What does a huge pile of dirty running shoes mean? Well that all depends on your perspective, for the runner in the house it means that it is the Runners’ Choice annual Dirty sneaker event and time upgrade to a new pair for summer running. For the non runner in the house it means that all those old runners can finally be cleaned out of the closet or garage after piling up for some time now. But for some of London’s less fortunate it is a great news as it means hundreds of shoes will soon be distrubuted through various agencies to those that are in need. For more than 20 years now we have collected shoes that can be reused. Many of our customers know we collect these shoes every year as they come in to save up to $90 on new shoes but are not aware of what happens to all the shoes that pile up in the windows. For the past 20 plus years our generous customers have helped us collect more than 8500 pair of shoes that have been passed on. After only one week we have had 268 pair donated and look to be on the way to another great year.
I signed up for the Runners’ Choice ‘Learn to Run’ clinic as I knew I needed to improve my fitness and the gym was getting boring. On the first night of the clinic I was extremely nervous but I received support from the instructors and fellow participants. Building my fitness was difficult at times but I knew that I just needed to keep attending and know that I was progressing. Even on the nights when the weather was terrible and I was burnt from a long day at work, I was always happy that I got the workout in! Jump forward to near the end of the clinic and at the encouragement of Janet, my awesome run coach and fellow runners I decide to sign up for a 5k. If you had told me this on the first night I would have said highly doubtful. Yet through this process you are challenged to reach your highest potential. Janet, my friends and family all ran with me and the feeling of crossing the finish line was indescribable. Instead of being thankful it was over I knew that I wanted to do another race. I was thrilled to have a feeling of accomplishment. The camaraderie and friendships that I have made keep me engaged and always striving for a new personal best. The clinic has started me on my journey and I’m excited to see where I can go from here.
– Shona Gray
Although I wouldn’t describe myself as athletic, I have always considered myself a sports junkie, someone who can’t wait to jump in and join a team. Therefore running has always been hard for me to start or stay interested in. Fast forward to last fall, when I had been let go from a job that I loved, to no longer being able to, or even interested in, joining teams. I was at a bit of a low point when I decided I needed to try something new, needed a reason to be active again and get out of my apartment for the winter. Runners’ Choice – Learn to Run Clinic couldn’t have been a more perfect answer for what I was looking for. I started this clinic with the only expectation of wanting to show up to something consistently, and towards the end I had decided to seriously train to run a 5K, working each night towards doing better than the day before and then actually completing the 5k! I couldn’t believe it! I haven’t been that proud of myself in a very long time, and I owe so much credit to awesome community that lives with Runners’ Choice. Janet Smith, the group’s facilitator, is not only a phenomenal running coach but her positivity and encouragement is paramount. Her cheers and support is something I will always hold on to, and hope to one day foster in others. I was also incredibly lucky to make some new friends here, friends that truly understand how hard it is to show up some days, or how important it is to hit new personal bests. I’ve decided that I’m now hooked on running, and although I’m not going to be setting any new world records any time soon, I’m excited to see how far I can go – and with this support system behind me, I cannot wait! Thanks so much, Runners’ Choice!
– Marcie Pridding