“What brought on this decision?” This is the question I was asked every time I told someone about my plan to open a running store in the Cowichan Valley. The expected answer is that I truly see the need for one in the valley. There is an active community and little option and selection when it comes to specialized running gear. The truth is, I’m lazy.
January 2017. It was one of the coldest, snowiest winters we’ve had in many years. Every time I went out running, my hands got so cold I couldn’t move my fingers for a good half hour afterwards. Yes. I wore gloves. Old running gloves that didn’t do the trick anymore. I had a 10% off coupon for a running store in Langford—a 45 minute drive away.
“Gee, I should really drive into Langford and buy some gloves,” I would say to myself.
“Ugh. I don't want to spend two hours driving there and back just to buy pair of gloves and save a measly $2,” I would say to myself. Then the lightbulb went off, “I could open a store here in the Cowichan Valley! I wouldn't have to drive to get my running gear anymore!”
You could say I have a twisted sense of laziness, but with two kids aged three and two, and a husband with a busy work schedule, laziness is relative.
As I began the research process, not only did I find that there is a true gap in the running shoe market here, but I also kept hearing the same thing from runners in my community, “I wish I ran more, but I don’t have anyone to run with.” I often felt the same way. Two years after moving to the valley I was still finding it difficult to meet people, let alone anyone to run with. The second lightbulb went off. Not only could the store serve the equipment needs of runners, but also their need for companionship, camaraderie, and community.
With that in mind, this fall I have plans to host a weekly running (and walking!) club and encouraging runners of all experience levels to participate. My hope is that the store will become the hub for the running community—I want runners to come in and cry in their beers about the horrible run they had, or pop champagne over their new personal records. I want to answer their questions and ask a few of my own—everyone has something to bring to the table. Ultimately, the better and stronger community we create, the more runners we create. And that’s the root of it all—foster the sport itself, and more running buddies will follow.
So what do you say? Wanna come running with me? Stay tuned to the blog, Facebook, and Instagram for running club details coming this September!