Stamford Advocate

SPX pop-up store celebrates runners’ return

- By Brian Gioiele brian.gioiele@ hearstmedi­

DARIEN — High school cross country runners will again be competing, and Megan Searfoss has just the spot for these athletes to start hitting their stride.

Searfoss, owner of Darien Running Company and Ridgefield Running Company, has opened a pop-up store for cross country runners, SPX, in presently vacant space at 1027 Post Road, next to Playa Bowls.

Her goal: To help the runners get the proper footwear and accessorie­s and have some fun in the process.

“I wanted to create a nice place for high school kids to hang out ... a place for runners to get the right footwear,” she said. “This is a place to celebrate that they are back, to celebrate their love of cross country running.”

The walls are covered with maps of the various competitio­n courses, pennants, photos of runners in action, along with the various products available. Also on site is a Trueform non-electric treadmill, which has turf on it so runners can get a real feel for the spikes chosen.

“It’s just like running on grass,” Searfoss said.

Searfoss has become a staple in the Darien running community after opening the Darien Running Company more than a year ago at 14 Brook St., behind the Sugar Bowl, during the pandemic. This is her second location, her first being the Ridgefield Running Company.

“I looked at Darien and saw the potential . ... We were looking to fill the knitch left by Runner’s Roost, which had been (in Darien) for more than 40 years,” Searfoss said. “It was a gamble, a huge gamble,

but it was worth the risk. We’ve really created a great, fun community of runners here.”

Searfoss is founder of Run Like a Mother, a national brand that hosts a national 5K race on Mother’s

Day. She is also the author of “See Mom Run Every Mother’s Guide to Getting Fit and Running Her First 5K.”

Searfoss said she has coached thousands of athletes through her Run Like a Mother training programs and as a licensed health coach, personal trainer, triathlon and cycling coach. She has competed in the Ironman World Championsh­ips and has raced in more than 100 races of different distances.

What sets Searfoss’ operations apart, she says, is her desire to not just sell running shoes. She said the key is learning about each customer to aid in a customized fitting process. She and her staff use 3D technology to scan feet to find the best shoes for the runners, whether running for enjoyment or competitio­n.

“We’re retail, but a different type of retail,” she said. “When they sit on our stool, we find out all about them. We really drill down and learn about the customer.”

And this style has led her stores to earn rankings as Top 50 Best Running Stores in America 2019 and in the Top 4 Best Running Stores in America last year.

The pop-up store — which will also feature special high school team nights — will remain open until Sept. 13. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

“I’m so excited for the cross country runners . ... I wanted to celebrate them,” she said. “This pop-up store is a celebratio­n of what they do and that they are coming back to sports again.”

 ?? Erik Trautmann / Hearst Connecticu­t Media ?? Jeremy Garskof tries out a pair of shoes on the Trueform treadmill at the pop-up shop for cross country runners, SPX, on Saturday.
Erik Trautmann / Hearst Connecticu­t Media Jeremy Garskof tries out a pair of shoes on the Trueform treadmill at the pop-up shop for cross country runners, SPX, on Saturday.

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