Dustin Shinholser finished high school and went to Truit McConnell College before transferring to Mars Hill College in the North Carolina mountains. After graduation, he headed to the Research Triangle Area and began working for Fleet Feet Sports.
He wanted to return to the Athens area, but he knew Fleet Feet Sports was a good match for him--he had been running since he was a kid and he knew a lot about retail, running shoes, running equipment and how to run well. He stayed with Fleet Feet and even opened a store in Seattle.
And now, Shinholser is realizing his dream: he's opening his own Fleet Feet Sports franchise in Athens. In Five Points, where he hopes to strengthen the running community.
He's planning on holding training programs following the No Boundaries program--something like the Jeff Galloway running program in Atlanta--sponsored by New Balance and offered at Fleet Feet stores around the country. It encourages people to walk and run and supports them as they try to reach their goals.
The first training session, for a 5K, will be free. So all you walkers and runners who've been thinking about signing up for a race, now you have no excuse for not doing so. He'll help you train for a 5K, a 10K and, yes, the Athens Half Marathon as well.
Shinholser also wants to have night group runs and Saturday morning runs that assemble and leave from the Five Points store. He envisions taking a long run with others and then heading to the nearby Royal Peasant for a beer.
"Five Points has such a nice community feel to it," he says. "I'm so happy to be here."