Frank Giannino Biography
I began fitting running shoes in 1977 in Eugene, Oregon, while attending school there. I have been a shoe store entrepreneur since 1983. Two friends, Bob Bright and Bill Glatz, opened a running store in New Paltz, New York, in 1978 called Catch Us If You Can. I was with them when Bob suggested the idea to Bill. I ran regularly with Bob and Bill and helped them in their store. I knew it was just a matter of time before I too would own a running shoe store. Orange Runners Club co-founder, Bruce Birnbaum, gave me that chance at ownership in 1981. The Middletown New York store was called Blisters Ltd. Blister’s was opened for business for only one year. The next opportunity at ownership was with Albert Weinert Jr. in 1984. At first the business was called Frank’s Run-In Room. A few years later we incorporated the business under the name Orange County Sporting Goods. I became the sole proprietor in 1991. In 1998, I changed the name to Frank’s Custom Shoe-Fitting. In 2003, I became a Board Certified Pedorthist. Here are the (14) key life experiences that put me on the path to the running shoe business: 1. Received the Eagle Scout Award, Troop 55, Blauvelt, New York, 1967; 2. Ran Track at Tappan Zee High School my freshman year; 3. Ran Track and Cross Country for three years at Valley Central High School in Montgomery, New York, graduated 1970; 4. Ran Cross Country during my two years at Orange County Community College, Middletown, New York; 5. Completed Army basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, 1972; 6. During advanced basic training at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, I watched the Olympic Games in Munich on television as Frank Shorter won Olympic Gold in the Marathon and Steve Prefontaine finished 4th in the 5,000 Meters; 7. Lived in Anchorage, Alaska, from December 1972 thru June 1975 during the “Black Gold Rush”, ran my first marathon there; 8. Spent the entire summer 1975 traveling from Alaska thru Canada and all over the USA really seeing the sights and getting to know the lay of our great land; 8. While attending SUNY New Paltz in 1975-76 ran (3) marathons in Buffalo, Maryland and Boston running Maryland in a lifetime personal best of 2:39:34; 9. While living in New Paltz that year I trained almost every day with Bob Bright; 10. While in Flagstaff Arizona 1976-77, completed my undergraduate degree and learned a great deal while training at an altitude of 7,000 feet; 11. Spent the summer 1977 traveling around the west with my brother John; Attended the University of Oregon for two semesters and lowered my personal best 10K to 32:59; 12. Worked in my first store selling running shoes Sugar Pine Ridge in Eugene, Oregon; 13. Returned to New Paltz in April 1978 for the Boston Marathon to handle for my two friends Bob Bright (27) and Bill Glatz (20) where they ran 2:37:24 and 2:32:00 respectively. The running scene in New Paltz had really elevated. While living in Flagstaff and Eugene, I really missed running in the Gunks and of course my friends and the social scene in New Paltz. 14. While in Boston I noticed a book called My Run across the United States by Don Shepherd, and started to dream about a run of my own. Soon after Boston 1978 I knew my career path was going to have a great deal to do with running. Everything I was doing revolved around the running lifestyle. Nothing ever felt more real. I have stayed close to the running sports ever since. I will continue to do so until the day I die.
FOR MORE ABOUT FRANK GIANNINO AND HIS RUNS - VISIT HIS BLOG "FRANKS JOURNEY"
Involvement in the Orange Classic 10K:
Today, the Classic 10K weekend is organized by a group of good friends who all care about this wonderful historic event. I consider it a privilege to part of team of dedicated volunteers, who all care about this 34 year old event.
On January 2, 1981, I was hired to direct a new event in Middletown called the Times Herald Record 25th Anniversary 10K Run. It featured a classic duel between to marathon greats: hometown hero Olympic Marathon champion Frank Shorter and Olympian Bill Rodgers, the four time winner of the New York City Marathon and four time winner of the Boston Marathon. Our team of organizers created an event model so successful that it continues to this day. From 1982 to 2005 the event was called the Orange Classic. Since 2006, it has simply been known as the Classic 10K. For a full view of this wonderful event, go to www.classic10K.com .