SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME: Piercys Are Sports and Fitness Advocate Extraordinaires
By Space Coast Daily // April 27, 2014
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
ABOVE VIDEO: Don and Denise Piercy manage at least one race a week –and then some – for local charities and groups. The first couple of running and fitness on the Space Coast also sponsor and manage an annual 11-race series under the Running Zone banner, including the Ultimate Space Race, the Space Coast Marathon and the Space Coast Half-Marathon, organized with Space Coast Runners.
Sports Entrepreneur Couple Created, Sponsor and Manage Largest Array of Space Coast Running Events
DON & DENISE PIERCY – 2014 INDUCTEES
FIRST COUPLE OF RUNNING
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA (May 7, 2014) – Denise and Don Piercy, the Space Coast’s “First Couple of Running,” are certainly in the zone when it comes to motivating people to get out and get fit.
The Piercy’s Running Zone store sells more than shoes. It promotes a healthy lifestyle and commitment to community.
It’s irrelevant to the couple whether their customers are experienced marathon runners or are trying for the first time to make a one-mile walk, whether they are five years old, elite athletes or seniors out for a walk.
The goal is to keep these folks enjoying active time as comfortably and enjoyably as possible in events that promote community spirit.
For the Piercys there’s no better job satisfaction than seeing new faces at the races the Running Zone sponsors or managers.
“Our greatest rewards come from helping previously inactive people begin a program that ultimately makes them feel better physically and mentally,” said Don Piercy.
With an approach that is art mixed with science, the Piercys and their race team manage at least one race a week –and then some – for local charities and groups.
The Piercys also sponsor and manage an annual 11-race series under the Running Zone banner, including the Ultimate Space Race, the Space Coast Marathon and the Space Coast Half-Marathon, organized with Space Coast Runners.
To incentivize runners, the Piercys theme their races to keep interest in the sport from flagging. Thus, Brevard runners can enjoy the Meerkat Mosey 3k, the Jingle Bell and Pirate Plunder two-milers, the Excalibur 10k and Long Doggers’ Kids’ Marathon and Half-Marathon, among many others.
The Running Zone also hosts non-competitive fun run/walks several nights each week throughout the county and Sunday morning group workouts, all with the intent to get folks active without much fuss.
KEEPING THE PUBLIC FIT
In 2009, the Piercys established the Running Zone Foundation to encourage health and fitness through walking and running.
Proceeds from Running Zone Foundation races have benefited a wide range of Brevard nonprofits, including local public schools, the American Heart Association, Brevard Rescue Mission, Honor America, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the American Cancer Society.
The couple’s own story is one of pursuing the American dream. Don, a certified public accountant, and Denise, a nurse, opened their Melbourne running store in 2003 in 1,645-square-feet of retail space across from Eastern Florida State College to meet the needs of the area.
The store has grown to 4,500-square-feet just a few doors from the original location and also now encompasses the Running Zone Race Management and the Running Zone Foundation.
For their many charitable efforts, SpaceCoastDaily.com and Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine inducted the Piercys into the 2112 class of Central Florida Humanitarians of the Year.
The Piercys walk – actually, run – the walk. Participating in races can be tricky for the couple, because they are so busy running these events for others to enjoy, but the Piercys typically manage to run an average of 30 to 40 miles a week, usually on weekdays.
Spreading the gospel of exercise remains the Piercy’s passion. You’re never too young or too old, they say.
“The goal is to get people moving,” said Piercy. “It’s not about being fast, it’s about participating and getting off the couch.”
FOR INFORMATION or to make a nomination to the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame call 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com