Paul Epstein, owner of Running Wild, has been running for over 30 years. He and his wife, Cherie, opened the store in 2000, helping locals purchase the proper running gear as well as hosting running programs for beginners and advanced athletes. They opened a second store in Fairhope, Ala. in 2010.
IN: What are a few tips for anyone wanting to start a running program?
EPSTEIN: Seek expert advice. Running seems like a relatively simple activity (and it is), but one can definitely do it wrong, or not as correctly as one could with guidance from an expert. Start with the attitude that it’s an activity that you will do forever, so invest some time in the right equipment and advice and guidance to help meet your goals.
IN: What items are must-haves for runners of all levels?
EPSTEIN: Correct shoes and socks are, of course, number one. Shoes should fit correctly based on a person’s biomechanics, body type and size and running and/or walking goals. After shoes and socks the correct apparel (tops, shorts, sports bra, et cetera) is really important. Correct apparel not only helps one feel good and confident about getting out and running, but also helps prevent chafing, blisters, dehydration and increases the chances for a positive and lasting experience.
IN: What are the Running Wild running groups, and what are the requirements to join?
EPSTEIN: We have many groups that start at different times of the year and all culminate with an event. They range from a beginner’s 5k to the marathon, including sprint and Olympic distance triathlon. For our beginner 5k group there are no pre-requisites, just an attitude for positive change. And the other programs have starting requirements based on the specific program, for instance, for those wanting to join the Double Bridge Run program should be able to run/walk three miles comfortably. Our goal in all our programs is to create a positive atmosphere in which our participants experience life changing, long-term results. With nearly 20 coaches on our staff, we’re able to effectively connect with anyone who participates in our programs. We also have several different casual group runs (non-coached) that meet at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. And our now world famous Phat Girlz (women only) running and walking group that meets on Fridays at 9:30 a.m.
WHERE: 3012 E. Cervantes St.
DETAILS: 435-9222 or werunwild.com