Marathon Runner Opens Athletics Store in Winona Lake

WINONA LAKE – Paula Deming has been running marathons and triathlons for years, but when she opens her own business next week she’ll be treading on new ground.
Deming, a former healthcare and orthopedic employee who has competed athletically since swimming in high school, will open Green Earth Multisport Monday in Winona Lake. The store will offer running shoes, swimwear, sports bras, sunglasses and other accessories – all reflecting her own athletic experience and interests.
“What brought me here was always wanting to own my own business, and what better way than to have a business for my passion,” Deming said Wednesday in her store at 807 E. Canal St. It’s a passion she wants to share with others, she added: “I want to help people find the right running shoe for their foot, their mechanics and for all ability levels, from novice to expert.”
She has been participating in Iron Man events and other runs across the country since 2009, after watching an event on TV and realizing it was something she wanted to do. She found that like those runs, starting a business also takes planning, training and dedication.
To prepare for Green Earth, she spoke with other area business owners and used the services of the Indiana Small Business Development Center to perform market analysis and develop a business plan. She also found that there is a need she can fill – there’s a large population of runners, cyclists and triathletes within 20 miles of Winona Lake, she said, but the closest specialty running stores are an hour away.
To decide what to offer, “I was put in touch with a company in Fort Wayne who helped me with which products in the area would be advantageous to carry,” she said, “as well as just looking at people and seeing what kinds of shoes they wear, when they’re running by or when I go to events. And by asking friends.”
She’s an authorized dealer for running shoe brands including Brooks, Saucony, Salomon and Zoot. Pairs range from $100 to $150, and their lifespan is measured in miles rather than years or treadwear – the structure stays effective for about 200 to 300 miles, depending on the runner.
She received training from shoe companies on how to use a treadmill in the store for gait analysis, to determine the best shoe for someone.
“I learned to understand how people do what they do (when running) and how to correct it,” such as a natural habit to pronate, or roll the foot inward, with every step.
She plans to also use the store to host mentorships with local running groups, develop training plans and also as a starting point for runs. She said she could print maps for people from out of town showing the distances from the shop to nearby walking destinations.
“The goal is to be more than a place to buy a pair of shoes, but to put them in touch with the community surrounding them and help them achieve their goals,” Deming said.
Her own goal is to keep participating in events while running the store – she’s signed up for a mini-marathon in Indianapolis in May and a full run in Sonoma, Calif., in July.
Running isn’t about how she places, she added: “My place is to finish. It’s the journey for me, having a date, an event, and working to that. I believe every person can get out there and do something as long as they have the correct plan and are working towards it.”
Green Earth Multisport’s hours will be  10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday. For more information visit or call 574-306-2004.

(Story By The Times Union)