Local running company takes first strides to success | ParkRecord.com

Local running company takes first strides to success

Dating back to his days on his junior high cross-country team, Canice Harte has always been a runner. For him, an open trail is a sanctuary, a slice of calm amidst the craziness of life.

"Running for me always offers a chance to decompress," he said. "No matter how stressed I am or what’s going on in life, 20 minutes into my run, I’ve forgotten about everything. It puts me in a happy, comfortable place."

Harte knows many in Park City share a similar love for the sport. And he wants to give them a place dedicated to running to call their own. That’s why he is opening Park City Running Company, 8178 Gorgoza Pines Road. The store, which was set to open Friday, will sell all kinds of running gear and also feature a coffee shop, giving runners a place to congregate.

"I know the running community is an incredible community to be a part of," Harte said. "Park City and the greater Park City area are phenomenal. And as a running group, people are really passionate about it."

The store will stock several brands of running shoes and other equipment. But Harte wants to ensure people get the most out of what they buy. That’s why the store will also offer what it calls a performance lab, which will feature technology that allows customers to analyze their running movements to create custom-fitted shoes.

Harte said shoes designed to fit a runner’s feet can make a large difference in performance and comfort.

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"With better form, you can generally run better and faster and generally have more fun when you’re out there," he said, adding the store will also employ a running coach.

In addition to the performance lab, the coffee shop also gives the store a unique edge. Harte acknowledged it’s not something one would typically find in a running store. But he hopes runners view the store as a gathering place.

"We’re going to create a place where you not only just come to get the gear and clothing and shoes you want, but you can come hang out," Harte said, adding the store is partnering with Park City Coffee Roaster for the coffee shop. "Before or after a run, you can come hang out and grab some coffee and enjoy being in this atmosphere."

Furthering the theme of fostering a sense of community, Park City Running Company will lead regular group runs, ranging in difficulty level. Additionally, the store plans to participate in some form in several local races. For example, it has agreed to be an "Above and Beyond" sponsor for the upcoming Running With Ed fundraising race put on by the Park City Education Foundation.

"We have a lot of really fun stuff right here in town that we can get involved in," Harte said. "Our focus is really on our community. If we can do that and be true to the runners here in town, I think we’ll do OK."

Though the store was set to open its doors for the first time Friday, it had already begun to develop a customer base. Harte said dozens of people have already placed shoe orders on the store’s Facebook page.

"All of a sudden, we get all of these messages, like, ‘Can I get them right now?’" Harte said. "So we actually have a reasonable chunk of shoes already set aside for people."

Many others have told Harte how excited they are to have a running store nearby. For local runners, Harte said, having their own store in town is a point of pride.

"I’ve been sort of kidding that I feel an immense amount of pressure now opening this store," he said. "Not so much for the financial reasons — I mean, those are obviously there — but because of the community. I think there’s an incredible pent-up demand for having our own running store. I feel like if we let the community down, I won’t be able to show my face. I’ll have to move."

Park City Running Company

8178 Gorgoza Pines Road