From left to right:
Beth from Discombobulated Running, Jessica from Cuban Running Crisis, JC from Fat Slow Triathlete, Genna from R is for Running, Me, and Caitlyn from Live. Sweat. Sleep. Repeat.
We met at the store and were met with really good pizza. I'll admit that when I saw on the invite that we were having pizza, it didn't hit the spot. But when we got there, I saw that it was from a nearby pizza place, and they had veggie pizza (my favorite). I was happy and had two pieces. I had jumped off the trainer and come straight to the gathering, so I was really hungry!
Afterwards, Bill, the owner of the store had a few local store owners talk to us a little bit about what they're doing in the area. I loved hearing from Bill again, because I actually heard new information he hadn't shared when I was there before, and there was also a representative from Cigar City Brew Pub. There was beer for us to taste! You can't beat that!
What was exciting was that the owner of the Cigar City Brew Pub and Bill, the owner of The Running Center have gotten together and decided to start doing a pub run in the Carrollwood Area of Tampa in the weeks to come. They're going to wait until it cools down a little bit, but they've mapped out a 3.1 mile loops and will have a place for runners to hang out afterwards. I'm excited to attend once that gets started. It's not too far from me!
We listened intently as Bill told us of his running history, commitment to customer service, and dedication to the sales industry. Like I've mentioned before, the value of a local running store is worth the small amount extra you might pay when ordering from a Big Box store online. They can't guarantee you the things that Bill can at The Running Center. He promises that if you run in shoes and don't like them, you can bring them back for an exchange or a full refund, and he works to ensure the perfect fit for each customer he works with. He's also planning on starting some races in the future, and he has a pro team with members who have qualified for the Olympic Trials! This was all pretty impressive to hear.
The beers were tasty, and I even got to take a growler home. Apparently you can take them into the store to be refilled, which I'll probably do at some point when I head back over there.
We were sent home with a few goodies, one of which I'm particularly excited to try.
We were given a GUTR, which you can wear under your bike helmet to catch the sweat and keep it out of your eyes. It's not as bulky as a sweatband so fits better under the helmet. If you ride a bike in the heat and take off your helmet, you know what kind of a mess and burn ensues. At least, if you sweat 1/2 as much as I do you know. I'll let you know what I think.
It was a fun and informative gathering, and I was glad to catch up with friends and be surrounded by running shoes and apparel. I left without making a purchase, because I'm still on the front end of my current pair of Asics GT-2000. But when I need my next pair of the same shoes (I've learned my lesson), I'll be heading there!
Do you get together with local bloggers?
Do you shop local? Why do you shop at the store you do?
What draws you to a pub run?
Since I feel like I need to be clear, we weren't required to blog about the event, and we were given the goody bag just for attending. We didn't receive anything else for coming and weren't compensated in any way.