Before the Dec. 21 Run Your Pants Off event, the Cordovas share their love of Whitehall, secret Christmas lights and more

In 2013, Katie Cordova, a broke runner, was looking for an answer to the outrageous prices that came with the racing scene. Abraham Cordova, a graduate from CCAD with an unused BFA in graphic design, was trying to support their growing family on a meager income. The couple knew there had to be a solution. But when they couldn’t find one, they created one. Katie started the company Brokemans Running, with a mission of taking the glitz and swag out of running and bringing back the focus on community, the beauty of the grind and the promotion of physical and mental health. After a successful first year, Abraham quit his job and joined Brokemans full time as the company's creative director.

With a full calendar of races, Brokemans culminates each year with one of its best events: Run Your Pants Off, a winter solstice run taking place Saturday, Dec. 21, that starts and finishes at Land Grant Brewing. Runners load up on clothing and head out to the streets of Downtown Columbus, running through the Christmas lights and the cold night as they shed articles of clothing (as much as they wish!) that are exchanged for raffle tickets. The runners meet back at the bar, with their first beer on Brokemans, for a raffle of goods.

Last year, Brokemans collected an entire U-Haul trailer of items that were donated to Joseph’s Coat. There are still a few spots open for this year's Run Your Pants Off; visit brokemans.com/runyourpantsoff to register.

Here are a few things the Cordovas love.

Cozy sweatshirts printed by Cordova Ink
You might think I’m biased, but I’m not the only one who thinks these sweatshirts are the best. On top of creating and printing all the merch for Brokemans Running, Abraham has his own line of items under the Cordova Ink name. From the moment there’s a chill in the air, we pull out our hand-screen-printed comfys and don’t change out of them until spring. You can find Abraham at almost every major festival and lots of smaller festivals all throughout the year.

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Whitehall
Born and raised all around the East Side of Columbus, when it came time to settle down, I would have never thought of living in Whitehall. But from the moment our Realtor showed us the house we call home, we were in love. From the clean and quiet tree-lined streets to the supportive schools for our kids, topped off with the amazing price tag that lets us make our entrepreneurship dreams a reality, this inner ring suburb has really found its place for us as home.

Franklin Park Conservatory Christmas lights
Maybe the less appreciated step-sister to the Columbus Zoo’s Wildlights, Franklin Park’s Christmas lights are the best-kept secret of the Christmas season (shh! Don’t tell!). While they may not win the prize for the most bulbs on display, walking into the park is like walking into a child’s Christmas imagination. And with five children in our home, and the park being only a few miles down the road, these lights are an absolute must-see this time of year (and all year round).

Long, slow, coffee business meeting Mondays
Co-owning two businesses with your spouse while raising four sons and being full-time foster parents can be a little… busy. But few things in life beat it for me as do long, slow, coffee-filled business meetings on Monday mornings. In true millennial fashion, we pull out our comfiest Cordova Ink sweats; our custom, oversized, Brokemans coffee mugs, and spend long hours planning the busyness of our week and brainstorming the future of our business and lives while a bunch of kids run around us in circles. Laundry piles go untouched, and we pour ourselves another cup of hot coffee. As entrepreneurs, I think it’s natural to constantly question whether we are making the right choices, but I will never question the value of them.

Dream big. Inspire others. Run long.