About Runner’s Corner
When Hawk Harper, then a 230 pound multi-sport athlete and weightlifter, ran the Las Vegas Marathon on a dare, he had no idea that although he had exceled in a number of sports, running would become his passion. His love for running led him to risk everything in order to help runners everywhere be successful.
Early History of the Store
In 1991, 6 Sojourners Running Club Members decided to start a small running store just north of Cougar Stadium on Canyon Road in Provo. The store was located in a 14 by 14 foot corner (thus the name) of a co-op business owned by one of the other members of the club. Everyone put in an equal share of $500 to start the store and each was expected to work one day a week for free in order to build the business. The business was based on the love of the sport these runners had and through their enthusiasm, eventually came to occupy most of the building.
After several years, deficits and faster growth than finances could provide, forced all of the partners to absorb the losses and walk away or try and stick it out. At that time, several of the partners either moved or decided to opt out leaving the remaining partners with a very big decision. It was then that the lease on the Provo store ran out and the current location in Orem became available. A decision to move the store, consolidate bills on a 2nd mortgage and sell the business was made. As luck would have it, the sale fell through and the owners were forced to try and make a go of it or lose money that they didn’t think they could afford to lose. That was in the spring of 1995 and it was at this time that Cheryl and Hawk Harper officially became the sole owners of Runner’s Corner.
After several years of hiring managers and working part time (and still losing money) while Hawk worked his real job full time, a decision was made to have the family attempt to manage the store themselves and devote real time to what they lived and loved, and that was running. They decided to risk all they owned in this world and devote every last bit of energy to what they loved. Cheryl became the bookkeeper, accountant, and office manager. Golden (Hawk and Cheryl’s oldest son), who started working at age 10, became the first and only employee to be paid on the bonus system and would regularly outperform his older salaried employees. Eventually daughter Amber started working and acquired quite a following. Daughter Krystal now works in the store as well.
Between Cheryl and Hawk’s St. George Marathon victories, Cheryl’s five Olympic Marathon Trials qualifications and Utah State Marathon Record, Golden, Amber, and Krystal’s State Cross Country and Track titles as well as several National Championships in USA T&F and youngest daughter Summer’s two National XC All-American honors it is no wonder the store slogan is appropriately “Where the Run Begins.”