Olympian Paul Chelimo to speak at GoGo Running All-Area Banquet

ROME, Ga. – Paul Chelimo, the silver medalist in the 5,000-meter race at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games who took a bronze medal at the recent World Championships, is returning to the city where he first started racing in the United States when the highly-acclaimed runner will be the guest speaker at the annual GoGo Running High School All-Area Banquet on Friday, Dec. 1 and join those who will take part in the River City Bank/Rome Half Marathon on Saturday, Dec. 2.

“We are so fortunate to be able to welcome Paul back to Rome,” said Jay Stephenson, who coached Chelimo at Shorter University in 2010 when the Kenyan-born athlete who first began competing in the United States and is now an American citizen, serving as a Specialist in the U.S. Army as a member of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program.

“What is exciting is knowing that Paul will inspire the high school athletes and everyone else who hears him at the banquet,” Stephenson said. “He has a great story to tell, not only as a world-class runner but as a person. We’re honored to have him come back where it all started.”

Chelimo made an immediate impact in the track world when he came to Rome to compete for Shorter, winning four NAIA national titles on the indoor and outdoor ovals. In 2011, Chelimo transferred to North Carolina-Greensboro where he was a five-time NCAA All-American and closed out his collegiate career as a World University Games Silver Medalist.

In 2014, Chelimo enlisted in the Army and earn his citizenship, and as a member of the Army’s WCAP team has made monumental strides in the world, the biggest coming at last year’s Olympic Games when he battled eventual winner Mo Farah in an epic duel to the finish. Chelimo’s silver medal was the first for America in the 5K since 1964.
Last month in London, Chelimo found himself once again in the world spotlight when he took third place at the IAAF World Championships.

Registration for the 13.1-mile Half Marathon, hosted by GoGo Running, has begun for the event, which also includes a Half Relay and a 5-kilometer race.

The River City Bank/Rome Half Marathon, Half Relay and 5k will all begin and end at State Mutual Stadium on Saturday, with the 5k starting at 8 a.m. and the Half Marathon and Relay starting at 8:05. Half Marathon, Relay, and 5k Finishers receive long sleeve tech T’s, and will enjoy a post-race pancake breakfast.

Before the runners toe the line, the area’s high school teams and athletes will be honored the night before at the 2017 GoGo Running All-Area Cross Country Banquet that will be held Friday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. at Berry College.

In the last four years, the race has raised nearly $12,000 for the running programs at area high schools, with last year’s event bringing in $3,600 that was donated back to programs. Schools that have received at least one donation check include Armuchee, Coosa, Model, Pepperell, Rome, Calhoun, Gordon Central, Rockmart, Darlington, Providence Prep Academy, St. Mary’s, Cedartown and Unity Christian. Some of these schools have only had volunteers for the race for one year while others have participated with volunteers each year, which is the requirement for schools to be eligible for a donation.

To register and for more information on the River City Bank Half Marathon, Half Relay and 5k, and the GoGo Running All-Area Banquet go to www.romehalf.com or contact GoGo Running at The Shoe Box at 706-291-0752.

First Marathon leads Rome’s Matt Davis down a positive road

ROME, Ga. – The look on his face and a pronounced fist pump spoke volumes when Matt Davis crossed the finish line in May.
And for good reasons.

After all, it was the first time in the 38-year-old’s life that he had run 26.2 miles – a marathon – when the local radio executive and personality competed in the 2017 Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati. Even more, however, the accomplishment realized a life-changing goal Davis had set for himself.

“I was looking to do something positive,” said Davis. “I decided I wanted to be the best version of myself and I did enjoy running.
“My goal was to run a marathon by the time I was 40 so I decided to go for it.”

Lacing up a pair of shoes was nothing new to Davis, who had casually run on his own before and even took part in some 5-kilometer (3.1 miles) races several years ago. But when he set his marathon goal more than a year ago, when he was admitted at the hss.edu hospital, Davis understood that a firmer commitment was needed.

“I did some on-line research about how to begin training and I knew that one of the first things I needed to do was to find the proper shoes,” Davis said, adding that he read an article on ShoeHero which was about the best comfortable shoes and with this he made his way to GoGo at The Shoe Box to begin the process. “They took a lot of time with me. They want to make sure you get the right fit.”

That visit led to a meeting with co-owner and running coach Jay Stephenson.

“Jay helped fit me for my first pair of running shoes,” said Davis. “From that first meeting, I started talking with him about running. I did a few 5Ks, began to run three to four times a week and eventually I started increasing the distance.

