Black Dog Running hits stride within community

One year ago today, Daniel Brass was stocking the shelves of the soon to be first ever running specialty store along the Grand Strand. After working for many years at a specialty running store in Virginia, Brass and his wife decided that the Myrtle Beach area would provide the perfect opportunity for growth, personally and professionally.

After making a couple of trips to the area to run in races and vacation, the couple made the leap and in April of 2012, opened Black Dog Running Company inside the Sports Corner on Hwy 501.

Since that time, Brass has made a considerable effort to get involved with local running clubs, organizations, and events. “It’s a two way street, we support the local community and they support us,” said Brass on a busy Monday after the Myrtle Beach Triathlon.

During a two hour period, runners came in at a steady pace to look around and get custom fitted for shoes. Richard Dean of Florence was in town to perform a surgery that was postponed. Dean stopped by the store complaining of shin problems while running. Brass took a look at Dean’s current shoes and running style and quickly figured out that Dean had been wearing a shoe designed for someone whose foot rolled inward. Dean’s foot naturally rolled outward and while running, his shoes were limiting his natural gait, exaggerating the pain.

On and on it went, as customer after customer walked in looking for shoes. Brass was able to properly fit them, and give them several options for shoe brands and fit. After a few sets, nearly every customer expressed the same few words, “This is the one. These feel great.”

During a year’s time, Brass has really become a valuable member of the local running scene. He’s now the Vice President of the Grand Strand Runners club that has seen its membership ranks grow from around 150 members to over 220. He’s also began offering a weekly group run from the store on Thursday evenings and a social run once a month from a local restaurant. In addition, Black Dog Running Company sponsors local events, and training organizations like the Myrtle Beach Triathlon Club.

“It’s important for the community to have somewhere they can go for advice. Many beginner runners are intimidated by the process. They can come in here and get properly fitted and find out about local events and groups that they can run with,” said Roscoe Griffin, President of the Grand Strand Running Club.

Pete Politis is the President of the Myrtle Beach Triathlon Club, “The real benefit for us is that during the offseason, we always go back down to the basics and look at our fundamentals. Because Daniel’s a runner and experienced, he can really put you in the right shoes. If someone has a knee problem or ankle problem he can help them find the right fit. You have a professor that you can go talk to. Not just a salesman at a box store, that sells you the best for their business, but a guy that really wants to put you in the perfect shoe.”

Brass is certainly excited that the store has excelled in its first year, but he’s more passionate about supporting local runners and seeing and hearing about their success. “During the Marathon this past weekend, I was standing with my Mom along the race route. I was able to cheer on 30-40 different runners by name as they went by, friends and customers. It’s really nice when they come back into the store and tell me about how they did in a race.”

Helping others become comfortable as a runner, offering advice, and acting as a central hub for the local running community, this is Daniel Brass’s passion. It’s evident when you speak with him that he’s there for you, that he wants you to succeed. Because of this, Black Dog Running Company on Hwy 501 has found its own share of success.

Find them online at http://www.blackdogrunning.com/

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