Who are they?
Crozet Running is a specialty running shop. Their mission is to fit athletic footwear and motivate potential and professional athletes in the community. Located below the Crozet Library, the successful business commemorates five years of business this November. So, how did it all happen? Before John and Michelle Andersen- the proud founders and owners of Crozet Running- started the business, they have always been active. “We’ve always been very active in the outdoors. We both like skiing, snowboarding, horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking...We have just always been entranced by the mountains here. I think that continued to pull us into being more active including running,” said Mr. Andersen.
On Mr. and Mrs. Andersen’s 10th wedding anniversary, they went to Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia and stopped by a running store. Mr. Andersen looked back to the visit and said how he "had an awesome experience there" and how he wished there was something like that running shop in Crozet. They shortly began constructing business plans and, within 16 months, Crozet Running was in business. However, everything was not achieved automatically.
“We really wanted to be in Downtown Crozet… We actually had a spot there [Piedmont Place] but the funding pulled through last minute. So we were left- we had vendors, business plans and everything but no home. Right the next week, the county was accepting proposals for this place [the Crozet Library building] and we just slipped right in.”
Mr. and Mrs. Andersen talked further, about how impeccable the timing was for Crozet Running and how Downtown Crozet was the perfect place for them. “We knew Downtown Crozet was a unique place. We thought it would be a nice fit. The community and the mountains.” Since then, they have been receiving support from the community as well as connecting with them through sponsored runs and races.
“It was really the community that we immersed ourselves in that just got us into enjoying running. It’s always the people.” Michelle Andersen
Crozet Running hosts clinics, teaches people better ways to run, and hosts speakers. They also sponsor multiple community events such as the Crozet Running trail 5K at Mint Springs which happens every year in May. Mr. Andersen emphasized their effort to make sure the races and events are affordable for everyone. “We put that one on [Crozet Running trail 5K] for a really cheap price and people still get a shirt...We’re putting it on so people can bring their family and not pay a lot. And [they] still have a really neat race experience and the kids get outside.”
Crozet Running also has exemplary athletes speak in Crozet. They have had Jennifer Pharr Davis “who once held the speed record for hiking the Appalachian Trail in the fastest known time.” She is also an author, speaker, and a National Geographic Adventurer. The business had David Horton, another “trail and running legend.” Crozet Running strives to host people who have taken on remarkable feats regarding hiking or running to inspire the community to set and achieve their own athletic goals.
For the Community
“I think the biggest reward we get is the personal relationships we’ve developed...and the other thing is just helping people. When we get the occasional feedback that we’ve helped someone...That really validates all the hard work that goes into it [managing the business].”
Mr. Andersen expressed Crozet Running’s mission for the community as a place for people to think as a “very friendly, open and encouraging place.” He talks about how the business always aims to become a welcoming place to consult for help and professional advice whether it be about “getting into shape, out of a rut, or getting rid of chronic foot pain.”
“Just come in and talk to us.”
If you’d like to know more about Crozet Running you can visit them at their websitewww.crozetrunning.com or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Diana Kim