The Valley Running Company was founded in the Summer of 2017. The Wyoming Valley has long boasted a thriving local running and walking community. It deserves its own running specialty shop and we are so excited and honored to fill that void. Every single one of our customers will experience a personalized, unique, rewarding and efficient shopping experience. Our team is well-trained to fit for running shoes, whether they will be used for running, walking, or work. If you have the time for it and would like, we’ll conduct a gait analysis. This is helpful to observe how long you stay in the pronation and supination phases while walking and/ or running. Learn more about our fit process here!
Born and raised in Scranton, PA, Matt earned his footwear fitting stripes in the City of Brotherly Love: Philadelphia, PA. There he was a Manager at Philadelphia Runner, a specialty running store in the University City section of Philadelphia. Matt joined the Philly Runner team in 2004 and oversaw all aspects of the store’s operations. His product knowledge and ability to outfit a customer in the appropriate running or walking shoe is unsurpassed. When not at the Scranton Running Company, Matt can be found running the streets and trails of Scranton, starting and ending in his favorite place in the world: Minooka, PA.
While at Scranton High School, Matt set the school record in the 3200 meters (it still stands) and earned three-time All-State honors. At St. Joseph’s University, he won three individual Atlantic 10 Conference championships and was recently inducted into the University’s Track & Field Hall of Fame. Upon graduating, Matt turned his attention to longer distances, winning Scranton’s Steamtown Marathon in 2004, 2006 and 2012. He qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the marathon in 2004 and once again in 2008. He has also represented the United States in the World Mountain Running Championships in 2008, 2009, and 2011. Matt has substantial coaching experience, including mentoring high school runners for the past thirteen years at two separate summer camps.
Born and raised in Binghamton, New York, Jason relocated to NEPA after his collegiate years at College Misericordia. While Jason did not compete as a runner in high school or college, he found a passion for running from co-worker and college classmate Justin, who introduced him to long distance running. Since taking up the sport, Jason has run several half-marathons as well as completed the Steamtown Marathon. Jason earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sport Management from Misericordia as well as a Master’s Degree In Sport Management with a concentration in Intercollegiate Athletic Administration from California University of Pennsylvania. He has previously worked as an Assistant Athletic Director at nearby Keystone College.
Jason spends a good portion of his time during racing season organizing, managing, and timing local races with our SRC Race Management team. In his spare time, you can find Jason logging some miles up and down the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail. He’s also an avid soccer fan and is known to tune the store TV’s into English Premier League or Major League Soccer games.
Zach is a seasoned runner hailing from the motherland of Moscow, PA. He’s currently in his last year of graduate school at Misericordia University, where he’ll earn his doctorate in Physical Therapy. Zach is no stranger to running, as he was a 4-year member of Misericordia’s XC team, and 5-year member of the T&F team as a 5k/10k runner. As a recent post-collegiate runner, Zach now trains for trail races and half marathons and is considering doing his first full marathon. Stay tuned!
Favorite Shoes: For regular distance running, he prefers both the HOKA Cliftons and New Balance 1080s. For races, Zach likes using the Nike Next%’s and Saucony Endorphin Speeds.
Favorite races/routes/places to run: Zach enjoys pain, and as a result he enjoys competing in the Black Diamond Running Series 5k and 8k. Also, Zach had his debut half marathon race in Scottsdale, Arizona in December which was a favorite in terms of weather and flatness, so he will likely be going out for that race again. For distance running, he enjoys training deep in the mountains of Dallas and Shavertown and Noxen, where he can feel one with nature and the road.
When I’m not running, you can find me… On the back deck of his apartment, listening to Ella Fitzgerald or The Five Statins, and sipping on a glass of wine. Did you know he’s a wine guy?
Eric discovered running in 7th grade, eventually running for Coughlin High School and then for King’s College. After graduation and some rest, he started training for half marathons and marathons.
Favorite races/routes/places to run: Eric love’s running around his hometown of Swoyersville for his casual runs, and for his training runs he likes to incorporate the Back Mountain Trail to get slight hills into his mileage. His favorite races are the Forth Fort Five Miler and the Steamtown Marathon. Those races each bring a hometown feel to the area.
