Stepping inside the Running Company near Key Bridge in Georgetown as a runner is like stepping in to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory for candy lovers. The space might be small, but the contents inside are top-of-the-line shoes and apparel to make every runner’s experience on parkland paths or marathon routes not just a success but a stylish race, right on time for spring.
Much of this can be credited to the store’s manager, Edoardo Rincon, who says he cannot imagine working anywhere else. “I’ve been doing this for almost ten years, and I don’t think I want to do anything different,” he said.
An avid trail runner while growing up in Colombia, Rincon brings personal expertise to the shop on the corner of 34th and M streets. All his wisdom comes from his passion for the sport and the time he has spent experimenting with gear from different companies.
“Find what you like to do, and you never have to work. A lot of people like to run but do something else for work but not me,” he said.
For almost ten years now, Rincon has helped communities around the globe find the right pair of shoes and articles of clothing for the sport. He also puts on races all along the East Coast, including a 5k race each December back in South America.
Once a week, the company has experienced athletes lead nightly runs around the area. “It is great for people who are new or don’t know where to run, what is safe,” he said. All paces are welcome to join in on the three- to six-mile loop on Wednesdays at 7 p.m.
Rincon is also a huge supporter of the non-profit, D.C. Road Runners. While proudly wearing one of its t-shirts, Rincon says that the organization offers training programs for beginners to highly skilled runners.
He hand delivers shoes to children back in Colombia twice a year and sends shoes through the mail to his home country as well as to Africa whenever he receives a phone call that someone is in need. Rincon says people are encouraged to drop off their old sneakers at the store so that they, too, can help make a difference.
“Changing people,” he said. “You know, that’s my favorite thing about working here. The people in the community and the feeling that I’m changing a lot of lives for the people here.”
“A lot of people think I own this store,” he said laughing. “I don’t.” He just simply loves what he does.
For more info on running, visit DCRoadrunners.org.