I'm part of a running group on Facebook, and recently one of the members asked everyone for shoe recommendations. One person suggested going to a local running store to try on different shoes, and then buy the pair online for much cheaper.
Which brings me to my daily PSA: don't do that.
Look, I'm one of the cheapest guys on the planet. I work hard for my money and try not to be frivolous with it. But even I don't mind paying more money at a specialty running store than I would online for the same products.
Because I am all about supporting not just my local community, but the local running community as well. The money I pay at the running store goes right back into the community in which I participate in the form of races and other special events.
It's no secret how much I love my local running store - the Haddonfield Running Company - and it looks like that love has finally spilled over into this blog post.
It should be noted that I am in no way affiliated with the Haddonfield Running Company. This post was not sponsored; in fact, they don't even know I'm writing it (though I'll provide a link afterwards). I'm just a major fan in need of some gushing.
Without further adieu...
Top 10 Reasons Why I Love the Haddonfield Running Company
10. They always have water for passing runners. Once when I stopped in during a run and there were no cups available, an employee gave me a full bottle of water, free of charge.
9. Speaking of employees, they are the nicest people on the planet (no surprise here - most runners fit this mold). They greet me enthusiastically when I come in and frequently ask about past or upcoming races.
8. When the bombings happened at the 2013 Boston Marathon, owner Dave Welsh jumped into action and organized a run at a local high school track the very next night. Candles were placed around the track, and hundreds came out to run a mile in honor of the marathon and the victims.
7. Group runs every Wednesday night. 6.6 miles week in and week out with much of the same folk every week. They let us hang out in the store afterwards and drink beer, thereby combining two of my favorite things in this world.
6. They constantly connect with races and running-related companies so that it seems every week there is a different shoe company letting us try on their shoes or people promoting a different race. Every week feels like a running party.
5. They connect with the local high school track and cross country teams, most recently hosting a "spike night" with deals for high school students looking to get fitted in new pairs of spikes.
4. They run one of the best and most competitive 5k's in New Jersey, the Haddonfield Adrenaline 5k. A thousand people show up in March, including the best of local elites who compete for hundreds of dollars in prize money.
3. Owner Dave Welsh is constantly brokering food and drink deals with the Irish Mile, a bar down the road, for patrons of his store on special events.
2. Not just one location, but a total of four - Haddonfield, Moorestown, Medford and Mullica Hill.
1. A few times a year they host sidewalk sales in which insane deals on shoes can be found.
If you live in the South Jersey area, you need to check out one of these stores and get involved in the running scene. Don't live around here? Find your closest running store and find your own reasons to love it!