Tom and Marilyn Jacobs retire at Reliable Racing; John Jacobs named president{mosimage}Tom and Marilyn Jacobs, founders of Reliable Racing Supply and Inside Edge Ski & Bike Shop in Glens Falls, New York, have announced their retirement from the business.

John Jacobs, the youngest of their three children, has been appointed as president. Kathy Spear, who has served the company for 19 years, has been promoted to vice president of operations. Nancy Salazar will serve as financial manager and Tim Mullin as merchandising manager.

The Jacobs started their business during the early 1960’s as a rental shop, when West Mountain ski center opened in nearby Queensbury, New York. A few years later, they went into business full-time, relocating their store to downtown Glens Falls.

Soon after moving to Glens Falls, they began selling bamboo poles and racing bibs to ski clubs and resorts around the Northeast through a small catalog. Incorporating as Reliable Racing in 1969, the enterprise has grown into an internationally respected business-to-consumer and business-to-business direct mail enterprise, publishing a number of catalogs and web sites that service a diverse range of products and markets, including a Wintersports Catalog for ski and snowboard enthusiasts, a Hill & Event Supply catalog for ski area operators and winter sports event organizers, a Field and Event Supply catalog featuring soccer and athletic training products, portable sports fencing systems and summer sports event supplies, and a Golf Course Supply catalog. The Inside Edge Ski and Bike shop, after 36 years, continues to grow and provide a valuable service to the local community.

Tom Jacbobs’ reputation as a sports industry visionary is well known. In 1968, the Inside Edge was first shop north of New York City to sell lightweight European-made racing bicycles and parts, by importing a container of Peugeot bikes from France, years ahead of the ensuing road bike craze. Reliable Racing revolutionized the sport of alpine skiing with the introduction of the Break-A-Way flexing slalom pole in 1978 (a product still manufactured on site in Glens Falls and shipped internationally).

The company continues to import and distribute many exclusive product lines such as TAG Heuer sports timing equipment, and was one of the first to import ski helmets, promoting their use by recreational skiers long before becoming a mainstream product. The company currently employs 35 full-time people, including the Inside Edge Ski & Bike Shop.

Tom Jacobs is also known locally as the man who brought alpine ski racing to the area by establishing the West Mountain Ski School in 1961 and the Southern Adirondack Junior Racing League in 1963. He also spearheaded the establishment of the Cowles Woods public trail system, making cross-country skiing a mainstream sport in the Glens Falls region. It was the first lighted nordic ski touring area in North America.

The Jacobs continue to live in Glens Falls, and keep a second home in Amelia Island, Florida. Tom, a 1952 Olympian and still passionate about his sport, has more than 70 days on the slopes and cross-country trails under his belt already this season.

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