Gold Country Run + Sports Assistant Manager Paulo Medina and co-owners Leon Shahinian and Donn Cox, left to right, help runners find their perfect gear to perfect their strides. Village Life photo by Pat Dollins


Partners run with healthy business idea

By From page A6 | January 08, 2014

Local runners have a right to feel spoiled since Gold Country Run + Sport opened its doors last November.

“I’ve been a runner my entire life and have lived in El Dorado Hills for the past 10 years,” said Leon Shahinian, manager and part-owner at Gold Country Run + Sport. “I and my friend and co-owner, Donn Cox, talked a while back and felt strongly that El Dorado Hills was crying out for a running-specific store. The more research we did, the more convinced we became.”

Gold Country Run + Sport sells the best line and selection of both road and trail running footwear and performance apparel as well as running accessories. Brands carried include Asics, Brooks, Mizuno, New Balance, Newton, Pearl Izumi, Salomon, Saucony and more. The store also offers apparel by Lucy and Oiselle, two great brands of running and yoga wear.

The biggest difference between Gold Country Run + Sport and any other local running stores, though, is its free video gait analysis.

“Every runner has her or her own body mechanics and gait, and it’s really important to be fit in proper footwear and apparel based on those factors, otherwise you’re asking for an injury,” said Shahinian.

Gold Country Run + Sport offers a free comprehensive shoe-fitting program. Trained employees videotape customers walking and running around or on the store’s treadmill. Employees play back this video frame by frame and analyze how the foot is hitting the ground and to what extent a person’s arch is providing support. Based on this, they can then make shoe recommendations that will help keep runners comfortable and injury-free.

Another important part of running is nutrition. Gold Country Run + Sport offers nutrition bar samples and customers can purchase the latest and greatest in sport-specific energy foods and drink. The store has also been designed with parents and small children in mind; it includes a Kids Zone where children can watch TV, play and color while mom and dad look around.

“Don and I really share a passion for creating a place where runners can feel at home,” said Shahinian.

Interesting to note is that Gold Country Run + Sport is located directly across from Town Center Bike & Tri. Shahinian said this is on purpose and, as the tri shop primarily covers cycling and swimming, he and Cox don’t see it as a competitor but look forward to collaborating with them on events in the future. Starting this month, Gold Country Run + Sport is organizing “Fun Runs” from the store on Sunday mornings with plans to increase these events to two to three runs per week.

“Our mission is to inspire people in the community to live healthy, active lifestyles. If we can do that, I think the business side of things will take care of itself,” Shahinian explained. “Also, we’re here for runners of all abilities. Whether you’re an elite runner or just starting out, we’re here to ensure that our customers are fit to their needs.”

Although the store has been open for more than a month, the official grand opening is yet to come. On Jan. 25 from noon to 4 p.m. Gold Country Run + Sport invites community members to come by for great music, food, drinks and in-store promotions.

“Our goal is to offer a warm welcoming environment where we treat customers as friends and offer the best products on the market. It doesn’t get much better than that,” Shahinian said.

Gold Country Run + Sport is located at 4370 Town Center Blvd., Suite 150, in El Dorado Hills. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. For more information visit or “Like” Gold Country Run + Sport on Facebook.

Jessica Cyphers


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