Voted one of the Top 50 running stores in the U.S. multiple times since opening in 2003, Running Zone has been serving the running and fitness community, primarily in Brevard County, for over 12 years as the leader in running, walking, fitness and multi-sport solutions. Don and Denise Piercy have organized numerous running and walking events in Brevard County since 2003 and have donated proceeds from these events to various nonprofit organizations. Their goal has been to promote exercise and fitness in the community, primarily through running, jogging, walking and related educational programs and publications.
“Our Running Zone Foundation’s charter is to promote and encourage health and fitness in our community through running, jogging, walking, related educational programs, and publications,” Denise Piercy said. “The foundation was established in the years between 2003 and 2009. With the purpose to promote exercise and fitness and to give back to local organizations. We have 14 events now.
“We have a seven-race series that is all 5K or less and very family oriented,” Piercy added. “We have free childcare, we have fun runs for kids, and give all the kids bags full of goodies at the end of the fun run we try to make it very affordable for a family.
“We also have our kids-only event, Long Dogger’s Kid’s Marathon and Half-Marathon, and then we have the Space Coast Marathon, which is our largest event. One of the newer events is the Space Coast Countdown to Fitness. We encourage any elementary and middle school student in the entire county, public or private, to create a team at their school. The students each get a t-shirt that says they’re in the program, they get a banner for their school and they also get four milestone awards per child. Every five miles they run they get an award, whether it’s a bag, or a rubber bracelet, or a gift certificate for a smoothie, it’s something that they get in their hands when they accomplish five miles. Over the 10 weeks they do 25.2 miles. This is a completely free program funded by our foundation. We had about 1,500 students last year, so it’s been doing well. Our participation level for all our events in 2016 was 21,119.”
In 2016, the foundation gave back $118,900 to the community. “We’ve done pretty good each year being able to give back to our community,” Piercy added. “Probably well over one million dollars since we started. In the Space Coast Marathon alone, we have 18 recipients so that’s our largest event,