TC Running Company, a running specialty store with locations in Eden Prairie and Maple Grove, Minnesota, is a good friend of Fitsok; they’re one of our oldest retail partners, the closest shop to our Chanhassen headquarters, and one of the very best run specialty stores in the state (or the country, or the world, if you ask the staff or any of their very loyal customers). At the heart of TCRC is their General Manager, Kurt Decker. Decker not only loves running – he has around 50 ultramarathon finishes to his name, plus several marathons and on down – but he is equally passionate about helping others enjoy the sport that has become his life’s work. We asked Decker about his favorite running memories, the highlights of two decades working in run specialty, and why his store carries Fitsok.
What is the best race you have ever run?
My favorite ultra would be Western States [he ran the 100-miler in 2003]; not only the race itself, but the terrain, organization, and history made it significant and fun. I would also say the 1996 Boston Marathon, which was the 100th edition – I felt like that was my first race where I ran a really good marathon, and my parents and grandparents were there. Sometimes there are things that make a race great besides just the race.
What is your favorite running memory, period?
There are way too many. [Running rim-to-rim-to-rim in] the Grand Canyon is an example – you’re moving your body through an amazing landscape, and in this case sharing it with my friends. That definitely ranks up there. Another is running the Voyageur 50 course with my friend Paul and the TC Running owner, Adam. It was a solo 50-miler and Adam had never run more than 26 miles in his life. In addition to those, I’ve had countless other runs where I’m sharing the road or the trail with friends, and that’s always the best.
What do you like about the Twin Cities running community?
I think this community is fast, yet very inclusive. And it’s wide-reaching. I also love how involved people are besides just running, in that people are volunteering at races, or with organizations like Girls on the Run, that sort of thing. I hear about how race directors have a hard time getting volunteers, but it’s not a problem here.
What makes TCRC – or Run Specialty in general – different?
Here, customers are going to get everything you want from a shopping experience – selection experience, and price – but you’ll also get a relationship that stretches beyond just that singular purchase. With TCRC, and run specialty on the whole, we want to have a relationship with people. Whether we’re selling them a 3-pack of Fitsok or a pair of shoes, we want to be part of their run.
Why does TCRC carry Fitsok?
A couple of reasons. First and foremost is they make amazing socks at a very great value. We also obviously appreciate the fact that they’re a Minnesota-based company, the same way we hope customers appreciate that we’re a local company. And I appreciate the service we get from them – any questions, concerns, or anything, they’re easy to get ahold of and work with. I’m not getting put on hold. That’s important because when you’re busy running a store you don’t have time to try and finagle all those things.