By Keith McCord
SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake business specializing in the sport of running just received national recognition for the fifth straight year: It was recently recognized as one of the 50 best running stores in America by two leading trade and consumer publications.
Salt Lake Running Company, now at 2454 South 700 East, opened for business 15 years ago. Owner Guy Perry opened his first store in 1995; there are now three locations.
If you’re into running, whether it’s on a treadmill in your basement or doing a marathon, the Salt Lake Running Co. is ready to help you maximize your performance.
The Running Co. is more than just a shoe store, though there are hundreds of styles and brands to choose from.
“We sell not only a lot of shoes, but we sell apparel related to the sport of being active”, Perry said, “for running, triathlon or just moving out the front door at 4 a.m. which a lot of people in our community do.”
This is truly a specialty store: They have no golf clubs, basketballs or tennis rackets; It’s all about running — which, Perry says, more and more people are doing these days.
“The difference now is people are staying active longer in their life, and as they start to stay active they have issues that they haven’t dealt with before,” he said. “Or people are getting active, 40-something, living in the corporate world, gained a little weight and they’re not OK with their situation.”
The employees, all runners themselves, want to make sure their customers are using the right equipment. One way they can do that is putting a customer on a treadmill for a biomechanical analysis.
A camera, aimed at the runner’s feet, makes a 30-second recording. The footwear needs to match the mechanics of the person, and the recording will help determine that.
“Then based on what we see, we’ll analyze your feet, play it back in slow motion to see what your feet are doing,” said G.M. Travis Hilderbrand.
The proper shoe with the proper fit can really help avoid injuries.
All this attention to detail and customer service is what earned the company national honors from The Competitor for the fifth straight year.
Salt Lake Running Co. took its place among the country’s elite retailers following an extensive nomination and review process throughout 2010. The process culminated in the store’s recognition at a gala awards ceremony in Austin on November 17 as part of The Running Event, an annual business seminar and trade expo for specialty running retailers.
The staff is proud, especially in a state rich in outdoor recreation.
“Marathon participation is up half-marathon participation is through the roof, 5K races are held every weekend all year long,” Hilderbrand said. “It’s a good place to be.”
50 Best Running Retailers In America
How the retailers made the list:
The Franklin Resource Group sent their secret-shopper reviewers to visit running retailers around the country and rate them based on 20 criteria including environment, fitting and checkout. The stores were also rated on community service, and vendors were asked to evaluate them based on brand building and credit worthiness. -Competitor
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