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'We Run' gets a fast start

The 2008 flood that inundated communities across Eastern Iowa changed a lot of lives some for the worse but some for better. For Kris Tharp and her husband Brian Tharp, the flood was a lifesaver.

In 2008, my husband Brian weighed 400 pounds, Kris Tharp said.

As the manager and president of Janda Motor Services in Cedar Rapids, Brian Tharp asked his 130 person staff to stay during the flood and work mandatory overtime.

As a leader, it s good for you to stay and help too, but it was hard for him to stand for long periods of time, Kris Tharp said. That s when a light bulb went off in Brian. He thought, This is not the life I want to live.

Brian Tharp, who had been downing a Big Gulp with breakfast and lunch and eating three dinners, lost 80 pounds the first year through nutrition, and he lost 50 more pounds the next year with some light activity. The third year he signed up for an exercise class.

Today, Kris Tharp said, you are looking at a 193 pound man and the inspiration for her new North Liberty store, We Run.

Everything in our store is focused around and handpicked to help someone reach their goals, she said. Almost all of the products in our store have a story.womens asics gel cumulus

From the cushy fitness belt made specifically for people who ve lost weight like her husband to any of the more than 100 different shoe types, from Asics and Saucony to less known brands like Newton, which claims to incorporate action and reaction technology.

It s highly likely we will have a shoe that fits you and will help you reach your goals," Tharp said.

To make sure, the store offers a gait analysis. A customer runs on a treadmill in the store while a camera snaps 1,000 pictures a minute of a person s running gait. The images are slowed down to show leg mechanics and allow for analysis.

We Run opened on March 25 Tharp s 46th birthday after the couple did their homework of the North Liberty running market. There are the larger sports stores, like Scheels, but there is only one other specialty running store.

And, Tharp said, the response has been surprising.

We closed the books last night for April, and it was three times better than our projected business plan.

And the Tharp family including their three children is promoting the store and its shoes nearly every weekend by participating in local runs and half marathons.

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