Our Team

Welcome to the Runner’s Den Staff page. Naturally, everyone who works at the Runner’s’ Den is a runner, but more importantly, we make sure that our staff are well trained and up to date on the latest in running shoes, apparel, functional gadgets and nutrition. We are confident that our expert staff will be able to help you make the best selection in shoes, apparel and accessories. We will help you through the maze of what really works and what equipment does not.

Esther Pauls

Esther Pauls is known among Hamilton runners as a tough competitor and dedica ted community leader. Since starting running over seventeen years ago, Esther has completed 24 marathons, with a personal best of 3:52, and countless other road races and triathlons. She has twice completed Ironman-distance triathlons, consisting of a 4km swim, 180km bike, and 42km run, most recently at Ironman Arizona in 2009.

Fifteen years ago, looking for a change from her work in the insurance industry, Esther and her husband Gord opened the first Runner’s Den in Westdale village. Since that time, Esther has been an inspiration to novice and experienced runners alike, and through the Runner’s Den Running Clinics, she has led hundreds of runners to success at every distance from 5k to the Marathon. Esther’s passion is bringing new runners into the sport, and showing them that they are capable of achieving more than they ever thought possible. Esther’s record of community involvement is even more impressive than her running resume. Not satisfied with being a source of inspiration and guidance for her runners, Esther dedicates herself to several charities. Through the Runner’s Den, Esther and her committee of dedicated volunteers host Hamilton’s biggest 5k and 10k race, the annual Joy and Hope of Haiti Race. In the 12 year history of the race, over $750 000 has been raised to support projects such as orphanages, playgrounds and schools in some of the poorest neighbourhoods of Haiti. Not only is Esther the founder of the Haiti Race, she has personally traveled to Haiti on several occasions to lend her support first hand to food distribution and construction programs. Amazingly, Esther also finds time to support other worthy causes, such as Martha’s House, Good Shepherd & Jason’s House. She now is the race director for the “Hamilton Road2Hope Marathon” which donates app. $100,000 per year for the children of CityKidz, & Haiti. Esther & Gord were just awarded the 2010 “Sport Ambassadors of the Year” form Hamilton Tourism, a great honor for all they have done for the Hamilton running community.

Gord Pauls

Gord Pauls is an accomplished runner, and triathlete. He is also a respected, personable and inspirational leader in the Hamilton running community. Since taking up running eighteen years ago,  Gord has completed twenty three marathons, including 11 Boston Marathons, with a personal best of 2:51. He has also run Hamilton’s Around the Bay Road Race over 15 times, with a personal best under two hours. In addition, Gord has run countless shorter races, often to support charities, including The Runner’s Den’s initiatives in support of improved nutrition and education for the children of Haiti, and Hamilton City Kidz, Gord also races to offer encouragement to some of the hundreds of runners he has inspired through his example and instruction during clinics at The Runner’s Den.

Not satisfied with being an outstanding runner, Gord took up duathlons and triathlons in recent years, earning berths on the Canadian Duathlon Team plus completing 2 gruelling Ironman Triathlons. Though Gord enjoys accomplishing his personal athletic goals, he finds even greater pleasure in interacting with and guiding athletes of all ages, goals and abilities he meets through The Runner’s Den. He designs the programs for all Runner’s Den clinics, designing training schedules for athletes whose goals range from walk/running a few kilometers to completing marathons or triathlons. Furthermore, as a coach, Gord has seen his clients meet or exceed their goals.

Gord & Esther were just awarded the “Sport Ambassador of the Year} for 2010 from Tourism Hamilton, a great honor for all they have done for Hamilton.

Daniel Pauls

I have been involved in the Runner’s Den since my mother Esther Pauls and Father Gord Pauls opened in 1996. Have been here fulltime since 2005. Growing up I played a lot of hockey and into my early 20ʼs I started taking my fitness very seriously. I go to the gym for weight training 4-5 times a week always. Running, biking and hockey where and are still a big part of my training. I crave the life style of fitness, helping others to stay and to get fit. weather that is putting you in the right shoe, training tips or helping guide you through common running injuries and set backs.

I have gained great running knowledge over the years from housing some of the best Kenyan Runners to live in hamilton, being friends with Reid Coolsaet and running with all levels of running groups. I may not have all the answers but no body does, but I know for sure is I can give you good educated advise when you come in the store. I have recently started to take running a lot more serious and am now starting to cut minutes off my 5km and 10km time and hope to keep improving. I have learned the importance of rest days, cross-training, proper speed work, tempo and long easy runs.  Also to finish the workout that you set out for and to control the urge to chase the crowd! I am proud to be a part of the Hamilton Marathon which my mother started in 2000 with a 5k and 10k in Westdale and has grown to an amazing hamilton event, the Road2Hope is more than just a race it is a huge fund raiser for many great charities and that is the reason for the event! Please come in the store for any of your running needs or questions.