Tucked in a southwest suburb of Chicago is a running store 21-years in the making.
Mel Diab started his journey in the sport in high school before accepting a full ride for track and cross country at Bradley University in Peoria, IL. In 1997 he opened up Running for Kicks in an effort to help runners get into the right category of running shoes, rather than just picking shoes by color.
“It was very difficult in the early days,” Diab said. “ We were the first true running store in the southwest suburbs. Runners and walkers were just interested in fashion only.”
Today, the running community in Palos Heights has grown tremendously. The store consistently sees fifty runners weekly for their fun runs. The store also puts on the Southwest Half Marathon and 10K every year in May, which has raised $225,000 over the past 11 years for prostate cancer and special needs children.
“I’m proud to be a small business owner,” Diab said. “There thousands of small business owners in this great land. We are the driving force of this great country.”