“I went from having no physical activity and a sedimentary lifestyle to an active healthy lifestyle,” he added, noting that he had dropped 20 pounds since starting. “When I run I listen to music, podcasts as even listen to people talking about running. But a lot of times I don’t listen to anything. I enjoy the tranquility.”

Davis eventually ran his first half-marathon in the spring of 2016, a race that led him to entering the marathon in Cincinnati and focus on training for the demands it takes.

“Jay really helped me with the nutrition side of it and how important that is,” said Davis. “He helped me develop a plan to train for the race and for the weeks leading up to it.

“Running is so mental. To be able to talk with somebody who knows about it and has the knowledge – Jay helped me so much through his support.”

“I helped Matt learn what to take and when to take it,” Stephenson said, “and he sent me updates of what he was doing regularly.”

The Flying Pig course – it started in downtown Cincinnati, went across the Ohio River and into Kentucky, into the city’s suburbs and eventually finished back downtown at the Great American Ball Park – proved to be a difficult one at the start. At the three-and-a-half mile mark, the runners immediately face a taxing 300-foot climb in a five-mile stretch.

“The first part of the race was really, really hard because it was uphill,” Davis said. “But after that it flattened out a little.”

“Running a marathon is hard,” said Stephenson. “But I thought he did an amazing job. There’s a lot more ahead of him.”

All told, Davis – he has already set his sights on his second marathon and will run in the Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, Ala., in December – covered the Flying Pig distance in a little over five hours, a respectable time for marathoner newbies. Yet anyone who has run the race will agree; finishing it is an accomplishment in itself.

“I can’t begin to describe what it felt like to finish,” Davis said.


Running coach Jay Stephenson, who recently competed in the 2017 Boston Marathon and has been coaching runners of all ages and abilities for over 14 years has joined the staff of the American Distance Project, a non-profit organization founded in 2009 by Scott Simmons that strives to develop American runners. Coach Jay will fulfill a needed gap for the American Distance Project by coaching non-professional and community athletes all over the country.

“I look forward to helping runners around the nation run to their best potential possible whether it be for their next race, their first race or for a personal best,” Stephenson said about helping bring top coaching and training principles to everyone.

“Scott Simmons coached me back in 2005 and I believe in his training principles,” said Stephenson, “It wasn’t until I trained with a progressive approach that I saw my potential and ran 29:43 for 10k at the US Road Championship in 2005.” “I am confident that connecting the non-professional runner with professional coaching is the best approach to their success.”

As a member of the American Distance Project staff, Stephenson will work with runners of all ages and all levels, providing personalized training and individual nutrition plans through his website www.coachjayrunning.com. Runners also receive a free coaching DVD where Coach Jay covers every important topic in his 90 minute DVD www.gogorunning.com/dvd.

Coach Jay checked off another running milestone in an already impressive career last week when, in his first appearance in the Boston Marathon, the 35-year-old finished in the top 600 in the 30,000-runner field. He earned an automatic qualifying spot in Boston by winning the Last Chance Marathon in Grand Rapids, Mich., earlier this year.

The founder of GoGoRunning and the co-owner with Powell Fulton of GoGo at The Shoe Box, Coach Jay was a three-time All-American at Berry College before graduating in 2003, and was the 2004 USATF Club Steeplechase National Champion. He has PR’s of 3:54 for 1500m, 14:18 for 5k, 29:43 for 10k, 8:53 for 3000mSC, 1:09:23 for the Half Marathon, and 2:48 for the Marathon (currently working on lowering this one).

Coach Jay has coached runners at all levels, including:

  • Coached over 300 people to success and PR’s
  • Saori Araki to running first 5k and 10k ever
  • Judith Tutin to first 5k
  • Charis Morgan to first 800m, Mile, 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon
  • John Berry Bowling from 2:02 to 1:59 in HS 800m
  • Scott Gray ran first Marathon
  • Molly Vicchrilli completed first Ragnar Relay
  • Diedra White Multiple PR’s in the Marathon at Savannah and Augusta Marathons
  • Steve Cordle Ran first Marathon in Grand Masters Category
  • Daniel Seo Multiple time Boston Qualifier
  • Jared Carson 2017 3rd Place Austin Marathon 2:35
  • 13 year old Sam Tullis – 5:03 mile
  • Paul Chelimo: Responsible for recruiting him and bringing him to the US where he would eventually earn Silver — 2016 Olympic 5,000-meter silver medalist
  • Justyna Mudy-Mader: A 5-time National Champion in the NAIA, 2-time Elite qualifier to the Boston Marathon, and a 2-time winner of the Rocket City Marathon.
  • Oscar Ogwaro: 1:04 Half Marathon and Qualifer in the 2012 US Olympic Trials Marathon


