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Open house set for Two Rivers

By Staff | Jun 25, 2010

Mark Cucuzzella

Dr. Mark Cucuzzella is no stranger to the world of running. The family physician is an experienced marathoner and the race director for Freedom’s Run.

After years of running, Cucuzzella is now becoming even more involved in the sport, and he has decided to help others become more educated and better equipped to run.

Saturday marks the grand opening of Two Rivers Treads, a center for natural running and walking, owned by Cucuzzella and located in Shepherdstown.

“We’re different than a traditional store,” Cucuzzella said. “We teach people about how a shoe functions, how a foot functions and how they complement each other.”

The store will emphasize natural running and shoes which keep runners’ feet in as natural a position as possible.

“As a physician, it’s hard for me to promote any shoe that doesn’t keep the foot in a natural position,” Cucuzzella said. “Our purpose is to get people more comfortable in functional footwear.”

One of the reasons natural running and functional footwear is important for runners is the injury rate. More than half of runners are injured each year, Cucuzzella said.

“If this (running injuries) was a disease, the CDC would try to wipe it out,” he said.

Cucuzzella has worked with several shoe companies in the past few years to get them to focus on designing shoes for natural running.

One of the missions of Two Rivers Treads is to spread knowledge about how to run and help people make the best decision about what to buy and how to train.

“People are constantly asking, ‘What kind of shoes should I buy, where should I buy them?'” Cucuzzella said. “We want to give the best medical and research-based opinions and let them learn for themselves.”

Along with Cucuzzella, the store’s staff members also are veteran runners, and Shepherdstown provides a good setting for a store like this, Cucuzzella said.

“There’s a beautiful, vibrant downtown here and it’s a hub for physical activity,” he said. “The town captures the essence of natural movement. We’re a grassroots, local business, and we live here and want to be a part of building the local economy.”

In advance of the grand opening there will be a five-kilometer race and a two-mile fun run for children, starting at Sam Michael’s Park at 8:30 a.m., and the race will benefit the Jefferson High School cross country team.

The grand opening will start at 10 a.m. Saturday and include coffee tasting with coffee from Hypnocoffee, footwear demonstrations and discounted merchandise to anyone who attends the opening.

For more information on Two Rivers Treads, the store’s website is www.trtreads.org, and the store is located at 113 W. German St., Shepherdstown.

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