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Runnning Room

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A three-kilometre fun run with his sons in 1981 was the catalyst for the then-out-of-shape, overweight John Stanton to realize he had to change his lifestyle. A food industry executive who smoked two packs of cigarettes a day, he began running secretly before dawn because he felt self-conscious about having his neighbours see "this chubby little guy" who could only run from lamp post to lamp post before having to take a walk break.

John went on to run over 60 marathons, hundreds of road races and numerous triathlons, including the Hawaiian World Championship Ironman competition. His pre-dawn runs would ultimately become John Stanton's 10:1 run/walk combination that has helped close to a million people do everything from learn to run to complete marathons, upright and smiling.

The first store was a meeting place for runners. It opened in 1984 in an 8 x 10 foot room of an old house shared with a hairdressing shop in Edmonton. More than 25 years later, the Running Room is one of North America's most recognized names in running and walking. John's two sons, John, Jr., and Jason, are now partners with John in the family-owned company, which has more than 120 stores and 1,300 employees in Canada and the United States.

A best-selling Canadian author of 10 books on running and walking, John Stanton was named to Macleans magazine's Canada Day Honour as one of 10 Canadians who are making a difference in our nation, for his contribution to health through fitness. John Stanton is a member of the Alberta Business Hall of Fame. He is a recipient of the Dr. Harold N. Segall Award of Merit, which recognized his significant contribution to the prevention of cardiovascular disease and the promotion of cardiovascular health in Canadians. The Canadian Medical Association awarded him the Award for Excellence in Health Promotion. He is the Hon. Lt. Col. of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment (4 PPCLI) and an inductee into the Canadian Retail Hall of Fame. John received an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Alberta. His is a member of the Order of Canada.

John is regularly featured on CBC, CTV and Global Television, in the National Post and the Globe and Mail, as well as, numerous radio and television programs across Canada and the United States.

An outstanding entrepreneur, with a keen interest in the health and wellness of both Canadians and Americans, John Stanton possesses a remarkable ability to inspire others and to build community


John Before the Running Room
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Read About the History of the Running Room
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"I don’t believe anyone has done more for the sport of recreational running than John Stanton and the Running Room. The Running Room walking and running programs and clinics are highly-respected across North America.”

Frank Shorter
Olympic Marathon Champion


John Stanton has been the recipient of many awards over the years. The awards range from recognition of the business success of the Running Room and for the community and charitable involvement of John Stanton. John has been recognized for his exemplary corporate and personal commitment to heath, fitness and community involvement. He has been recognized and honoured by former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada Anne McLellan, former Premier of Alberta Ralph Klein, Premier of Manitoba Gary Doer, former Mayor of Edmonton Bill Smith, founder and CEO of Nike Phil Knight, the Province of Alberta, the Retail Council of Canada, Junior Achievement, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, the Canadian Diabetes Association, the University of Alberta, NAIT and Grant MacEwan College of Alberta. Of all the awards and recognitions, John feels having the Running Room named as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies is of particular importance because it represents the contribution of the entire Running Room Team and that team’s commitment to excellence and community support.

  • CMA Award for Excellence in Health Promotion 2010 This award is intended to highlight specific efforts by an individual or organization outside of the health sector to promote the health and wellness of Canadians.

  • Order of Canada - The honour of a nation
  • The Order of Canada is awarded to Canadians who have made a recognizable difference to the country. The honour, which is the highest in Canada, was established in 1967 to recognize extraordinary Canadians and their extraordinary achievements.

    On the recommendation of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada, the Governor General is pleased to announce the following appointments:
    John Stanton, C.M.
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Member of the Order of Canada

    For his contributions to promoting physical fitness and active lifestyles as founder of the Running Room, as well as for his support of charitable groups, namely the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

  • CIBC Spirit of Leadership Community Award 2009
  • The Running Room is a $10,000 winner for its commitment to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure. By leveraging its store locations, employee spirit and new product introductions, the Running Room continues to take on a national leadership role with a contagious entrepreneurial spirit. John Stanton donated the $10,000 award to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

  • Alberta Venture Magazine - Most Respected Corporations, 2009 Finalists - Corporate Social Responsibility
  • The Running Room has broken out ahead of the corporate social responsibility pack with its support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and its “Giving” initiative. The running shoe and apparel retailer supports the annual Run for the Cure, a Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation event and has raised over $700,000 for the foundation with a Pink Ribbon product line. What’s more, it has also mobilized Running Room customers to support more than 200 charitable groups throughout the year. Its online Giving initiative has raised more than $1.2 million for a suite of charitable organizations.

