This post was originally found in the Beaufort Today on Wednesday November, 23, 2016
Whether they run to keep healthy or for pure enjoyment, a Lowcountry man is encouraging people to keep their feet pounding the pavement.
Ridgeland resident Tim Waz, 41, recently opened the doors to Grounded Running – with his own motto as the Beaufort store’s name.
“The tagline is: It’s easy to lose yourself, stay grounded,” Waz said. “It’s kind of a personal philosophy of mine.
“We want to make sure we’re doing what we want to do in our lives because we are truly passionate about it. Sometimes we get caught up in all of the drama of life. With Grounded Running, we wanted to keep your feet grounded and help people achieve their goals.”
Waz started a podcast called “Grounded Running” about a year ago for people interested in ultra runs, races that allow runners to log any distance farther than a marathon’s 26.2 miles.
A lifelong runner, Waz competed in high school and college and ran marathons at a fast pace before family life cut back on his running.
When he tried to re-enter the running world, Waz realized he was not as fast as he once was, so he took on the challenge of ultra runs.
This year he completed a 100-mile course in Alaska. He grabbed a tire and ran back and forth on the McTeer Bridge in preparation for the Alaska frontier.
“It was one of the most difficult runs because you had to drag all your gear behind you in a sled, a minimum of 35 pounds in safety gear because you’re in the middle of nowhere,” Waz said. “That was a fantastic experience.”
Waz still treasures his marathon days, especially after receiving the honor of participating in the prestigious Barkley Marathons in 2015.
“They only let 35 people worldwide run this per year. Since it was created in the 1980s, only 13 people have ever finished the race,” Waz said. “I was fortunate to get in 2015 and had an absolute miserable but wonderful experience while doing that.”
While he’s achieved many of his own running goals, Waz is now focused on helping others do the same.
Located off Parris Island Gateway, Grounded Running is the only running-specific shop providing Beaufort residents with gear and pointers on how to improve their style.
Kevin Green, a physical therapist assistant and partner at Carolina Sportscare and Physical Therapy, said the store will be a first-place stop for new runners to gain information.
“Many times our local running store can be the first place that people that are new to running will go to seek knowledge about the sport,” Green said. “Having a local running store, run by runners, is a tremendous benefit for them. From a physical therapist perspective, it’s important that our local providers know where to refer runners to for assistance with conditions associated with their running that causes pain.”
Customers can take advantage of Waz’s expertise by going through a three-step “YouFit” process.
“We sit down with them and ask them about their medical history,” Waz said. “We constantly hear that running is bad for your knees or you will injure your back, but we focus on good form running so more people can run longer.”
After a brief chat about medical history, a gait analysis puts the customer on the store’s treadmill to see in slow motion how he or she actually runs. From there, Waz can better understand how the feet are striking, their cadence and bio-mechanics.
Once the customer has the best shoe to fit their goals, Waz discusses their posture and lean, which should take place at the ankles and not the hips.“If someone does all those things, they can run a lot further and longer and faster,” he said. “Our goal is to provide all the top brands, but also ensure we are giving back to the running community to keep them healthy and keep them doing what they love to do.”
With many fads in running, Green said having store owners who are runners like Waz and his wife, Holly, is a great thing for area runners.
Grounded Running offers group runs starting at 7 a.m. Saturdays. Runners will meet at the store or other places around Beaufort.
There are also mid-week track workouts and a fun run, where participants meet at Fat Patties, run and then enjoy each other’s company afterward at the restaurant.
For more information, find Grounded Running Beaufort on Facebook, go to www.groundedrunning.com or call 843-986-4523.
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