 5K. Marcia is always up for a challenge and when her son encouraged her to complete her first triathlon this spring – she came in first in her age group. Marcia’s favorite part about working at FleetFeet? “Being with like-minded people," she said. "Staying fit keeps us young and why not get paid for what you love to do!”
Lyubov is currently a senior at Stephens College majoring in strategic communications with an emphasis in design and a minor in small business ownership. She is on the cross country team (coached by our owner Nancy Yaeger) and is a member of the Columbia Multisport Club. She began running mostly for fitness but after completing countless 5Ks, half marathons, a full marathon and a duathlon – it quickly became a passion. When Lyubov isn’t running she enjoys cycling, hiking and traveling.
Keith currently works as a compliance specialist at Veterans United. He lives in Booneville with his wife Marcey and has two sons, Austin, 22, and Arliss, 19. About four years ago Keith began cycling regularly on the Katy Trail and ran into a group of friends who were running. He had always said he would never be “one of them" but ended up getting talked into it. After finding a new passion, Keith completed several half marathons including Hospital Hill and Roots and Blues. He also completed the DuZou duathlon three times and is working on getting up the nerve to hop in the pool for a tri.
When Liz isn’t working at Fleet Feet, she is a full-time teacher at Battle High School in Columbia where she teaches PE and coaches track and field. During her college years, Liz competed with the University of Minnesota’s track and field team in the heptathlon. She is a seven-time Big Ten champion, two-time NCAA Division I National Runner-Up, five-time NCAA Division I All-American and she placed fifth in the 2008 Olympic Trials. In 2012, Liz retired from the sport but she still enjoys working out, interval training and running short races (anything under four miles!).
Jacob began his running career as a scrawny junior varsity cross-country at Liberty High School in Liberty, Mo. During the off-seasons, he completed two full marathons and several half marathons. Jacob came to Columbia three years ago to pursue a degree in advertising at MU. Not quite fast enough to make the cut for MU’s team, Jacob began training with the local running community and working for a local specialty running store. He loves keeping up with the latest running news and following names like Nick Symmonds, Noah Droddy and Meb. Fun fact about Jacob: He once raced against Ryan Hall towards the end of Hall’s career. The race was the Rock n’ Roll Arizona half marathon in 2015. They were neck and neck but Hall edged him out by about 30 minutes right at the end!
Sidney started competing in triathlons at a young age. She started swimming at age 5 and swam for The MAC summer league and Columbia Swim Club. Sidney took her love of swimming and started competing in triathlons. She qualified for numerous Ironkid Championships and participated in numerous local 5K and 10K races. She now enjoys playing volleyball and hopes to be on the Hickman High School Volleyball team this Fall.
Pam began running when she was in her early 20s. She lived in southern California at that time and ran her first 5K outside of San Diego. She has maintained an active lifestyle since that time, and has run in many races since returning to Columbia in 1983. She became involved with the running community in Columbia in 2011, and ran her first half marathon in 2013. Pam is also an avid cyclist, both road and trail, has competed in several duathlons, and completed a century ride at Bike MS the past two years. She has one daughter, two sons, one granddaughter, two dogs and two cats. She is a dedicated volunteer in the community and at her church, and has coordinated the preparation of many Family Meals for the guests at the Ronald McDonald House in Columbia. She enjoys connecting people - whether it be to the right shoes for running or walking, or to a fitness or volunteer group!
Marissa is entering her sophomore year at Hickman High School this fall. At an early age she began playing soccer recreationally and later, competitively, and had always loved running up and down the field. At the end of Elementary School Marissa joined Blue Thunder Track Club here in Columbia, where she found her passion for distance running. Upon entering Middle School she then decided to focus solely on running and has raced in multiple 5ks, and track and cross country meets. With Blue Thunder, Marissa has raced in eight states (and counting)! She has also qualified and competed in the AAU National Junior Olympics four times. Now she is on the Hickman track and cross country team and competed in the State track meet this past spring in the 3200 meter run. As you can tell from her closet, Marissa’s motto is: “You can never have too many tennis shoes!”
Born and raised in Lee's Summit, MO, Ian is currently a sophomore at the University of Missouri, studying History and German. He ran track and cross country all four years of his high school career. He received his first taste of longer distance races pacing his sister for 12 miles for her first marathon, but never bought into doing one himself. He finally began to enjoy running after breaking free of his coach's clutches, completing three half marathons and countless 8k's with the Mizzou Running Club, all while battling his nemesis; his shins. He now plans to run a full marathon next fall, and dreams of qualifying for Boston. When not reading or watching professional steeple-chasers fall on their faces, Ian enjoys trail running in the Grindstone Nature Area or going for long runs on the Katy Trail with his roommates.