Since 1977, Running Central has been the go-to place for Peoria runners to purchase running shoes, accessories and apparrel. The original store was located on the corner of Main and Sheridan, where Broken Tree Coffee now resides. In 2011, owners, Adam and Marie White moved the store to a location in Peoria Heights. Then just about a year ago, they opened a mammoth version of the store on Water Street. This store is so impressive, Men’s Journal put it on its top twenty list of Best Outdoor Gear Stores In America. Check out the article below and click on it to take you to the online version. Go ahead, we’ll wait for you!
Welcome back! Well, that’s certainly impressive and I think it’s high time for MBIP to run over to Running Central and see what all this commotion is about!
Okay, I think this is the building that Running Central is housed in, but I don’t see any signage on the building. Wait a second, what’s that over there to the far left of the double doors...
It’s Running Central’s logo and hours in the window. And check out the accidental obligatory mirror shot that happened, love that!
Let’s go in and see what’s shaking inside.
Okay, two more doors to pass through, Get Smart flashback alert!
There’s the front check out area, let’s go over and say hi. I spoke with Adam, the owner on the phone and he said it would be okay to take pictures in here, but I probably should let them know that I’m here.
This is Sue and she not only said it would be fine to wander around and take some pictures, she posed for the MBIP camera and flashed a great smile for us, very nice!
The store is huge! I lve the wooden posts and ceiling. The store has a nice rustic, industrial vibe going on.
Check it out, I think this is Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner’s healthy cousin. I think he’s running to get a head in life. Oh, I’m cracking myself up over here, I tell ya!
A true RUN-DMC sentiment!
The front room has several tables loaded up with running accessories.
It’s a little sad that I stared at this for about three minutes, but what are you going to do?
Planned obligatory mirror shot. I just realized that I almost always lean to my left for these things. I really need to knock that off, it’s kind of bugging me now.
I ran into Meghan while snapping photos and she said she’s been working here for about five months now. She also goes to Bradley and is majoring in Retail Merchandising, so this is a great job for her to get some hands-on experience. Meghan said that Adam has set up an employee to give us a tour of the place and that employee is...
Mindy, seated over there in the blue jacket. She’s busy right now, so let’s wait till she’s done and then we’ll start our official tour!
Check out this wall of shoes in the back! Very impressive and kind of hypnotizing if you stare at it for any length of time. My eyelids are getting somewhat heavy...
But luckily I was snapped out of my hypnotic daydream as Mindy said she was ready to begin our tour. The first stop is Mindy posing with the store’s running mascot, Ned. I asked Mindy why he’s named Ned and she said she wasn’t sure. I’d like to think he’s named after Ned Flanders, the only jogging Simpson character, but that’s just me.
Mindy told me that while shoes are a big item here, running apparel and accessories are also a big draw and there’s plenty of both to choose from in here.
Wow, look at all the socks in here!
if you buy three, you can get a quartet of socks for the same price, such a deal!
This is a wooden stretch of the floor in the main room where runners can try on shoes and then run up and down to see how they feel. Very cool!
Mindy said this room behind the brick archway is devoted to children’s shoes and accessories.
Let’s go look at some of the shoes in here...
Okay, I’m having a Lowell George, Little Feat moment over here. Talk among yourselves until this passes.
Alright, I’m back, check out the game station for the kiddies they have back here.
Here’s a youngster getting fitted for a pair of tiny tyke shoes!
And check out the wooden chairs, Mindy told me these are the only things left from the original Main Street store. They kind of remind me of the desks that line the wall at Mike’s Tavern in West Peoria!
There’s women’s apparel down at the far end of this room. This store is huge, a runner could literally do laps inside of the place and have a good workout!
Okay, I really need to stop looking at this, it's getting to be pathetic! Sheesh!
We now go behind the scenes as Mindy’s going to take us back into the employees only area! Pretty exciting stuff!
Wow, look at all the stock back here! I feel sorry for the poor person that has to ticket and sticker all of this stock...
And I just found that person! This is Sara (without an “H”—inside joke alert) who’s busy ticketing and stickering, but at least she gets to sit down on the job! You’re dong great work there Sara and if Adam is reading this, I’m suggesting he gives you a raise...or at least a chair to sit in!
There’s even more stock in the back over here.
And here’s the last stop, Mindy told me this room is used for receptions, clinics with various reps from companies and it’s also used for a registraton area for races and runs in the downtown area. Well, this was certainly a grand shop hop and I thank Minday and everyone at Running Central for a fun tour of this massive store in downtown Peoria!