Spotlight on Specialty presented by Saucony features Medved Running and Walking Outfitters

Welcome to the third in our series of articles showcasing specialty run and outdoor retail stores focusing on their commitment to trail running through their in-store programs, brand inclusion, events and more. Spotlight on Specialty is presented by Saucony.

Medved Running and Walking Outfitters is located in Rochester, the third largest city in New York. Centered on the High Falls of the Genesee River near its outlet into Lake Ontario, Rochester has been a hub for industry, transportation and innovation since its founding in 1788. The Erie Canal put Rochester on the road to the West in 1823 and shortly after it became the largest flour producing city in the United States. Later in the century, Bausch & Lomb and the Eastman Kodak Company were founded in the city, both going on to become innovators and global brands operating up to the present day.

The trails of Mendon Ponds Park flow over glacial features formed at the end of the last ice age.

Currently, Rochester is a mecca for trail running in the region with destinations like the Crescent Trails, Mendon Ponds Park and the Webster Trails as local go-to favorites. This strong trail running community has been supported by Medved for 35 years.

Rochester native and ATRA Director of Marketing Richard Bolt had a conversation with Medved General Manager Mort Nace about what makes his store a great destination for trail runners.

ATRA member race Twisted Branch Ultra. Photo courtesy of Medved Running and Walking.

[Richard] Tell us about some of the trail running programs you offer through your store.

[Mort] We like to think we work hard at our trail running business, and supporting our off-road running community through our events and training programs. Here’s a sampling of what we offer.

Medved Madness 15 Mile Trail Race and Relay – Three person teams and solo racers complete three different courses, each starting and finishing at the same location. Our spring tradition includes a chicken barbecue and local craft brew, and 2020 will celebrate our fourteenth edition.

Learning the Trails Training Program – Every spring our staff educates runners new to trail running through all they need to know to become comfortable running trails on their own and better enjoy the experience. Topics include, but are not limited to: choosing a trail, gear – both necessary and optional, running over/through obstacles, training on hills, races and trail etiquette.

Voices from the trail podcast recorded in the store.

Voices from the Trail – Each spring we invite our community to the shop to listen and participate in a night of story telling, led by a panel I assemble. Voices is moderated by local Chris O’Brien of the Running Inside Out Podcast.

Winter Racing Team – We don’t believe in hibernating much around here, we offer our winter training team to provide an opportunity for runners looking for others to train with regardless of what winter throws at us. When there’s enough snow we snowshoe race! We frequently travel to races throughout the region, always some of our favorite road trips.

Medved Endurance Project. Winter doesn’t slow down trail runners in Rochester.

[Richard] How have you showcased trail-running brands and products in your store?

[Mort] We offer free, weekly Wednesday Night Trail Runs for most of the year – from the first week of April into October. We frequently partner with our trail vendors to demo product at these runs, shoes in particular. In the shop we work hard at providing a strong selection of gear trail runners might need from head to toe, for whatever distance/challenge they have planned.

[Richard] What is one positive lesson learned from integrating trail running programs into your store.

[Mort] The contagious enthusiasm trail runners have is magic, the stories and great examples of runners overcoming what they’re comfortable with is a big reason to be in this industry.

Need hydration for the trail? Medved has you covered!

[Richard] What advice do you have for other store owners who have yet to feature trail.

[Mort] It has to fit the culture of your store in order for it to work. My staff’s enthusiasm for trail running shines and as a result our guidance is trusted. Get behind a few trail events, races are always a bigger draw for us over group runs.

[Richard] Can you share three tips for individuals considering getting into trail running?

[Mort] Yes, here you go: (1) This is different than road running, expectations might need a reset. (2) Tell someone where you’re running or better yet, run with partners. (3) Fast forward to race situations – the person in front of you might not have followed the correct path.

Medved Madness has the mud you need. Photo courtesy of Medved Running and Walking.

[Richard] Has the percentage of sales geared to trail increased at your store over the past three to five years?

[Mort] We’ve seen increases and we work hard to expose new runners to the trails and we’ve partnered with several races of different distances from 5K to 100 miles.

[Richard] Can you name a couple trail running races supported by the store?

[Mort] Oh yeah, tons. Here’s a list:

Mort Nace in front of the store. Medved has been in the same location for 35 years.

We also have some non-racing trail running events supported through the store including:

Medved Wednesday Night Trail Runs – These runs are up to an hour long and are on a different trail system each week, starting the first week of April through the first week of October. All speeds are welcome and no one gets left behind.

Black Friday Trail Run – This is another hour-long run providing an opportunity to burn off holiday calories and give back……and we have a food drive as well!

Medved Madness trail race action!

Medved Running and Walking Outfitters Contact Information:

Store Location: 3400 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618
Phone: 585-248-3420
Years in Business: 35
Owner: Dan Medved
General Manager: Mort Nace
Strava Club:
Facebook page: @MedvedRunningAndWalkingOutfitters
Instagram: @medvedrun
Twitter: @MedvedRunWalk

Downtown Rochester viewed from the trails of Cobbs Hill Park.