Run Moore didn’t let COVID-19 break tradition.
Every month since its 2014 opening, the Westminster, MD-based run specialty shop has hosted a pub run, a final-Thursday-of-the-month ritual that has grown from a handful of participants to more than 100 at times. After traversing a 3, 4 or 5.5-mile course, runners retreat to Johanssons, a nearby English-style pub for some post-run carousing.
“We’re in a rural area and people love to get out of their house and come into our charming downtown for a run, drinks and camaraderie,” Run Moore owner Steve Moore says, noting that 67 people turned out for Run Moore’s pre-coronavirus pub run on Feb. 27.
With federal social distancing guidelines in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, however, Moore was forced to cancel the pub run slated for March 26.
“I won’t lie,” Moore begins, “it was disappointing. The pub run is something I look forward to every month.”
As do others.
A pub run regular contacted Moore and suggested the store keep its pub run streak alive – perhaps with an assist from technology. On March 24, Run Moore announced it was taking its pub run virtual, encouraging its customers to share a photo of themselves and their favorite post-run refreshment on Thursday, March 26.
“Hit the road, take a pic in your post-run glory with your beverage of choice and hit us up,” Run Moore directed customers on its social media channels.
While Moore thought he might see “10 or 15 people” participate, the photos poured into Run Moore’s Instagram, Facebook and Strava club page that Thursday. Customers shared well wishes alongside their IPAs, pilsners, sports drinks and chocolate milks, while Run Moore awarded a prize to the best picture – a photo from a husband-and-wife team who staged a pub scene with balloons playing the role of their fellow post-run revelers.
“It was a nice way for all of us to stay connected and positive rather than scared and depressed,” Moore says. “The last Thursday of the month: that’s our pub run date and we just kept it going.”
With Run Moore currently facing a shelter in place order and unable to offer even curbside pickup from its store, Moore says it’s even more important his team unleash creative offerings that keep the store top of mind and its customers engaged and motivated. This Saturday, in fact, Run Moore’s scheduled yoga run will go on as planned as well – albeit virtually like the pub run. Run Moore has invited runners to complete their normal jaunt in the morning before joining instructor Barb Langrall for a live yoga class at 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.
“Running activities are still happening,” Moore says. “We just need to tweak them for the climate