Owner: Vince Rucci
112 N. Main St. Hudson, Ohio 44236 / (330) 656-1176
For most people, when you think great trail running Cleveland, Ohio doesn’t typically come to mind. But Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a goldmine of beautiful scenery and well maintained trails – And that is exactly where Vince Rucci set up Vertical Runner in September 2003. Located in historic Hudson, Ohio, Vertical Runner’s original store is located within minutes of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. As an avid trail runner, when Rucci decided to open his store he knew trail would be a focus of his business. Vertical Runner caters to all types of runners, from those taking steps towards their first mile to 100 mile ultra-marathoners. But you’d be hard pressed to find a better hub in Ohio for trail knowledge, advice and product assortment. When asked what his favorite part of owning a store is, Rucci talked about the people and the sense of community.
“The best part is interacting with people every day and the diversity of our customer base. We have everyone from general fitness and doing just a few miles around town to people running ultra-marathons. It’s awesome to be included in all of it.” - Vince Rucci
After 13 years in the business, Vertical Runner still holds a strong DNA in trail running. Rucci estimates the participation in Northeast Ohio trail events has nearly quadrupled since he opened his doors. His store and the unique community runs and races they organize have been a huge reason for that growth. Vertical Runner now has two locations owned by Rucci and four franchised locations around the country with a fifth location coming soon. Rucci gauges the success of his business by the people coming into the store more than by any of the numbers on paper. When people see you are authentic, you are going to have a much better business, says Rucci. All of the employees run both road and trail, but when talking to them it is clear that their off-road adventures are something they love. Everyone you talk to at the store loves being a part of the running community and it shows in the level of customer service they provide to all who walk into Vertical Runner. If you choose to join them for a few miles, you feel welcome and know you are in great company after only a few minutes.
STAFF KICK PICKS
TOP 3 RUNS
- Boston Visitors Center. 1550 W. Boston Mills Road Peninsula, Ohio 44264 (Route is inside Cuyahoga Valley National Park)
- Pine Lane Trailhead. 1281 Pine Lane Peninsula, Ohio 44264 (CVNP)
- Hudson Springs Park. 7095 Stow Road Hudson, Ohio 44236
POST-RUN IN TOWN
- Open Door Coffee Co: 164 N. Main St. Hudson, Ohio 44236
- Restore Cold Pressed Juice: 34 Park Ln. Hudson, Ohio 44236
- Richfield Gourmet Café: 4174 Wheatley Rd. Richfield, Ohio 44286 (Vince’s personal favorite post run eats)
- Shadow Rep: Michelle Klinger
- Sales Rep: Mark Price
FOLLOW THEM ON SOCIAL!
By: Michelle Klinger, Saucony Shadow Rep