Hitting the Pavement: Southern Runner finds new owners and a new home on Oak Street.
Southern Runner has been the premier running store in New Orleans since it first opened in 1982. And when the original owners recently decided to retire, locals Andy Dickhut and Stephanie Hankins decided to take over ownership and operation. “[Southern Runner] stood the test of time by offering great running gear and being heavily involved in the New Orleans running community,” Dickhut says. “We thought it would be a shame to let such a great tradition end, so we approached the owners and asked if they would be willing to pass the baton to us. To our delight, they agreed and we took over operations in November 2015.”
At the time that Dickhut and Hankins became the new owners, they chose to move the store’s location from its location on Magazine Street to a new spot on Oak Street in the Carrollton neighborhood. “Oak Street was our top choice given the vibrant retail shops in the area,” Hankins says, “Oak is experiencing a major growth spurt with the addition of new condos and retail, so it seemed like a perfect fit. It’s also positioned along a major running corridor between the levee running trail and Carrolton Avenue.”
As always, Southern Runner carries all of the major brands that runners expect — including Asics, Adidas, Brooks, Mizuno, Nike and New Balance — as well as new brands that are becoming popular, such as Altra, Hoka, ON and Under Armour. The best part of the shopping experience however is the personalized approach that Southern Runner offers its customers.
“We examine the customers running style, and determine what type of cushion and support needs they have,” Dickhut says. “We do this by closely examining the customer’s unique foot motion, using advanced video gait analysis software that can compare up to four different pairs of shoes to help us zero in on the perfect pair [of shoes] to match their running style.”
In addition to a new location, Southern Runner also is ramping up its involvement in community running events. Expect to see the store’s presence all over the NOLA running scene. “We also host a weekly run group at 6:30 p.m. every Thursday,” Hankins says. “All ages and paces are welcome to join. The biggest news, however, is the launch of our new online store. Customers can now shop online for running shoes. We even make same-day deliveries in New Orleans.” 8123 Oak St., (504) 891-9999, southernrunner.com
Pedal to the Metal: New bike racks are welcome fixtures along the Lafitte Greenway.
If you haven’t noticed, we love our bikes here in New Orleans. With groups such as NOLA Social Ride and others making bike riding even more fun, there’s really no reason to hop in your car to get across town. And now the City of New Orleans, Friends of Lafitte Greenway and the Young Leadership Council have partnered together to install 28 bicycle racks along the new Lafitte Greenway shared-use trail.
Funds from a Friends of Lafitte Greenway fundraising drive provided the needed financial support for Young Leadership Council’s Where Ya’ Rack? project. The project, which started in 2008, provides convenient, secure bicycle parking throughout the Greater New Orleans area. The mission of the project is to encourage bicycling as an environmentally friendly and healthy option for commuting, short trips and errands.
Opened in Nov. 2015, the Lafitte Greenway is a linear park and trail connecting the French Quarter, Treme, Mid-City and Lakeview. The recent bike rack installation included new racks at seven different locations along the Greenway, including at the intersections of N. Carrollton Avenue, N. Pierce Street, N. Jefferson Davis Parkway, N. Broad Street, N. Galvez Street, N. Claiborne Avenue and N. Villere Street.
“Providing bike racks promotes healthy living and economic development along the Lafitte Greenway,” says Sophie Harris, executive director of the Friends of Lafitte Greenway. “Over 600 people use the Greenway daily. These quality bike racks encourage folks to use their bikes to visit the local businesses, parks and playgrounds along the Greenway.”
To date, Where Ya’ Rack has installed more than 400 bike racks in Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes. Fundraising efforts continue with the goal of providing at least 30 more bike racks in the coming months. whereyarack.org
Maria’s Pick — An Afternoon on Oak: Get your yoga on at Oak Street Yoga.
Now that the weather is absolutely perfect in the Crescent City, it’s the perfect time to get out and get active! So strap on those running shoes or bike over to Oak Street for some much needed stretching at Oak Street Yoga. Although this studio has been around for a few years (it opened in Oct. 2013), it’s one of the premier yoga studios in the city. The gorgeous studio focuses on Bikram yoga (or hot yoga), and it features climate and humidity control; fresh, bacteria-free air flow; and stunning interior design. And, if you prefer other styles of yoga, Oak Street Yoga also offers other classes, such as warm vinyasa and warm yin. “This is the place to go in New Orleans for a fun, challenging and exciting workout,” says Maria Muro, publisher of New Orleans Living. “Prepare to stretch, sweat and smile!” 8338 Oak St., (504) 342-2743, oakstreetyoga.com