Email coachjay@gogorunning.com
Website gogorunning.com


Olympic Marathoner Ryan Hall to Headline Rome All-Area Championship Banquet & Rome Half Marathon


Hall_Ryan1e-Boston11Ryan and his wife Sara Hall may be busy training for the 2016 Olympic Trials and learning the intricacies of parenting 4 newly adopted Ethiopian sisters, but that won’t stop him from coming to the Rome Half Marathon & encouraging local high schoolers. After speaking to event racers and high school cross country athletes at the GoGo Running All-Area Championship Banquet and Pre-Race dinner, Ryan will be the official starter to the Rome Half Marathon. He will also run on a three person Half Marathon relay team. Afterwards he will be present to hang out with and encourage finishers of the Half Marathon and Half Marathon Relay, and 5k.


Hall, finished off his high-school years as a cross country champion, state record holder & and with a best time of 4:02 in the mile. As a professional, he set the North American Record in the half marathon (59:43) and ran the fastest time ever for an American marathoner (2:04:58). Hall also started off his running career with a slow painful run in basketball shoes, which may make him a little easier for Rome’s developing runners to relate to.


Among those who will likely be asking Hall questions ahead of race day are Darlington’s Stephanie Ward, who won last week’s Rome Area Championship with a meet record of 19:27, and Calhoun’s David Murillo who won the boy’s race with a time of 17:47. GoGo Running is hosting the All-Area Championship Banquet on Friday December 4th at 6pm in an effort to honor and support those local athletes, coaches, parents, and friends. Members of the public are welcome to attend the banquet where this year’s most outstanding high school runners will be recognized.


On December 5th, Hall will serve as the official race starter for the Rome Half Marathon. In addition to giving recreational runner’s around the state an opportunity to create their own teams and compete, the race will raise money for each of the area’s high school running programs.


Registration and event information for the banquet and half marathon can be found at www.RomeHalf.com.

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Making it Fit with Bogs

Making it fit perfect

I recently worked with a young lady that was having trouble getting her Bog Boot to fit properly. She had a very high arch (we scan everyone’s foot to check out arch type and then match it up to a shoe) and really wanted the feeling of something touching her arch in the Rain Boot, however the shoe did not have room vertically for an additional insert because the additional insert was making the shoe fit very tight.

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Here is how I “Made it Fit.” I took a ¼” Felt pad like the one below and stuck it to the under side of the insert. This gave here the “arch touch” she was looking for without adding volume to other parts of the shoe. The great thing about felt is that is compresses down over time and will give her a smooth transition in the shoe while still providing the slight touch on her foot. I also set her up with another set of pads to stick in another pair of shoes she had at home.

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Here is a short video of how I placed the felt pad. It took a couple of tries to find the sweet spot on the shoe for her foot as it would in most cases.

Do you awesome service with your footwear? Come see us at our store. We offer help for everyone!

Are you having extreme problems with your feet or footwear?  Fill out this contact form and our team will be in touch to set up an appointment with you around your schedule.


Footwear Density and Shoe Shape

The popularity of traditional neutral lightweight running shoes is increasing as a result of the growing minimalist running movement. Other than for specific strength and form training many view barefoot running as a bit too extreme and use lightweight neutral shoes as an alternative – halfway to barefoot. The idea is that you get some cushioning but not too much, and by having it neutral you don’t support the foot with motion control features so you get some barefoot-style benefits too. The problem with this approach, however, is that for some people neutral cushioned shoes may not work as you would expect. More here


Contact Jay Stephenson Telephone 706-291-0752

Email coachjay@gogorunning.com Website gogorunning.com



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ROME, Ga. – For the past four years, Jay Stephenson and Powell Fulton has seen their love for fitting people in correct footwear take them down a path that has led them to becoming owners of what has become a successful business.

And it’s growing even more.

The two Romans, who founded GoGoRunning, have announced that they have taking an even bigger stride forward as they have moved to a new and bigger location and have grown into Rome Georgia’s Footwear store – GoGo at The Shoe Box.

“We have sold the tennis part of the business to the Rome Tennis Store at the Rome Tennis Center,” Stephenson said about the changes, one that includes the move from their previous location on East 2nd Avenue to the former home of Heaven’s Attic at 1018 Martha Berry Blvd., “and we are excited to point the tennis community to The Rome Tennis Store.

