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Hi-tech meets running at Hanson's in downtown



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Employee Jenny Scherer enjoys her time at work while she helps Tom Stockton figure out what running shoe is best suited for him. Photo by K.Crain (click for larger version)
July 20, 2011 - By Katelyn Crain

Intern for The Review

Run into Hanson's Running shop if you're in need of an active life-style.

Located on S. Broadway Street in downtown Lake Orion, Hanson's running shop does not only sell running shoes, but they offer the push some people need for an active life-style.

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Because each person has a unique foot shape, the best running shoe for each individual varies. Fortunately, Hanson's offers the help to figure out what is best for everyone.

"As a specialty running shop, figuring out the best shoe for an individual is a very important feature. Running shoes are very specific and there are different types of running shoes out there for different types of running gaits," Keith Hanson, co owner, said. "So depending on how a person runs, will determine what style of shoe works for them.

 "We have a machine that actually does a 3-D analysis of their foot that tells us their arch type and their pressure points. So that information will guide our employees, who are all runners, while they watch the person walk barefoot and then in the shoes to make sure the shoes are doing what they are suppose to and to make sure the person will stay healthy in that shoe."

Not only do the employees of Hanson's Running shop work to help individuals find the perfect shoe for them, they also offer a range of clothing and accessories to make running more convenient for people.

Hanson says the clothing is a big deal because it can help people feel more comfortable while they are exercising. They keep people dry and warm when it's cold out. They also offer track and field, as well as cross country spikes, water bottles and holders for various things people use while they run.

More helpful items they carry include a device that will measure a runner's distance ran, and heart monitors for people who are recovering from heart conditions.

Hanson's Running Shop of Lake Orion was opened in 2006 by brothers, Keith and Kevin Hanson. Before opening this store, they had previously opened running shops in three different locations, including Royal Oak, Utica, and Grosse Pointe. They have been in business for 20 years this year.

"We are just lifelong runners and it was something we wanted to do, so we opened our first store and it has gone fairly well for us since," Hanson said. "We are very fortunate that we have a business that is also our hobby and our passion. It's easy because work doesn't feel like work. We do something that people do in their free time- basically, our work is our play. And we are very fortunate in that respect."

Hanson's Running Shop also goes above and beyond to not only give people the push to become active, but the choice to set a routine. On the last Sunday of every month at 8 a.m., they offer an advanced running group. According to Hanson, this group will run about a nine mile loop and they start at the Lake Orion store front. Also, people who are not ready to go that far are able go a little bit shorter of distance.

On each Thursday at 6 p.m., Hanson's offer a beginner running group lead by Amy Liebleix, a Lake Orion resident. This group is set up for people that don't run much.

"They start out walking and build into a little bit of running. Amy has had great success getting people out there and getting people active. People that are maybe intimidated to obviously come to something like the Sunday run, which is much more advanced, would surely be more comfortable in a setting where some people have never run and they are just learning the basics to a whole new lifestyle," Hanson said. "Both groups are open to anyone interested in coming."

All in all, what is really important to the Hanson brothers is sharing their passion with the communities and individuals as much as they can.

 "We pride ourselves on getting people involved in an active lifestyle. Oftentimes people who are trying to change their lifestyle are maybe intimidated because they feel that our specialty running shop is only for the 'professional runners', the reality is the people who can benefit most from our store, are the people who are just getting into the sport," Hanson said. "I want people to feel comfortable about coming in and asking questions, there is no such thing as a silly question. We want to help people get active, whether it be a walking activity or a running program, whatever it is, we want to help people."

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