Avid Runner: Q&A with Erin Taylor of Go! Running

We have found that you can’t break central Arkansans from their running and it’s pretty evident with the Little Rock Marathon and tons of other runs throughout the year.

Someone you’ll probably find at most of these runs, helping in some way, is Go! Running co-owner and avid runner, Erin Taylor. The collegiate runner and her husband, Gary, have an inspired a new generation with their community running store and special events scheduled throughout the year aimed at fostering a love of running.

One of those special events is the Go! Mile run, coming up this Saturday, June 14, at Burns Park in North Little Rock, a fast little race for any level runner. It was featured recently in our fun run listing here!

We recently had the chance to visit with Erin about her extensive running background, what Go! Running means to the community, advice for those getting into the running world and other fun tidbits about her life. Read on to find out what she had to say!

Q: What piqued your interest in starting Go! Running with your husband?

A: Seems like we’ve been running our whole lives. We both ran crosscountry and track for the University of Arkansas. When something becomes a way of life for you, it’s never very far from the forefront of your mind. When we moved to Little Rock in 2000, Gary immediately entered the racing and running community. Loved the people. He ran, cycled, did triathlons, began coaching and continued to bring his passion deeper into our everyday life. Our kids (Reed, Jordan, Brendan and Kieran) were all pretty young then.

It was really his passion and desire that pulled the first business plans and mission together. We make a good team, however, and when our we opened the doors in 2010, we did it together.

Q: What makes your business so unique in Little Rock? 

A: By far, it’s our attitude and experience. Our passion. We’re proud to be called, “Your Community Running Store.” That was our mission and focus from the start. To be the place where all runners/walkers could come in and feel welcome– whether lacing up that first pair of running shoes and needing lots of advice and support, a place where you feel immediately comfortable and like family, where you can share your happy victories and where you can go for a hug or moral support. We both grew up around community running stores when we were young runners. Mine was The Running Den in Buffalo, N.Y. and Gary’s was Sweatshop in London. We never forgot the fun and family-type feel. We wanted to share that with people here in central Arkansas. You should come into Go! Running and feel immediately welcome. You come see us for help, advice and camaraderie and the knowledge we have from more than 25 years of running and a healthy lifestyle. We know it because we live it. It’s a lifelong passion. 

Q: You’ve also been in the advertising and marketing field for a long time. How do you think that plays a role in your business? 

A: I think it makes us good listeners. And when you understand your audience, you can provide the service, information, products or events that are important to them. Communication comes pretty naturally to me. I know how to write a headline and work with talented artists.  I have a vision for an event and our brand. It really fun to do what you love in your family business.

Q: What is your background in running?

A: Both Gary and I were scholarship athletes at the University of Arkansas– Go Hogs! I’ll never forget traveling with the team and doing the hog call in the Atlanta airport one season and suddenly hearing “Woo Pig Sooie” coming from all around. That’s when I knew I was where I belonged.  I was in love with cross country and Gary was a seriously talented miler. We ran all three seasons (cross-country, indoor and outdoor track) and most of our lifelong, best friends and “family” are runners.

Q: You are an inspiration for those interested in getting into running. What piece of advice would you those who are new to the running game?

A: Have fun with it. Take it slow. We all do! Get out there and walk first, then run. Start out with 20 minutes of exercise. But most importantly, get outside– take a deep breath, look around, listen to nature and enjoy your life and your health journey. You’ve got to like it to make it a part of your life. Then come see us at Go! Running and share your story. Join in a community run, like the one we have on Thursday nights at 6 p.m. Meet people. It can change your life.

Q: You have several events throughout the year, including your annual Go! Mile coming up June 14. How do you come up with these cool events and get so many involved?

A: Most of the events are because we had a passion for it and the community was asking about it. The Go! Mile was definitely a bit of both. Gary’s a sub 4 minute-miler– a speedster– and we really wanted people to experience and see how awesome this race is.  And the Thanksgiving Day Go!bbler is my favorite day of the year. You should see all the fantastic happy, happy people out there. It’s a free run– just come join us for a day of celebrating all we are thankful for and most especially, each other.  We have many others, too, like Diva Night and other events where we give back to very worthy causes, like NF, Access School, American Cancer, Camp Aldersgate, Our House and most recently, Medals4Mettle. My life and heart is full!

All About Erin

Q: What is your favorite route to run in and around Little Rock? 

A: I like to change it up. I love the Arkansas River Trail and Two Rivers Park– basically anywhere I can take my dog, Milo. We run and walk together every day. Recently, we were at the Pinnacle Mountain Visitor’s Center– lots of trail heads here. I really am a closet trail girl.  Don’t race them but sure do love them even though I can get turned around and a bit lost from time to time.

QWhat is your go-to pair of cross-trainers for your routine runs?

A: I run in four different pair of shoes now.  We do lots of product testing, so running and wearing our products every day is important. We sell what we love.  I wear Brooks Glycerin, Nike Lunar Glide, Asics Gel Nimbus and Mizuno Wave Creation, but I like my Saucony Kinvaras, too. It all depends on what I’m doing and where I’m going. Hokas for recovery are incredible. It’s hard to have a favorite “go-to”. I really like them all.

Q: Where will we find outside of running and running your business? 

A: I enjoy walking my dog, meeting my marketing clients out for coffee and at Fairfield Bay hiking the trails. I also like gardening, horseback riding, canoeing and writing. You’ll really see me and a great group of women called the gO! gO! girls volunteering at races and supporting other running endeavors like Medals4Mettle. 

Or, I’m watching my children and many other kids at races– that’s probably my passion, really. It’s remarkable what they are doing and accomplishing. I get so excited and tear up quite often from the pride of it all!

Get more information about the Go! Running store and the Go! Mile run here.

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