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Tried and True: Columbus Running Company

CRC's Short North Location
Running is one of those topics where there seems to be very little middle ground. Those who have found running to be their cup of tea are pretty staunch advocates of its various benefits. Those who don't care for it generally can't comprehend what makes this activity pleasurable in the least.

I fell into running as part of what was my final serious (and thankfully successful) attempt to gain control of my slowly but surely ballooning weight issue. Running wasn't even my first choice in cardio-based exercise, but eventually I found running not only beneficial in cutting my weight (through running and diet, I figuratively became half the man I used to be weight-wise) but also a release for the day's tension. On my runs, things that were worrisome faded away and my brain was allowed to roam carefree from one thought to another. As a bonus, running provided the catalyst that allowed me to meet Mrs. 614orty-Niner - she followed a similar path in terms of using running to help her arrive at a more healthy weight, and our involvement with a running forum allowed us to meet for the first time at the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati seven years ago.

Coming from an area of the country with a fairly prominent running culture, I was pleasantly surprised to see how strong the scene is here. I found quite a few cars with those ubiquitous mileage stickers (the 13.1 half-marathon distance seems to be popular) on their back windows, and it's not too hard to find a running event around the metro area on any given weekend. Even during the bone-chilling winter days (weather that would send most Californians to their treadmills indoors,) I still always seem to spot a couple or three runners plowing along the roads during my everyday travels.

All the accessories a runner could ever need
Overall, runners are very encouraging and supportive of other runners, whether it be someone who is trying to run in their first 5-kilometer race, or accomplish  one of the crown jewel achievements a recreational runner can ever hope to obtain such as qualify for the Boston Marathon. While there are many fine groups and organizations around the Columbus metro that support and foster area runners, I wanted to highlight one that both my spouse and I have grown well-acquainted with over the years..

The Columbus Running Company (CRC) got its start in 2004 in Dublin, and has expanded over the years with locations in Pickerington, Westerville and their newest location in the Short North this year. The company has made it a priority to engage and support endeavors in their local communities via their running activities, whether it be through charity events, support of local high school track and field programs, and the hosting of and/or assistance with local race events.

In terms of the running customer, purchasing running apparel and related gear from their stores allows one to earn loyalty program points, which translate to cash discounts on future purchases. In addition, they have a running club, host regularly scheduled run groups for different levels of runners from their various locations, and offer training programs catered to your abilities and goals (my spouse consistently used their programs to successfully train for her half-marathons.)

My results for the "Run a Mile in Our Shoes" test run
Finally, special other events and clinics catered to the running public are offered throughout the year; two recent instances I found truly helpful was the "Run A Mile in Our Shoes" program, where you got to test run a variety of shoes from numerous manufacturers, and a free run clinic that offered film analysis of your stride and a good overall perspective on what runners should be looking at to make their running experience a better one.

Most importantly, my spouse and I have always found CRC to be a very inviting and friendly place, which in many ways is a reflection of the company's owners Eric, Matt and Jim. They are all very down-to-earth people who are easy to chat with about all manner of topics. Moreover, they are truly interested in making all people who come visit their stores, from the rank beginner to the experienced veteran, feel welcome. This welcoming attitude is also reflected with the store staff people we have encountered, and in our minds has provided the main impetus that has allowed Columbus Running Company to celebrate its milestone tenth anniversary this year. It seems to be a safe bet that CRC will be reaching and bypassing many more such milestones as time passes by.

Columbus Running Company
6465 Perimeter Dr (Google Maps)
Dublin, OH 43016
(614) 764-0855

1250 Hill Road N. (Google Maps)
Pickerington, OH 43147
(614) 863-4073

50 N. State Street (Google Maps)
Westerville, OH 43081
(614) 523-2377

765 N. High Street, Suite B (Short North - Google Maps)
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 947-7717
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