Run, run, run, as fast as you can.
Ann Arbor Running Company, located south of campus at 2755 Oak Valley Dr., recently opened to serve the local running community. The store is owned and operated by two University alumni, Ian Forsyth and Nick Stanko, who were both members of the cross country and track teams during their time at the University.
The store held its grand opening Aug. 16, which included a community run and a raffle. Stanko said business has been doing well so far, thanks to the help of friends and family who have spread the word. The store sells running apparel and accessories such as sunglasses and GPS watches, but is most popular for its selection of running shoes.
Forsyth and Stanko are the only people who work at the store, which they say enables them to give every customer individualized attention and great customer service.
“Most of our customers come in and they want to be fitted in the right running shoe,” Stanko said. “So Ian and I both take a lot of time to make sure our customers are walking out of our store with the proper shoe because not every shoe is made for everybody.”
After graduating from the University in 2004, Stanko coached track and taught at a high school. Forsyth worked at Running Fit, another running store in town that was recently sold to an out-of-state company. Stanko said this experience inspired the duo to open their own running store.
“We’ve always been involved in the running community, and we just figured this was the next step in our running lives and another way to give back to the running community,” Stanko said.
Stanko noted that not all customers are competitive athletes, and that many are simply residents who enjoy running and exercise.
“Obviously Ann Arbor is a very highly educated town where people really care about their health, so what’s great about running is there are many different reasons to do it,” Stanko said.
He added that their primary goal is to give back to the running community. In addition to retail, Ann Arbor Running Company is interested in contributing to local running events, and began doing so prior to the store’s grand opening. Forsyth and Stanko have helped promote a few local races over the past few months, starting with the Ann Arbor Mile in July, which Stanko said will become an annual event for them.