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Growing fanbase for Glasgow’s newest specialist running shop

Written by Fiona October 20 2010

Nae Limits are renowned for great instructors

They say that successful businesses are usually run by people with a passion for their field or subject area. And this is certainly true of many outdoors and fitness companies that I’ve come across.

* The acclaimed guided walk/climbing instructors are the ones that have learned their trade out in the mountains over many years and who are then brilliant at passing on their knowledge and enthusiasm to clients.

* The best white water rafting leaders and surfing coaches are the ones that are not only experts but also obviously love their chosen activity – and have a great knack of teaching while encouraging customers.

* And the leading sports shops are, in my opinion, the ones that are run by sports people, who not only live and breathe their sport but also have the ability to transfer their knowledge to customers. They are the shops that build up a trusting clientele because they have only been sold the right shoe and not the most fashionable or the most expensive. In Glasgow’s west end I rate Achilles Heel. In Edinburgh I have great respect for Run and Become.

Now a new shop has launched on the southside of Glasgow. It’s a running specialist shop owned by a running enthusiast. Run Urban is the brainchild of Mark Burns who spotted a gap in the market for a running shop on the southern side of the city’s river (thus enough removed from Achilles Heel!). Mark was also of the opinion that as amateur running continues to grow it’s a fair bet that Glasgow has enough runners to support another independent specialist running shop.

Mark, who was made redundant as a rail trackman last year, brings a lifetime of running experience to the shop on Cathcart Road. Aged 43, he still runs competitively as an amateur taking part in numerous 10ks, half marathons and marathons. He runs from his home in Bishopbriggs on the north of the city to his shop seven days a week. Despite all these miles of running he says that his love of running is still growing.

Run Urban opened in July and is already seeing a fast-growing customer base, from novices through to experienced competitors. There are a number of running clubs for both juniors and adults on the southside, a large student population because of several colleges and a generally buoyant population of leisure runners. Most runners now realise that the right footwear is crucial to injury-free progression. Buying a shoe that has been properly fitted will hugely reduce the chances of  a sporting niggle or injury. And these days the range of running footwear is huge and often confusing. A running shop expert will be able to point all runners to their best-fit trainer, whether it’s a supporting shoe, a shoe to reduce over pronation or one that has higher levels of cushioning.

Mark is able to advise customers on the right shoe for their gait and their type/level of running. He can also recommend the right clothing for running. Most of his knowledge comes through years of experience.

Chatting with Mark it’s clear he knows his stuff. His manner is also approachable. Next week I am seeking his advice for a new pair of trainers. I’ll keep you all updated about my experience.

Find out more at Run Urban (the website is in the process of being launched.)

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