Grand Prarie View
by Jeff McSweeney
The novel, Grand Prairie View, evolves with each Peorian. We have been introduced to commercial real estate developers, a director of a non-profit, Rod Stewart and a host of others. I wish I could be more like them for their commitment to a cause, to their jobs and to Central Illinois.
But, who inspires you to follow them? Who commands such respect that anything they ask you to do would be a worthy cause? Sandy from Bloomington, a friend of mine’s mother and Sister Jackie are two such people if the phone rang right now I’d drop everything to make their request a mission.
Now, Grand Prairie View has such a pair of leading characters
Adam & Marie White are native to Central Illinois but have lived all over the country – she started in Morton, went to Chicago and came back in 1981 – he started off in Germantown Hills then Portland, Oregon then Boulder, Colorado before returning in 2001.
“Life is a marathon.
There are lots of surprises.
It is a test of endurance.”
In the mid-2000’s Adam was in a tough place in his life and remembered his most joyous moments were when he was running. He reconnected with Greg White (no relation) at Running Central on Main Street eventually purchasing the company in 2007. Adam sensed tremendous potential with the business recognizing the support of the Central Illinois Striders and the Steamboat Classic. During the summer of 2011 Adam moved the store from its longtime home on Main Street to Peoria Heights.
“The worst thing is life is to live with ‘what if’s.”
Neither one being late night bar people Adam and Marie were the victims of friends who encouraged them to go to the bar they would never visit past the time they wanted to be safe and snug at home. When they saw each other it was all over. They married in April of 2009 and moved to Washington in the autumn of 2013.
In the autumn of 2013 Running Central announced they were moving the store to 311 SW Water Street in the former Illinois Antique Center on the historic Peoria Riverfront. “This size stored dedicated to running is unprecedented!” exclaim Marie & Adam, “We believe in Peoria and the Warehouse District, doing something original, purchasing the building and investing in the build out.”
Their inspiration for the new store is a blend of Saks 5th Avenue meets a specialty run shop. “This is the next step to stay competitive with the internet,” according to Adam. We
“What happens in the walls must transcend the product.”
The move from Main Street to Peoria Heights focused on offering programming which has been extremely successful for Running Central. Likewise, the move from Peoria Heights to Water Street will expand on that programming. Running Central will expand its partnerships with professionals that augment the experience including yoga, a wellness center, visiting professionals, and a variety of coaching and running clinics.
“We see our success as an inspiration to be replicated.”
Beyond this immediate goal Marie and Adam want to inspire small business in Peoria and beyond to take the leap to fulfill one’s vision. The national speaker’s circuit is calling Adam, “Once I feel I have established successes I would be honored to share my passions.”