RIDGEFIELD, Conn. -- Megan Searfoss and Deb Povinelli found a passion for running years ago. Beginning this week, the Ridgefield women will share their expertise, joy and insight with everyone in the vast Fairfield County running community.
Searfoss and Povinelli are co-owners of Ridgefield Running Company, which holds its grand opening -- called “Breaking The Tape” -- on Thursday at 5 p.m. The store, which had a soft open last week, will host a series of events throughout the weekend with giveaways, group runs and free yoga and injury-prevention classes.
Ridgefield Running Company, located at 88 Ridgefield Road and next to Ridgefield Bicycle Company , will be a haven for runners of all abilities, ages and experience, Searfoss said.
“We’re committed to serving runners who have never tried it before all the way up to people who have run their whole life,’’ she said. “We really want this to be a runners’ hangout, where they can shop, run, talk and embrace the company of like-minded athletes.”
Searfoss, creator of the popular Run Like A Mother Series, joined with Povinelli, whose background is in physical therapy, to launch the business. They are longtime running friends and two years ago were among a group of women from Ridgefield who competed in the Boston Marathon.
Runners will benefit from the expertise of the store’s staff, all of whom have running experience and have been trained to custom fit shoes for all types of runners. The staff will analyze the feet and gait of each runner, and record the runner’s foot movement on a treadmill.
“Many runners are wearing the wrong shoe for their foot and their mechanics,’’ Povinelli said. “Almost all running injuries can be traced to wearing improper or over-worn footwear. We’ll provide analysis that runners can’t get from an online retailer or a big-box store.”
The custom fit process is only one area that will distinguish Ridgefield Running Company from competitors. The store will also offer a range of clothing, accessories, injury prevention and recovery equipment and nutritional supplements.
There will also be group runs for beginners on up. As part of its opening week, Searfoss and Povinelli will lead a group on a “Couch To 5k” training program to prepare newbie runners for the Ridgefield Boys & Girls Club 5k on Thanksgiving Day.
“We’re going to be more than a place that just sells running shoes,’’ Searfoss said. “This is going to be a store for runners and by runners. We invite everyone in the running community to come share their experiences and run with us. We want runners of all ages and ability to come join the great community that we have here in Ridgefield and Fairfield County.”
The store carries a wide selection of running shoes from top brands such as Asics, Brooks, New Balance, Saucony and Mizuno.
Grand opening events continue Friday with running company vendors providing giveaways, light snacks and demos. Saturday’s schedule includes morning group runs for runners of all ability, organic juices from Pure Bar in Ridgefield, massage, yoga and an injury prevention clinic. Vendors will also provide giveaways and demos.
“We’ve been thinking about owning a store for a few years,’’ Povinelli said. “When this space became available next to Ridgefield Bicycle, we knew it was a golden opportunity. We’re excited to get started.”
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