“The sale, however, of the tennis side of our business as allowed us to increase our inventory in shoes of all types,” he said. “We are excited to help people get in comfortable shoes for kids, work, casual and exercise needs.”

The move to the new location provides much more space for the business as it gone from a 1,800-square-foot location to one that has more than 4,000 square feet.

IMG_3944“The move was to accommodate a growing business that needed more space,” said Stephenson.

Now available: GoGo at The Shoe Box includes kids shoes, casual shoes, sandals, athletic shoes, work boots, work shoes and other varieties of footwear for adults and children. GoGo at The Shoe Box will continue to be a full services store that offers personal service for every customer, including free insert and shoe fitting.




GoGo at The Shoe Box is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

“We want to be Rome’s footwear store,” Stephenson said. ###

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Jay Stephenson at 706-291-0752 or email at coachjay@gogorunning.com.

Running Form Revisit

It is time for me to revisit my running form.  I try to do this during almost every run and sometimes I spend the whole run focusing on my for and doing mental checks of how I am feeling and moving.  If we played another sport like baseball or basketball we would constantly be working on our throwing form or shooting form, but in running we likely do a clinic once or twice without revisiting it often enough.

I read the below article on Letsrun.com the week and it brought back a part of running form that I had let slip away among the talk of foot strike and cadence.  The arm position is the most influential and controllable component of running form.  The arms lead the legs, balance the body, and change the center of mass.

The change I am working on making is raising my arms a little and trying to run with my elbows.  This is a little difficult to explain in words.  I think what I am doing physically can be explained with these mental cues.

Try to run with you elbows moving as if you have trekking poles attached to them and you are pushing off the ground with them while you run.  This should move your arms forward and a little higher and in front of you body.  I don’t know if this will help you but it certainly has helped me focus on keeping my arms up a little and raising my center of gravity.


2015 Boston Marathon Running Form Analysis

What I saw in the 2015 Boston Marathon this week is what I learn over and over again in my practice and my own running: the farther up from the ground a part of your body is, the greater its effect on your running. So mostly this blog post will be about arms, chests and upper backs, shoulders, necks, and heads, because in a field of comparable runners this is a key area where races are won and lost.  Read more.

The Fargo Marathon is challenging Will Ferrell to sign up!

What’s the most interesting topic this week in running? Is it Mo Farah running under an hour and getting the European record in the half marathon? Is it the results of the Carlsbad 5,000? Maybe for some people, but for me, it’s this. The race directors are challenging Will Ferrell to run the Fargo Marathon.












Will Ferrell, for those who previously did not know (myself included), enjoys running and has completed a marathon. It was the Boston Marathon in 2003 where he ran 3:53.

Their tactic to get Ferrell to enter the race was to create a Twitter hashtag and make the Internet get behind them #FerrellRunFargo. The people of Fargo are getting behind the idea because, well, who wouldn’t? One runner in the race, although he couldn’t spell Will Ferrell’s name correctly, offered to give the actor a piggy back ride for the entire race!

The race is a little over a month away and the directors understand Ferrell may not be in marathon shape right now, but they hope he’ll come and run the 5k or just hang out. It’s a bold move. We’ll see if he shows up.



Let’s Run: Doping?

by: LetsRun.com
March 24, 2015

Sunday’s Sunday Times in the UK had two articles that detailed the extent that Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazarand his team will go to to get their athletes an edge, focusing on the use of the legal supplement L-carnitine, including allegedly injecting assistant coach Steve Magness with L-carnitine and using him as a “guinea pig.” The articles, which are here and here, are behind a paywall (only cost £1 to read for the first month) but well worth the read. We summarize the key points and break them down below into good news and bad news for the Nike Oregon Project.

First, the facts alleged in the article.

  1. Alberto Salazar, in two shipments 14 months apart (January 2011 and March 2012), ordered 180 cartons at a cost of £3,600 ($5,380 at today’s exchange rate) of one of the best legal steroids named NutraMet Sport, a mixture of L-carnitine and carbohydrate, that “scientists found can boost performance by up to 11%.”
  2. Galen Rupp and Mo Farah admit to taking L-carnitine in the past but both said they stopped taking it, in Farah’s case because it wasn’t effective. Farah said, “I tried a legal energy drink containing L-carnitine but saw no benefit and actually gained weight so I stopped drinking it.”
  3. Studies show L-carnitine can be much more effective when injected than when taken orally. Orally, L-carnitine can improve performance in three to six months, but according to the Sunday Times it can improve performance in “as little as five hours when the substance is taken into the body via an intravenous drip.”