Ken and Janae Richardson are not a couple to take things slowly. The two accomplished runners not only work in a field that is their passion – fitness, outdoors and running – they aren’t afraid to keep trying new things and adding to their business. This is the case with the Utah Running Shop, formerly Peak Performance, a local running store located at 1895 South Washington Blvd. (directly west of Slackwater). It is the only locally owned running store in the area.
But the brick and mortar shop only adds to an already successful brand the couple created in 2009 – UtahRunning.com. The idea behind UtahRunning.com blossomed after the couple ran into an old college friend at a local 5K. They talked about how they would be doing a race the next weekend in Davis County. Excited to see their friends the next week, they never saw them because there were two races in Davis County that day. They then realized it would be a great resource to have a comprehensive list of races going on in Utah and also provide other resources on running.
“Running had impacted our lives in such a positive way and we wanted to share our passion for running with others. UtahRunning.com became a channel to do this. So, we built a website full of quality blog articles and running resources,” Janae said. Since that time, they have added an Elite Racing Team and a statewide running cub called Utah Running Club to help support all runners.
When Ken and Janae started UtahRunning in 2009, Ken was still at his day job at Hill Air Force Base, but Ken wanted something more and the chance to be rewarded for his skills, hard work and ambition. It also looked like his job would require them to move out of state and the Ogden community they had grown to love.
By 2012 another new entrepreneurial opportunity presented itself for Ken to jump on board with the color run craze. They started another company called FundRacer and Ken quit his job to travel the U.S. and put on The Color In Motion 5K. That too quickly became a family business.
“I worked alongside Ken as our kids ran the courses and got covered in color,” Janae said. They enjoyed watching people enter into the world of running by doing a fun 5K and have since added other 5k’s to their business. They now have several race brands: The Great Inflatable Race, The Halloween Half and The Layton Classic 10K, 5K, 3K.
“We currently have 70+ races planned across the U.S. for 2019, along with some other events for which we provide marketing and other event support. We also now have an awesome office staff of 15 and a couple of traveling teams that make all of this possible. We are truly grateful for them,” Janae said. They also own Westwood Sunglasses and a registration software called RegisterMyRace.
“Everything we do is centered around our passion for health and the outdoors and business channels that provide this opportunity to share with others,” Janae said.
So why take over another project with the Utah Running Shop? When the previous owners of Peak Performance reached out to Ken and Janae last summer, they saw a chance to strengthen the local running community.
It made even more sense when they found another Ogden native to help run the store – Ben Van Beekum. Van Beekum, a large part of the Ogden running community, has been a perfect fit. The store is already open and going, but they have gradually been making changes and making it their own. The grand opening was March 1 and 2.
“We’ve been working really hard since the purchase of the store on January 1st to enhance the look and feel of the business and to build accounts with multiple shoe and product brands,” Janae said. They have repainted the inside to match the UtahRunning colors and new signage is on the way. They are adding some other elements to give it the “Ogden vibe.”
The couple is busy and their three children are a big part of everything they do, but for them it is worth it. “It can often not seem like work because we are doing what we love!” Janae said.