With two universities and a college, plus a long-storied history of a classic Canadian race, Waterloo is a lively, active town in Southern Ontario. For proof, look no further than the loyalty and longevity of Runner’s Choice, owned and operated by Geoff Todd since 1997.
From a life working ski hills out west, Geoff returned to his hometown to begin his career in the sport shoe business. When he noticed a boom happening in the running shoe game he made his shift to specialize in running and hasn’t looked back.
Runner’s Choice draws on the active life of the town, as well as the more studious aspect that comes from being home to both the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. Customers coming into Runner’s Choice can likely have the chance to sit and discuss their individual needs with some of the local kinesiology students that Geoff employs. A healthy knowledge of biomechanics helps the staff address issues and injuries specific to runners.
It’s a great place for folks just getting started in the sport, as well. In their (free!) Let’s Start Running program, new runners – or those that have been away for a while – can safely and easily build up to running a 5K under the careful guidance of experienced coaches. From there, runners can join groups dedicated to speed, trails, or even marathon distances, with well-loved coach and local racing legend Michele Craddock.
For those looking to just get outside and be social, there’s a group for that, too. The Fun Run meets every Monday and Thursday at 6 pm for a few easy, relaxing miles, with some laughs thrown in for good measure.
Spend some time in Waterloo as a runner and it won’t be long before you’re taking part in the Waterloo Running Series, a series of twenty runs that take place over the whole year. Runner’s Choice is a proud major sponsor and has helped Run Waterloo not only build a healthy and connected community, but also raise over $1.5 million for local charities.
Even Geoff has caught the bug since becoming a run shop owner. “I was never a racer,” he says. “But I’ve become a pretty avid runner. It’s a great way to destress or sort out your problems while you’re out there. It’s running therapy.”
And whether Waterloovians are seeking a cleanse, cure or simply contentment, it’s easy to see why Runner’s Choice has kept its local community healthy, happy, and well-adjusted for over twenty years.