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What is your name and how long have you been going to Up and Running?
My name is Bob Duncan and I have been going to Up and Running since its opening (even though, at first, it was a women’s specific shop!). So, I believe that would be 18 years!!!!
What brought you to Up and Running originally?
I was coaching for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Societies, “Team in Training” program. Through the society, I met Susie Stein…before she opened the store. When she took the leap into Up and Running, I knew that would be my spot for all things running.
How is Up and Running different than other retailers in your area?
Up and running is different because they act on their core beliefs. Running is for everyone, fitness is for everyone. To be a lifelong runner and fit until we die, we need to train consistently…without injury and illness. To that end, UAR takes the time required to get every customer the right shoe, sock, insert, garments etc. to meet their specific needs. Beyond this, they host events that reflect the corporate beliefs; Not just the traditional Tuesday night run, UAR does things like a women’s health week, healthy lifestyle and cancer preventation (thank you!), and many more. UAR also travels to rural populations to properly fit people who otherwise would have to drive, literally, hours for proper shoes for active lifestyles. Everything UAR does, from the fit process to the gear they rep, reflects the very encouraging vibe that, “You can do this. You are able and you are good enough. So, get out there!” Oh…and as a guy accustomed to working with elite athletes, they manage to somehow appropriately celebrate the very speedy as well as properly acknowledge the personal best of the not so speedy.
What’s one of the most memorable experiences you’ve had with Up and Running (volunteering, at an event or a group run, or whatever comes to mind)?
I have two most memorable moments: Watching a staff member, Nickie, finish on the podium of a major pro triathlon podium (she’s a bad ass cancer survivor who humbly serves customers…hardly any will know of her athletic prowess because she makes the sales experience all about them). The second moment is actually a series and I cannot believe I failed to mention them in #3. UAR has put on a Kids’ Triathlon for, I believe, over twenty years. I fondly remember swimming next to my 5-year-old son during his first race (now a D1 collegiate runner) and watching my daughter rip through the boys field in her early years (she’s still doing that at 20). You see, UAR’s culture is backed up with action and so many of our active youth and young adults were brought into athletics because of the UAR culture of, no matter how fast you are, “Get out there and get after it.”
Why is it important to you to give back to your community?
I absolutely love being outdoors running, cycling, swimming, etc. There is nowhere / no time else that I feel more at home, at peace on the planet. The benefits of these activities are manifold close to my heart and my work, they help prevent cancers in every population. We are built to be active and out of doors but the demands of modern life makes these pursuits very difficult. If you couple the inside time required for most of us at our respective jobs, sleep, and necessary other activities, there is little time to get out to be, “away”. This time crunch leads to fast everything; food, meetings, relationships, AND these sum to ridiculous stress levels, obesity, etc. I work for The American Cancer Society and I am very blessed to help produce The Pan Ohio Hope Ride ( a four day bicycle ride from Cleveland to Cincinnati, Ohio), The Columbus to Cincinnati Relay Run ( an approximately 24 hour 130+ mile relay), and liaison to The Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon and The Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon. My job as a producer of endurance events aligns very well with UAR. We want to change lives for the better. By surrounding people with a knowledgeable and caring group of comrades we can change the course of lives for the better. We can prevent cancers (42% of all cancers are preventable). More than this, we can give people the gift of physical and mental peace. AND THAT GIFT can be opened every day for the rest of their lives. Why is it important to give back to our community? I suppose because I just love being around happy healthy people…maybe its selfish but I want everyone around me happy and healthy.
So…Umm…UAR didn’t really have a question #6 but, I believe, they need to add this one for me. How do I sign up for your super cool and fun ACS endurance events to end cancer as we know it for everyone? Well, that one is easy. Send me an email Bob.Duncan@cancer.org or call me at 513-260-3994! Yeah, let’s do that.