Show of hands—who’s starting a new fitness plan this month? Come on, be honest; it’s a new year and that’s when we all make resolutions to be healthy. If you are making a resolution to exercise more in 2013 and you think that running might not be for you, a visit to Red Coyote in Classen Curve may change your mind.
A Welcoming Experience
For nearly three years, Red Coyote Running and Fitness has been serving new and established runners in the Oklahoma City area, providing products, services and events to the community. It all started when Burke and Jon Beck visited Oklahoma City from San Diego, where they were living at the time. Burke, a Casady school grad, needed a new pair of running shoes but when she went shopping, the experience left her a little cold. “We really couldn’t find the service we were looking for,” says Jon, and having worked in the running retail industry for a while, they knew that there was a niche that they could fill.
Jon continues, “We decided, pretty much right then, to move to Oklahoma City and open a store.” And as soon as you enter Red Coyote, you understand the feeling that the Becks have worked hard to instill. From the friendly and knowledgeable staff to the wide range of running and fitness-related products, this is a store where everyone is made to feel welcome.
When talking with friends about running stores, the most frequent feedback Jon received was that even experienced runners found going into these specialty stores intimidating. So when he created his own store, he wanted it to be easily accessible to all, no matter their fitness level.
Building a Community
Through events, Red Coyote customers have built a loyal and supportive community of runners of all abilities. “We’re all about having fun,” asserts Jon, and through events like their weekly group runs, the Becks drive home the message that running is for everyone, from the beginner to the elite athlete. “Everybody can do it. It’s a matter of having the right people there to guide you,” says Jon.
And through the running community and the experts at the store, the right people to guide you are never that far away.
What to Expect
For the seasoned runner, Red Coyote has everything needed from pre- to post-race and all things in between. Says Jon, “we try to stay on the cutting edge of what’s out there,” so if you’ve read about a product, you should be able to find it here.
For the new runner, the store and staff are set up to help get a program started, through an in-depth series of questions and hands-on testing.
To better understand how to serve someone new to running, a customer will be asked for their background (Have you ever been a runner before? Is this your first time to try running?) and goals (What are you hoping to achieve from running? Do you want to build to a race distance or run short distances?) before an analysis is done on the type of shoes your foot requires.
Analyzing Your Gait
This part is not for the squeamish. To analyze how your feet really move when running, the staff will examine your feet. First, standing barefoot to see how your natural stance aligns, then through a slow motion video gait analysis done on treadmill and computer.
Runners are asked to run barefoot for about 30 seconds on a treadmill while a camera captures the motion. Afterwards, one of the trained staff members will slow the video down and use a skeletal model of a foot to provide a complete representation of how the foot moves when running, and how injuries might occur or be prevented.
Red Coyote at the OKC Zoo
ZooTroop, the Oklahoma Zoological Society’s young professional group, recently unveiled nine newly mapped walking trails, created through a sponsorship with Red Coyote Running. The trails range in distance from .32–2.87 miles to meet all fitness levels.
Dana McCrory, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Zoological Society, said “People love being able to walk in the Zoo. These trails give our visitors the added benefit of incorporating exercise into a visit to the Zoo.”
Other Projects and Services
Red Coyote hosts weekly Thursday night group runs from the store at 6:00pm. The course is three miles long, but runners of all abilites are welcome. “Almost every [group run] we’ve held, I’ve had someone tell me after about two minutes in that this is the farthest that they’d run before,” says Jon. “It’s incredible to be a part of that.”
On the third Saturday of each month at 9:00am, the store hosts a form clinic, where “natural running form” is discussed (a more flat-footed landing versus the traditional heel-strike landing), followed by a raffle for a free pair of shoes. Both the Thursday group runs and the Saturday form clinics are open to all who want to attend.
Red Coyote has been involved in other running events, and will continue to sponsor races and events in 2013.
Also planned for the new year is an expansion to a larger store (also in the Classen Curve area) with twice the floor space that the current space provides.
Red Coyote Running and Fitness
5800 N Classen Boulevard
Monday–Friday 10:00am–7:00pm; Saturday 10:00am–6:00pm; Sunday 1:00–5:00pm
The Newbie Running Program is a 9-week program to build new runners to a 5K distance. The next group begins January 8. Find details online.
Mari Farthing is the Editor of MetroFamily Magazine.