omething special – and very entertaining – will be taking place at the end of the Education Sessions on Day One of The Running Event 2023. For the first time the four finalists – yet to be revealed – for the 2023 Store of the Year will be part of a panel presentation that will seek to find out the secret sauce that makes them so darn special.
Even better, the session will be moderated by self-described Comedian, Content Creator and Runner Laura Green, who will seek to bring out the best – or at least the fun – in the four finalists who will be honored at the Best Running Stores ceremony two days later on the final day of TRE23.
Check out online Laura Green at
lauramcgreen.com and, better yet, attend the Best Running Stores session at 5:30 on Tuesday, Nov. 29, in the Austin Convention Center. What an entertaining way to wrap up the Day One of education at TRE23.
To get an idea of just who Green is, Running Insight took a virtual run to find out what she finds humorous in the business of running and where she gets her own inspiration.
First, give us the “elevator pitch” on Laura Green. Just what makes you tick?
Well the runner, the real runner, is Laura McCloskey (my maiden name) and she has been chasing her siblings since she was born. Being the middle child of five kids, I did everything I could to get attention and I tried really hard to be better than all of them. I think if we boil it down, that’s how I got here today. Begging for attention and being really loud.
Your website says you are “Comedian, Content Creator, Runner.” Which defines you best?
I make running videos on the internet in an attempt to bring the community together, because I’ve always noticed a large gap between the everyday runner and the professional runner. Humor has just been my preferred mode of transportation. Turns out we all start from the same starting line and we all laugh at the same stupid jokes.
What is your running routine?
If I don’t run in the morning, I don’t run at all. I’m not training for anything right now, which means I run three-to-six miles, about five days a week. I have also gotten very into lifting and Crossfit, which has been an incredibly fun, new challenge for me. I may not be getting faster, but my triceps look good. And frankly, that’s all I care about.
What are some of your running success stories — marathons, cool places, friends met?
I started my running career on the track, which gifted me my very best friends. Since then the race results of trail and road races have held zero weight on whether I define something a “success.” With my own two feet I’ve been privileged to run around the globe. How lucky am I? I’ve run in the Swiss Alps, down the dark, city streets of Kyoto to catch a bus at 4 a.m., and across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco more times than I can count. This sport has given me far more than I could ever repay.
What do you think about while you are running?
Skit ideas. Social interactions where I definitely said the wrong thing and made it super awkward, but didn’t correct it and even though it happened 12 years ago it’s still on my mind. Food I want to eat. Sometimes nothing.
Why is running the focus on your writing and humor?
I know the sport and the run industry culture better than I know anything else. I’m not sure it’s where I’ll stay forever — surely I’ll run out of material eventually, right?! But it’s a comfortable little niche for me right now.
Where do you find the humor in running?
If you observe anything close enough, you will find the humor. My favorite comedians are the ones who are able to make you laugh about the most mundane daily tasks we never think twice about. I like to think I’m channeling that energy when I write a skit about stretching or hydration.
Does the “business of running” compare to other topics you like to talk about?
It’s probably the area I love the most to make fun of, but also the place I need to be the most careful. The run industry as a whole is quite predictable at this point and the big brands have gotten so large, it’s fun to keep them humble and see who can have a good laugh at themselves.
Any good running jokes?
Does a good running joke exist? If it does, I don’t think I’ve heard it.
What feedback do you get – good and bad – from the brands or runners you mention in your writing/presentations?
From the brands and professional runners it’s either laughter and love … or silence. For the most part though, everyone has had a good time with it. I usually cut any joke I think is mean or insulting because the page really is G rated and just made for us to laugh at ourselves, not make anyone feel bad.
Our retail readers would like to know this: What would the perfect running store be like for you?
Oh wow. Great question. The perfect store would have a physical therapist on staff for gait analysis. A sample selection of the tabs/powders/gels so I can taste before I buy. A community area that has Normatec boots to rent, an espresso machine and a really easy way to donate lightly used gear and shoes (something that can be hard to find). Oh and everything is always 50 percent off. Utopia.
On a serious note, you are a proponent of increasing running safety for women runners. Why is that issue important so important to you and what can our readers do about it?
It’s something I think about nearly every morning when I’m sending a beacon to my husband at home. For me, yes, the lights and the sirens and the pepper spray are important. But the most important thing is openly having these conversations with the other people in your life, especially runners, who may not have the same experiences and concerns.
What’s that mean to you personally?
For me, it’s talking to my husband who never really considers his safety before leaving the house. As a white, tall, cis-gendered man he has had the privilege of moving through this world with ease. So by sharing what it’s like for someone not like him to also be out in the world running, it makes him a better ally in making sure others feel safe and keeping an eye out for situations that look sketchy.
Any examples of those situations?
Over the years I have been catcalled while out running and men not involved have observed and just run/walked right by me. Simply checking in with the woman, making sure she feels safe, asking her if she wants you to keep her company until they leave the area, can go a long way.
You will be moderating the Best Running Stores panel this year. What is the one most important question you want to ask them (other than “Can I get a free pair of sneakers?”)
I’m always interested to hear what people’s favorite brands are. And not just because of the quality of the shoe, but because what the brand stands for, what they have done for the community, the climate crisis and any other organizations people feel passionate about. It’s always interesting hearing what resonates with people from each brand and what is immediately written off as marketing and shallow attempts to sell shoes.
Will you be hanging around The Running Event for a few days to gather material for your next podcast or video? Would you want to include an interview with a highly-placed and well-respected magazine editor? (If so, we’ll try to find one for you.)
Yes! I’ll be around Monday through Thursday so I’m ready to meet as many people as possible and share a few laughs.
Finally, how is 2024 shaping up for you and what are your goals for the next year — in running, in comedy and in your life?
I organize my life in months of three so I have no idea what 2024 looks like. It helps me stay in the moment and enjoy this wild ride that I’m currently on. I would absolutely love to build my mileage this winter (fun fact: I hate summer running and can’t wait for the cold), but also have no burning desire to run a marathon. I love runners who can just run and not need a race and aspire to be one. Maybe 2024 is my year!
Let’s do the list thing ..
Favorite running shoe … Impossible decision. Right now the ASICS Superblast is on my foot the most often.
Favorite clothes to wear during a run … Three-quarter running tights with side pockets and a men’s large, long sleeve.
Running Playlist … Florence and The Machine on repeat for long runs. I can listen to her three hours and it puts me in a trance.
Favorite race … The North Face Endurance Challenges (they don’t happen anymore)
Favorite running store … A tie between San Francisco Running Company and Sports Basement Presidio (more outdoors store than run-specific, but that place fills me with joy).
Favorite (most interesting) runners … Emma Bates, Zach Miller, Athing Mu, Paddy O’Leary
Hardest thing about running … Getting out of bed.
Running plans for 2024 … I applied for Boston. If not that, then lots of 10Ks I won’t train for.