Up-N-Running - How we got started
It all started on Fourth Street in Verona. Growing up in the 50ís and 60ís in suburban Pittsburgh we had a fantastic childhood! Unlike todayís youth, there were no smart phones, home computers, video games, or reality television to keep us busy. It was all about being outside, playing baseball, football, hide-n-seek, and army in the woods. Being post World War II baby boomers, there were plenty of us kids out on Fourth Street.
Little League and organized sports in general, were in their infant stages. Your's truly was not very coordinated in anything besides running, so that was all we seemed to do. We were quite fortunate to have a very sports-influential family the Flynns, on Fourth Street. Each of the ten Flynn kids was an athlete in some form, and Mr. Flynn was their biggest fan. He took me under his wing and got me started running track and cross country for Penn Hills.
My career started out paralleling the famous Steve Prefontaine: we were both baby boomers, we were both uncoordinated in any other sports, and we were both runners. Thatís about where the similarities stop. Steve Prefontaine ended up holding most American long distance records before his tragic death, whereas I ended up running as the 7th or 8th runner on the Penn Hills Cross Country team, with my only accolade being a Cross Country letter.
But that started a passion that has helped guide me and my family through life.
Fast forward to the 1990ís and this father of four all of a sudden being the biggest fan of my own kids. All four did organized sports, three of which ran track for Knoch high school. Those accolades that I so desperately tried to achieve as a child were at some level achieved by my kids. Kevin, the oldest boy, found that he was a pretty good runner and went on to break many of the Knoch distance records. He subsequently received a scholarship to run track and cross country for St. Francis University and later followed his friend Brian Sell to run in Michigan for the Brooks Hansonís Distance Project. Fueled by an almost fanatical passion for American distance running, the Hanson brothers created an elite program funded partially by their series of specialty running stores in the Detroit area. Their program ultimately helped to send Brian Sell to the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the marathon. They ended up being another in a series of influences to me, now a quite slow distance runner. Both Kevin and Keith Hanson helped me to put together the mechanics of what is now Up-N-Running.
We opened our doors in 2004 with the extended family all playing a major role in the successes of Up-N-Running. Our mission was simple: help to create a running-friendly environment in Western Pennsylvania, and give back to the community, while also providing a livelihood. Everyone took part in the business. Mom became our accountant. Kevin is our technical advisor. His wife Julie puts together the website and updates. Bonnie is in charge of bolstering our online presence through social media from, of all places, California. Lindsey is our marketing coordinator. Pat handles the screen printing portion of the business (Lazlo Athletic Brands). My wife, Carol is the ultimate inspiration, keeping yours truly firmly on the ground. And we mustnít forget Lazlo! Laz is the official store greeter. Heíll wag his tail and bring you a present as you walk in the store.
It is truly a family project and an on-going passion for all of us!
Welcome to Up-N-Running!! We all look forward to helping you achieve your running goals!!
Ed Doyle - Owner