Coventry Runner is proud to be one of the few running specialist independent stores in the country. It was opened in December 2006 by a local husband and wife team Sandy & Vince Clisham, who wanted to make running and all of its benefits accessible to the growing population of recreational runners as well as those competing in track, field and road races. Appropriate footwear, clothing and accessories to suit all budgets proved running could be an inclusive and non-elite sport.
Only ever staffed by runners, the reputation of the store grew rapidly along with its wealth of advice and expertise. Adding video gait analysis, providing excellent customer service and collaborating with trusted local Physiotherapists, Sports Therapists and Chiropodists enabled a thorough and complete service for its customers.
Coventry Runner was therefore delighted to be awarded the honour of ‘Best New Venture’ in the Godiva Awards 2007 Business Awards Category, judged by a panel of industry experts in conjunction with Coventry University.
Continuing to forge strong relationships with local running clubs and supporting many local races brought about the solid sense of running community which Coventry Runner is so central to and is immensely proud of.
In October 2018 the Coventry Runner baton of ownership was handed over to former customer and local runner Anne-Marie Goodwin, who continues to passionately work closely with local runners, running & triathlon clubs and brands to ensure the local running scene remains an exciting and vibrant one for runners of all ages and abilities.
I first started running back in 2007, mainly on the treadmill and completing a couple of Race For Life 5k events. In 2008 I discovered the pleasure of running outdoors and started to run further and train more often. My first half marathon was the Silverstone Half in 2009, and after that I was bitten by the running bug (though as I crossed the finish line I did wonder how on earth do people run marathons, and swore that distance was not for me!).
However since then I have completed a total of 19 marathons, 75 half marathons, 262 parkruns and a 40 mile event called The Coventry Way … (stats correct as of 1st October 2019!). In 2011 myself and my husband joined Massey Ferguson Runners Club and it was one of the best things we ever did. By running with friends rather than training alone we have improved our running, enjoyed it a lot more, and have travelled across the UK and abroad as part of the Red & White Quarters. The most memorable of all trips being 14 of us going to Las Vegas for the Rock & Roll Marathon & Half Marathon in 2015.
Taking the exciting big leap into becoming the owner of Coventry Runner was driven by my passion for running and the desire to ensure the running community in Coventry continues to go from strength to strength. It’s so enjoyable to be able to talk about running every day, to speak to new people about events they are training for, to advise them on kit and hopefully help them enjoy their running as much as I do.
My whole life generally revolves around running, so any interests I have are usually related to that – such as travelling (for running events), or reading (about running). In the spare time I do have I enjoy watching embarrassingly rubbish TV programmes as well as soppy chick flicks, drinking the occasional glass of pink fizz, and looking after my lionhead bunny rabbit, Fluffy, who happily lives in our garden and manages to avoid all the running chat that goes on at home!
I have been running since 1983. A friend was running the London Marathon, and I thought it was madness! One evening I went for a run, just to see what it was like and that was the catalyst to start everything off. After 37 years, 16 marathons, 28 half marathons and in excess of 21,000 miles … I’m still running.
I used to enjoy running the Marathon, and have completed all 5 world marathon majors (unfortunately there are now 6). I still miss the long Sunday morning run with mates, having a chat, or more likely a moan! Injuries over the last few years have meant no marathons, but I now focus on half marathon distance and a regular Saturday morning parkrun.
After finishing the 2011 London marathon I was making my way out of the finish area and bumped into James Cracknell. I told him I had watched his recent trilogy of TV programmes and how he was an inspiration. He said “Thank you”, we shook hands and both headed off. It all happened so quickly that I didn’t even get chance to ask for a photograph!
My other interests outside of running are listening to music (but NOT whilst running), watching Leicester City Football Club and travelling … whenever I go away my running kit goes too.
I have worked at Coventry Runner now for nearly 4 years, and thoroughly enjoy it. After running for so many years, it’s rewarding being able to draw on my experience and knowledge to assist those new (and not so new) to the sport that I love.
I have been a runner in some shape or form for over 40 years, having started originally as part of a weekly training routine for when I was a football referee. I refereed up to the level below the Football League (called Contributory Leagues) and when I came off their panel having reached what was a ridiculously low age limit, became an FA Licensed Referee Observer – which I do now, assessing the ability of up and coming Referees.
Although I no longer need to train for Refereeing, I still run 2 or 3 times a week, but now purely for health, fitness … and enjoyment. I have run 12 or 15 half marathons, the Great North being my favourite and the photo of me here is taken prior to one of those. The whole family runs or has run, although I would have to say that I am not the quickest of us. My running claim to fame would probably be that I was at Junior School with Dave Moorcroft. One of us became the World Record holder at 10,000m ……. and one didn’t!
I have worked for Coventry Runner for nearly 4 years now and really enjoy my three days a week there, sharing running and football experiences with customers. Outside running I am also a season ticket holder at Blackpool FC, a school Governor and enjoy being with family and friends.
I started running as a sport about 10 years ago. I have had my fair share of stitches! My favourite time to train is Autumn as it isn’t too hot or cold and I like to run both cross-country and track. I am currently studying for my A-levels in Spanish, Maths and History. I have been running for Coventry Godiva Harriers since I was 11 years old and other members of my wider family run for different clubs around the country. Something funny that has happened to me whilst running is that during a cross country race I used new spikes that were too long for a non-muddy course and ended up running with what seemed like a whole forest on my feet for at least half of the race.
I have now been running since I was 7 so I have had my fair share of injuries in that time! My favourite time to train is winter, I love going out late at night or early in the morning when no one else is about and I have the roads to myself. My favourite races are cross country races as I love how changeable the courses are, it means I never get bored! One funny thing that’s happened to me at a race was that me and my brother saw Mo Farah. We decided to go over to him and get a selfie but I was so stunned when I got there that I just handed him my phone and he had to turn on the camera and take it himself! He looked at me as if I was mad but at least I still got my selfie! I joined Coventry Godiva Harriers when I was 8 along with my twin brother. We have stuck there ever since. Both of my parents are previous Massey Ferguson Running Club members (that’s actually where they met!) but are now both members of Godiva also.
I’ve been running for 11 years (competitively for 6) and I specialise in distances ranging from 1500 metres to 5000 metres.
During this time I have been lucky to race in several different locations, the furthest being in Brisbane, Australia.
But a more memorable running occasion happened a little closer to home when I bumped into Aston Merrygold (lead singer of former X Factor band JLS) when running through Cannon Park Shopping Centre on a dark, winter’s evening.
Away from running, I’m a lifelong fan of Coventry City, although this sometimes pains me to reveal, but I enjoy watching them when not racing.
When racing I represent Coventry Godiva Harriers, where I’ve been a member since 8 years old.
You’ll see me helping out in the background mostly on Saturday afternoons when the mighty Sky Blues aren’t playing, or possibly doing some general entertaining in the shop! I do love getting out on the roads and properly started in 2009 when I did my first half marathon at the famous Great North Run. Since then I have gone on to finish 90 half marathons, 26 marathons, and 300 parkruns. The fitness benefit from running is massive but the biggest bonus for me is the people I have met along the way – both at local and national races – and through being involved at my club Massey Ferguson RC. I always say the parkrun is about half hour of running and an hour of chatting with mates!. Myself and Anne-Marie love to run together, so much so we ran the New York Marathon for our honeymoon. The day before at the warm up New York 5k we even got to meet world record holder and marathon legend Paula Radcliffe for a pre race pep talk.