Two locations: Ridgefield Running, Ridgefield, CT; Darien Running, Darien, CT 

Key Personnel: Megan Searfoss, Owner and Founder; Kristina MicKool, Controller; Casey Muminovic, Marketing Manager; Nancy Barlow, Events and Training Manager; Cat Granskog, Accessories Buyer; Jenn Collias, Medical Outreach/Manager; Shirley Wittner, Special Orders/Manager

History: Ridgefield Running Company, a woman-led company, opened in 2014 and Darien Running opened during the pandemic in 2020. Its focus is to “meet the forward movement of the consumer where they are, whether it is running, walking or simply to be comfortable.” 

In Their Words: “The RRC/DRC team continues to push innovation and technology while always offering a welcome smile, great conversation and a personalized fit process. The “Not a Runner” Community has realized that we are welcoming to everyone that walks through our doors. From initial FIT scans to checking out, our process moves away from a transactional experience to a relationship. There is no stand-behind cash wrap or line to wait in — we take care of the customer at the fit bench. Ridgefield Running also made great efforts to have stock available during the supply chain crisis to  serve our customers.” 

Their Local Running Community: “With more than 20 community welcoming events per month, our community looks forward to our monthly calendar. From Trail Runs to the Turkey Transit (we run frozen turkeys to the Open Door Shelter for Thanksgiving), we provide opportunity to all of our athletes to engage with brands, give back to the community and have a social experience. We host five races annually, but it is our partnerships with nonprofits and  community organizations that our community loves the most. This year, we hosted Run X Art, a partnership with On Running that brought together The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and our community to bring  awareness to 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone. We continue to try to find runners where they are by donating shoes to a cross-country high school team each year in Bridgeport, CT, an impoverished city where most kids are running in inappropriate running shoes.”  

What the Award Means to Them: “This award is incredibly important to the entire RRC/DRC Team and, equally, to our community. While we are their biggest cheerleaders, they have become ours, it’s truly a team effort. To our team it is acknowledgement that what they do daily is being recognized by the industry.

Advice to Retailers: “I’ll throw all the props to my team, their execution on my vision is incredible, and then they typically further improve on what is laid out. Finding people that believe the same way that you do — that there is relevance in being a quality human that makes the work environment a great place to be. When the team understands  this, the customers come in.”