Favorite Shoe: Since middle school, Eric has been running in Mizuno Wave Riders and continues to run in them to this day. Fun fact: when Eric got a running tattoo in college, the artist asked what his favorite shoe to wear is. Eric replied, “Mizuno.” The Mizuno logo now resides in the shoe part of his tattoo.
When I am not running, you can find me… attempting to play golf, watching Philadelphia sporting events (Fly Eagles Fly!) or watching tv shows with his wife.
Favorite races/routes/places to run: Most of the time, Gareth can be found running around the Wyoming Valley and the Shickshinny area (often on the Susquehanna Warrior Trail). On the rare occasion he has some free time, Gareth enjoys taking a day trip to a new trail or a state park for a trail run. However, as a true resident of “The Valley,” Scranton is just too far for a run…
Favorite Shoe: Once a dedicated Brooks runner, Gareth has branched out to various brands for his miles. With a collection of 50+ running shoes cluttering his apartment, Gareth’s go-to race shoes are the Saucony Endorphin series. He uses the Pro+ for longer races and the Speeds for up-tempo workouts. When hitting the trails, he’s typically lacing up either the Brooks Catamount or the Saucony Peregrine. Finally, for the recovery days, it’s going to be the Saucony Triumph or Mizuno WaveRider.
When I am not running, you can find me… Gareth’s “real job” as he describes it is being a business teacher at Northwest Area High School, where he also coaches the Ranger Cross Country and Track & Field programs. He also enjoys playing drums, dining out, and finding small town coffee shops.
Favorite races/routes/places to run: Catch me running on the Luzerne County Levee System with Linden and in the Run for the Diamonds on Thanksgiving in Berwick.
Favorite Running Partner: My pup, Linden, takes the top spot although my husband, Dave, is a close second.
Favorite Shoe: New Balance 1080
When I am not running, you can find me… at one of the area’s local breweries or ice cream shops; my two favorite things.
Summer would not describe herself as a runner, isn’t sure she likes to run, and is still very much confused about how she ended up working at a running specialty store (it’s Greg’s fault). She is a Kingston, PA native and graduated from Holy Redeemer High School. She went to Syracuse University for a dual BA in International Relations and Political Science and then to the National University of Ireland at Maynooth for her Master’s in Human Geography. Most recently she worked as a research assistant for a public policy and economic development think tank. After starting at VRC in early 2022, she graduated to a full-time position in May 2022. If she isn’t chatting your ear off while you try on shoes, she’s working on our social media, websites, and community outreach, as well as doing *fun* data analysis.
Favorite races/routes/places to run: Since she doesn’t consider herself a runner, Summer hasn’t developed a devotion to many races. However, she does enjoy running the Philly 10K. That race allows her to hang out with friends and enjoy ice cream and beer by 9AM. You can find her jogging around Kingston and Lake Scranton. She can also be “found” on any orienteering courses Greg makes for her, often at Merli-Sarnoski Park. If there is a race with food involved, she will be there. R.I.P. 2020 Lobsterman Triathlon, vive la First Annual Legendary Taste Triathlon!
Favorite shoes: Summer loves an hourglass shoe: a skinny middle with a wide toe box. Her current go-to shoes are Adidas’ Solar Glide 5, the On Cloud X, and New Balance’s 1080v12.
When I’m not running, you can find me… learning about the science behind baking and making ice cream and then making weird (but tasty) concoctions, going on hikes, collecting books I hope to read one day, yelling about pedestrians’ rights and ADA compliant sidewalks, putting things in an online shopping cart (but never actually buying anything), and explaining that I go by both Summer and Kara (sorry for the confusion).
Born in Scranton, PA, Matt currently resides in New York City where he works for a large international bank. But he’s not all evil: he helped bring the Scranton Running Company to life. Matt graduated from Scranton High School and then from Lehigh University. He is an accomplished runner and has won the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in New York’s Central Park. He also finished second in Scranton’s Steamtown Marathon. Matt has competed in the Boston and New York City marathons. He was captain of both the track and cross-country teams at Lehigh University. Matt is a published author: The Worst of Sports (Random House, September 2007).