Shankara Smith

I was 10 when my father, Ongkar, opened Run and Become. I can still remember the day he took me and my sister upstairs to fit us out with a pair of Nike Wally Waffles. Trust me this was kid heaven, we were going to be the coolest kids on the block! I remember piles of shoes sitting against the wall in the upstairs storage area, I was sure we would be the best stocked shop, there were simply so many of them. Now, of course, I realise that it wasn't much, over the years our stock has grown along with our customers and now every nook and cranny is filled with boxes. The early years of Run and Become were tight ones financially for our family, but we were never short of trainers! As I loved running this was a good thing, and as I look back, I realise that I can remember almost every pair of shoes I had, they were all well loved and appreciated.

Adidas Boston's with the mesh round the midsole; Reebok XT5000 in the days when Reebok were simply the best, commanding the sort of respect currently held by Asics; Silva x/c (all silver and red) my first cross country spikes, promised to me by Dad after I qualified for the Southern Schools X/C final; Nike Athena, forerunner of the current Structure; Nike Huarrache, true spiderman shoes with their web design uppers; and Saucony Shadow 6000 which got me round my first marathon. And so many more.

I am certainly no great runner, far from it, but I have always loved running and I still get excited when a rep. presents the latest range of shoes and clothing. At 16, I left school and joined the shop staff and now many years later, I'm still loving it as much and my ever kind and generous Dad puts up with me throwing my weight around!

Shankara Smith Run and Become, London Manager