I’ve know Hector Arana for the last 15 years. When he told me he was about to open a running store I was supper exited for him. Hector has always been that person who goes after what he wants and doesn’t stop till he gets it. His passion for running makes me want to run all the time… Haha. See what iRun it’s all about…
Cobi Morales & Hector Arana
WIT: What inspired you to open the store?
HA: After 20 years being stuck in an office doing something I liked, my passion has always been running. It has been my son’s passion. Also my best friend who’s now my business partner Cobi Morales.
It was like an epiphany! From one day to the other I told my wife: “Babe I’m opening up a running store”. From an epiphany to something we wrote down in paper six months later, my dream came true… We opened a Specialty running store who is run by passionate runners who love what they do.
WIT: How did everything come together? Takes us from the first step…
HA: The first step was: getting the big shoe companies to give me their lines Asics, Brooks, Mizuno, Saucony, New Balance, etc. Once I got the commitment from them everything started falling into place.
I approached Asics first because they’ve been the number one selling running shoe brand in the United States for the last 10 years. It’s funny they were actually the first I approached. They were the first ones to give me the okay but were the last ones to give me their line…
It was amazing, they made me sweat it out till the last minute. A month before we opened we were approved.
WIT: Oh, wow… That must have been nerve racking…
WIT: I’m a new customer. I walk in. I think I want to start running. What do I do?
HA: We are a full service running store. We are all about personalized service. Most of the people who buy shoes are accustomed to going to the store and buying of the rack.
At iRun we offer a service in which we make sure everything fits properly. From your ankles, knees, arches, etc. We also do a running test. This will narrow down your footwear need to a stability shoe, moderate stability or neutral.
Once that process it’s done we start fitting you in to different shoes. It’s still amazing to me how when a customer finds the proper shoe they know it right away… They say: “This is it”.
WIT: It isn’t a sale. It’s a consultation to fit people into the proper shoe… Nice!
HA: Correct. 90% of the time the people who walk in a pick a shoe of the wall, it ends up being the wrong shoe for their running needs… Because people are used to going for color and style. We go for function. So it becomes function first then we narrow it down to color and style.
WIT: When customers come to the store, how long does it take for the consultation?
HA: It’s usually a 20 minute process. We start with a few questions. We find out if you’re starting to run for the first time, are you running currently or are you coming back from an injury and we go from that point. While you wait we offer you nice cold water or expresso… I mean we really cater to your running needs here…
WIT: Does iRun have a running club?
HA: Yes, we started a running club a few months after we opened. We are extremely exited to say that last monday we had 40 local runners. I get goose-bumps talking about it…
What we’re doing besides having great service to our clients, we’re also building the running community which doesn’t exist here in Miami right now. Everyone runs either way South or way North in Aventura. We’re centrally located so all the runner from our adjacent areas could come run with us: Belle Meade, Miami Shores, Mid-Town, Downtown and everyone else who’s passionate about running.
Little by little something that started with 8 runners now we are at more than 30 on Mondays. Now, we have started our fun run on Saturday. It takes place on the first and third Saturday of every month. Last week was our first one and 15 runners came out with us.
WIT: What’s in the future for iRun?
HA: First and for most it’s branding. We want everyone that talks about running needs, gate analysis, opinions, etc. Anything that has to do with running we want them to know we are here for them. We want everyone to understand how passionate we are about running and helping the running community…
We will put as many runners or people who want to start running in the correct functional shoes. We want runners to be out there injury free enjoying their passion…
WIT: I was at the store while both Cobi and Hector did a consultation. I was impressed by they way they treat their clients. Amazing service. Good Luck iRun! Word!
Enjoy some more images from the store:
5050 Biscayne BLVD
Miami FL, 33137