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Kris' passion for running and biking has always been a part of her life since she was a little girl growing up in rural Swisher, IA. Kris became much more involved with running when her youngest son was looking for a running buddy when he started running cross country in school. Kris has run many different events throughout the Midwest and recently just completed her first 50 mile run in Ohio. All the while, the half marathon has still remained her favorite distance. The passion doesn't end with running, as biking is a big part of Kris' outdoor activities along with kayaking and even an occasional trail run. Owning We Run LLC with husband (Brian Tharp) has enabled Kris to give back to her local communities and help several other charitable organizations through special events and fundraising.
Fitness Sports Running & Walking shoe store was started in 2016 and is an Iowa based shoe store focused on customer service and supporting the community. Fitness Sports has established themselves as the longest running athletic store with opening in 1984. To find out more about Fitness Sports HERE.
Brian took up running during his weight loss efforts which has amounted to a total weight loss of 200 lbs to date. Brian went from running his first 5K in 2009 to running several events ranging from 5K to 100K distances. Two of Brian's biggest running accomplishments to date are completing THE BOSTON MARATHON and his favorite and most challenging event, THE KETTLE MORAINE 100K. Owning We Run has given Brian a chance to share his love and passion for a healthier lifestyle with others in a positive and motivational way.
We take a lot of pride in being a part of our community. Our North Liberty Fitness Sports crew has had the honor of becoming a part of many lives in the area and looks forward to many years to come. Thank you from our entire crew for allowing us to be a part of such a great community in
North Liberty, IA.
We are extremely excited to watch our family business grow and have the opportunity to expand into the wonderful city of Cedar Rapids, IA. We opened our Cedar Rapids location on February 14th, 2017 and hope you come see what makes Fitness Sports and the We Run CR crew special. Brian and Kris are very excited to be a part of the Cedar Rapids Community and are looking forward to serving you for many years to come.
I want to share a little about myself (Brian Tharp), my story and connection to this great sport of running, which will hopefully allow you to see how “We Run” is more than just a shoe store. I’m confident that “We Run” will be something special changing lives for years to come.
From the time I graduated high school until 2008 I struggled with my weight and lost the battle to the tune of 403lbs. While my wife and her friends were enjoying the run, I was the heavy guy, making my way to the finish line to take pictures holding a Coke in one hand and bag of donuts in the other. Even though I was so big I could barely walk to the finish line to snap the pictures, not once did any runner say anything negative or make me feel out of place. I thank them even today for their kindness.
Anyway I was able to justify all that by making excuses to myself and everyone else, especially my wife Kris. Excuses came easy for me like, my knees hurt or my back was bad, trust me if there was an excuse not to do it, I perfected it.
In 2008 something terrible happened in Cedar Rapids that we’ll all remember for a life time. Cedar Rapids and some of our neighboring communities experienced a flood that literally destroyed our city, scores of homes and businesses destroyed.
My memories of this event are different than most as it changed my life for the better and I give thanks every day. During that terrible event I was the President of Janda Motor Services, an electric motor repair shop in Cedar Rapids. As I’m sure you know water and electricity don’t mix and we were busy working around the clock seven days a week. I felt the need to help my guys in the shop to get the city and local businesses back up and running. I couldn’t get it done, after only half of a day I was exhausted and so embarrassed that at the age of 36 I didn’t even have 4 hours of work in me, at that moment my life changed forever.
Kris and I developed a nutrition plan and I started exercising on a regular basis. It wasn’t long until I started feeling better, even though it was just a few pounds I could tell a huge difference in how I felt. At this point I was strictly walking and riding a bike. I was just too weak and too heavy to run. A year goes by and I have dropped a 100 lbs and ready to lose more, but it is just not coming off. Scared to death and knowing what Kris was going to tell me I asked anyway and of course I got the response I expected “come run with us”.
My commitment to my fitness goals over powered my fear of running, so run I did and 3 years later I was running my first Half Marathon. As of today, I have completed several Half Marathons, Full Marathons Including the Boston Marathon in 2016, along with a hand full of Ultras, which peaked out at 100K. It didn’t happen overnight of course, I had my struggles and minor pains along with a few setbacks, but I stuck to it step by step and my life will never be the same.
Over the course of the next few years I had dropped another 70 Lbs and felt great, the love and passion I had and still have for running is incredible, it changed my life and gave me a second chance.
I want to share this wonderful sport with everyone and I want to help anyone that wants to feel better and meet their fitness goals, not to mention meeting all the wonderful people associated with this terrific sport of running.
In 2011 Kris and I decided to do just that we established and started working on our dream We Run LLC.
“Put your heart into it” ~Brian Tharp