  • Dr. Harold N. Segall Award of Merit
  • This award was created in 1991 in honour of the late Dr. Harold N. Segall, who was a founding Member of the CCS and for many years served as the Society's Archivist. It is offered in recognition of a significant contribution to the prevention of cardiovascular disease or the promotion of cardiovascular health in Canadians.

  • Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel
  • May 2009, upon the recommendation of the Chief of the Defence Staff, John Stanton, Founder and President of the Running Room was appointed as the new Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of The Loyal Edmonton Regiment 4th Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.

  • Outstanding National Corporate Award 2008—Canadian Diabetes Association

  • Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies 2007 | 2008

  • Running Room is a year 2007 winner of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies program. In 2008 the Running Room once again retained the mark of excellence as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies.

  • Appointed John Stanton—Canadian Institute of Retailing and Services Advisory Board, University Of Alberta School Of Business 2007

  • NAIT Honorary Diploma 2006
  • On June 7, 2006, at Edmonton Alberta, the board of directors of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology granted John Stanton an Honorary Diploma in recognition of significant and outstanding achievement in marketing.

  • CIBC Spirit Of Leadership Community Award 2006
    The Running Room is a $5000 winner for its commitment to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure. By leveraging its store locations, employee spirit and new product introductions, the Running Room continues to take on a national leadership role with a contagious entrepreneurial spirit. John Stanton donated the $5000 award to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

  • Alberta Venture 2007—Most Respected Corporations
  • Running Room founder John Stanton helps to promote and organize as many as 400 charity walk/run events every year.

  • Junior Achievement Award 2006
  • On May 17, 2006, John was recognized by Junior Achievement—Alberta Business Hall of Fame.

  • Alberta Centenial 2005
  • On September 1, 2005, John received the Alberta Centennial Medal in recognition for his service to the people and province of Alberta.

  • Maclean’s Honour Roll 2004
  • They have all made a difference. And, for the most part, the 10 people on the 2004 Maclean’s Honour Roll have done so quietly, not seeking the glare of publicity many of them normally attract.

  • Innovative Retailers Rewarded for Pushing the Envelope 2004

  • Retail Council of Canada
    The awards, to be presented at Retail Council of Canada’s Excellence in Retailing Awards Dinner on Monday, June 7, 2004, at the Toronto Congress Centre, honour companies that have demonstrated outstanding market leadership and innovative approaches to customer and employee relations, and that have taken their brands to the top of the class.

  • Grant MacEwan Collage—Distinguished Citizen 2003 John Stanton has been recognized as a Distinguished Citizen and has received an Honorary Diploma in community service from Grant MacEwan College.

  • Alberta Capital Heath—Award of Distinction 2003
    John Stanton received this award for his contribution to health and wellness in the Alberta community.

  • Achilles Track Club—Volunteer of the Month 2000
    “John Stanton is a key player in the establishment of Achilles Canada,”
    —Shane Carmichael
    President, Achilles Canada

  • Alberta Venture: Marketer of the Year 1999
    Alberta Venture bestows the designation of MARKETER OF THE YEAR on an individual whose business philosophy and practice demonstrate his commitment to the rolse of marketing as an integral component of success. We are pleased to name John Stanton, CEO, Running Room Canada Inc. as the 1999 Alberta Marketer of the Year.

  • Henry Singer Award Recipient 1997
    John Stanton received this award from Henry Singer that goes to Alberta’s business leaders in retail.

  • Pinnacle Award 1995
    The Pinnacle Awards were created in Calgary in 1987 by Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP to honour individuals in the business community for their entrepreneurism and community contribution. The awards program has grown to become a very prestigious event that is well recognized by the Alberta business community.

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