The Trak Shack

The heart of Birmingham's running scene


  • 2839 18th St., S. Birmingham, AL 35209, 205-870-5644

The Trak Shak was established in Homewood, AL in 1995 by Valerie McLean Cuddy. Valerie, an avid runner and active member of the Birmingham running community, had traveled to run races in the US and noticed a strong presence in each race from a local running specialty store and wanted the same for her town. She rented a small house in the "Over the Mountain" community of Homewood, just south of Birmingham city. The "Shak" was surrounded by the most active running communities of metro Birmingham, Homewood, Mountain Brook, and Hoover, and had a homely feel with a large back yard. Valerie had a small cement track paved in the backyard for customers to truly try out the products and used the yard to create an awesome social hangout following the weekly Wednesday night run and races starting and finishing at the shop. The local running community,including the Birmingham Track Club, soon turned The Trak Shak intoBirmingham's running central! 

The strong connection with the local running community has allowed The Trak Shak to become truly running central for Birmingham”- Jeff Martinez

In 1998, with the help of a couple of pick up trucks and some local runners, The Trak Shak moved a couple of blocks over to its current location in Downtown Homewood. The move opened up more retail space to offer more products to the local running community, allowed the shop to host packet pick ups for any local race, and established The Trak Shak as a strong small business in a thriving retail community, while maintaining the same welcoming feel to all walkers, runners and joggers. As business improved, Valerie made longtime employees Scott Strand and Jeff Martinez partners and opened a second location, The Trak Shak 280, further south in Inverness. Both locations focus on serving the community with expert customer service for walkers, runners, joggers, and any person looking for help with their footwear and apparel needs.

The success of the retail business, and the strong connection with the local running community has allowed The Trak Shak to become truly running central for Birmingham! Valerie created the Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend in 2002, brought the 2003 US Men's Marathon Championships and 2004 US Men's Marathon Olympic Trials to the "Magic City", all events worthy of an establishment embedded and committed to its community.

The Track where it all startedThe Shak where it all startedOwners Valerie and ScottO’Henry’s CoffeePost-group run at the storeRunners hang out at Oak Hill restaurant after group runs


From left; Jeff, Scott, Sara and Michael show off their favorite Saucony Shoes: Triumph ISO3, Kinvara 7, Guide 10, Hurricane ISO2


  • The Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend, starts and finishes at Boutwell Auditorium in Downtown Birmingham.
  • The Vulcan Run, 19th Street N. Birmingham. Birmingham's oldest race! The race is named after the Vulcan Statue located atop Red Mountain.
  • The Retro Run - This twilight, Summer 5K starts and finishes in front of The Trak Shak. Racers dress up in Retro costumes.


  • Oak Hill Bar & Grill 283518th St S, Homewood, AL 35209

  • O'Henry's coffee shop- 2915Highland Ave, Birmingham, AL 35205

  • Good People Brewing Company- 11414th St S, Birmingham, AL 35233



  • Shadow Rep – Chad Holt
  • Sales Rep – Jim Petruzella

By: Chad Holt, Saucony Shadow Rep