The Valley Running Company was founded in the Summer of 2017. The Wyoming Valley has long boasted a thriving local running community. This community 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.
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 in the wonderful land of NEPA, Joe is an enthusiastic runner willing to take on any challenge. As a student at Sacred Heart High School, he participated in cross country as way to help pass the fall season and stay conditioned for winter sports. After school, Joe enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served for eight years on the front lines as an Infantry Soldier. Since high school he’s become an avid runner, completing 32 marathons in addition to achieving his longtime goal of running the prestigious Boston Marathon. Joe’s still hungry. however, and if not in the store there is a good chance he’s out there chasing bigger (and longer) goals, or playing with his lovable Labrador Retrievers (Phillie and Rudy).
Joe earned a Health and Fitness Associates Degree at Bryan University. He loves talking about the sport and conveying his enthusiasm to every customer who walks through our doors. Joe firmly believes that you can’t enjoy the wonderful world of running with the right shoe leading the way.
Karen was born in Kingston, PA, and has been a lifelong Valley resident. Karen ran XC and Track for Wyoming Valley West High School, and completed her first half and full marathons in 2009. She has since run 10 more marathons and has qualified for and run the Boston Marathon twice. Karen is Vice President of the Wyoming Valley Striders Running Club, and co-founded the Lady Striders running group in 2014. Since then, she has coached 11 Couch to 5K Groups in the Wyoming Valley (a program to get ladies off the couch and completing a 5K race in 8 weeks’ time). Karen is also a Cross Country Coach for Susquehanna Prep Junior High. When she’s not working at the VRC, you can probably find Karen running on the levee or spending time with her husband & two teenage children at home.
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 and 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).
Born at Travis Air Force Base in California, Justin and family settled in the Hazleton area where he attended Hazleton Area High School. While there he competed in Cross-Country and Track & Field, and found his passion for running. His enthusiasm for the sport continued to grow while attending College Misericordia. At Misericordia he earned degrees in Marketing, Management, Sport Management and a Masters in Organization Management. All the while competing -and eventually coaching- for the Cougars. In Justin’s coaching roles with the team, he helped guide the Harriers to six consecutive PAC XC Championships, and helped write the All-Time Performance lists while competing as a decathlete.
Today, Justin is a Level One USATF certified coach, as well as a Jack Daniels Tier 1 certified coach. He enjoys long “runs” on the beach and immersing himself into the Scranton and Wilkes-Barre running scenes in his free time. Justin’s patient, calming and methodical approach to shoe fittings makes him a favorite with customers.
Jill Hockenbury Snowdon
Jill is fairly new to the running scene, having taken up the sport four years ago. But, she’s always been a die-hard sports fanatic and athlete since she started spinning a basketball on her finger at 3 years old.
Jill was born and raised in the Wyoming Valley. She graduated from Bishop Hoban High School where she played basketball and soccer. As a basketball player, she helped her team reach the Class AAA state championship in 1994.
She went on to play soccer, basketball and lacrosse at King’s College. She still holds King’s soccer scoring records for career points, goals, and assists, which she set in 1997. She was a three-year MAC All-Conference selection after transferring to King’s following a year at Penn State Wilkes-Barre where she was a starting forward on the men’s soccer team.
In 2012, she was inducted into the Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame.
Jill’s passion for running started soon after she purchased her first pair of Brooks Adrenalines at Scranton Running Company. She’s completed 10 half marathons since 2013, is a proud board member of the Wyoming Valley Striders, and also enjoys relaying with her friends in triathlons.
Aside from running, Jill loves writing. She was a sports writer for 18 years before moving on to careers in marketing and fundraising development.