Running is beautiful because it requires so little: a decent pair of shoes and some free time and away you go! However, the running world offers loads of bells and whistles to help a runner stay comfortable and (perhaps) get the most from their runs. Also: once some of us start running, we immediately get hooked. Hence the urge to purchase some products. From now until Christmas, iRun editors, running shop owners and iRunNation tell us what they want this year for the holidays—move quick, us runners sure do.
Store: BlackToe Running
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Maya Anderson, Co-Founder and Co-Owner
Holiday Pick: Arctic Tech 5-Panel Cap from ICNY
My choice for a great Holiday gift this year is the Arctic Tech 5-Panel Cap from ICNY, available in Toronto at BlackToe Running. ICNY is a company out of New York City that is Fashion AND Function Forward with funky 3M Reflective designs incorporated into all their athletic gear. I love the water resistant tech fabric on the exterior of the cap to protect you from the wind and rain/snow, while the cozy polar fleece lining in both the cap and the earflaps keeps you warm. The hits of reflective on the brim, seams and earflaps allow you to be seen no matter how dark it is outside. The bungee cord drawstring adjusts for a perfect fit, to ensure every bit of the nasty weather stays out. This cap makes a perfect gift for the winter runner!
What is your favourite thing about BlackToe Running?
The atmosphere of authenticity, friendliness and inclusiveness that we have created within the actual store. It has become part run community hangout, and part “go-to” place for experienced customer service.
How did you come to running? What brought you to the sport?
I was a track and field person in High School, more specifically high jump and sprints (100 m and 4x100m), so that was my actual start in running. I was always athletic throughout my 20’s and 30’s but really picked up regular running again in my 40’s (starting with 5k, then 10k, then half marathons).
What is your running mantra?
I don’t have one specific mantra, per se, but I do try to focus on relaxing my upper body and finding a steady cadence, with pace dependent on the type of workout I am doing. Being observant and enjoying the surroundings is key to the mental game, and is the reason that I want to only run outdoors. Treadmill running is definitely not for me!
What is your favourite running distance? Why?
My favourite distance these days is the distance from the couch to the fridge during one of my favourite TV shows – I’ve been struggling with some injuries of late. Seriously though, I do like a 5k race, although it is one of the hardest distances to race, as there is really no holding back, and you just need to go full-out the whole time.
What is your “desert island” running item?
Can’t live without a good pair of running shoes… and a good running bra! Both items should be properly fitted, and we take that seriously at BlackToe Running.