JULY 17, 2019

Ready, set, go

BY FIEL ESTRELLA
PHOTOGRAPHY BY NIKKI BONUEL

Every runner has a motivation that drives them, and Secondwind has all the gear and facilities to make it happen — not to mention a dedicated and tight-knit Run Club that achieves their goals together.

Sports stores, you have to admit, get a little boring. The walls are pleasant but dull shades of off-white and gray, with maybe the occasional neon thrown in that’s more eyesore than eye candy. Products line the shelves and racks, cold and impersonal. Instead of being inspiring or motivating, it just comes off as intimidating. 

Secondwind, located on the second floor of Ayala Malls the 30th, is a breath of fresh air, with sleek interiors made warmer and more distinctive thanks to touches like a blackboard that’s full of affirmations and earnest messages of support. It’s also more focused, with emphasis on running — the kind of sport that, while it takes a lot of stamina and confidence to pick up, is something you become absorbed in and fall in love with.

Secondwind sets itself apart from other sportswear stores by cultivating what they call an ecosystem of running.

That’s how managing partner Jiggs Samson sees it, and according to him, Secondwind is dedicated to making the running experience all the more enjoyable. “We’re more prescriptive,” he says, meaning the products they carry are actually ones they use and recommend, including Vamos performance apparel, Mizu water bottles, and even various on-the-go snacks and supplements. The staff in the store is also passionate, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable about the sport.

“We don’t want to be known just as a store or a product-pusher,” adds fellow managing partner Billy Romero. “We wanted to be known in the community as a store that caters to avid runners and newbies alike.”

The store goes for a prescriptive approach to the products it carries, recommending gear and apparel to runners based on their levels and motivations.

Secondwind takes into consideration the needs of its customers beyond just the gear, creating what Samson calls an “ecosystem” of running. They work with race event organizers and coaches, provide sponsorship and talks, and even have an area in the store for training and rehabilitation with doctors. “We want people to be immersed in every aspect of the sport,” says Romero.

Secondwind works with race event organizers, physical therapists, and coaches, and even has an in-store rehab and training area.

To further set itself apart, Secondwind has a Run Club that meets not one but three days out of the week, and over the past two years, it has enabled them to build a sense of a true running community in the heart of Pasig. “If you saw our picture on the first day, hindi kami mukhang runners, parang nagkita lang sa park,” Samson laughs. But the club has steadily grown to about 50, attracting people of all genders, backgrounds, and running levels. “It’s not like [the bigger run clubs] where people hardly know each other,” he adds. The members, when not participating in runs and triathlons, also like to just hang out and have dinner together.

The Secondwind Run Club attracts dozens of sign-ups per meeting and runs together three times a week.

“Manila, believe it or not, has become more runner-friendly,” Samson says. As a result, more people are picking it up — whether to be trimmer, to be faster, to gain energy, whatever keeps them going. Secondwind exists to make sure they’re educated and are able to accomplish the goals they’ve set. “We want everyone to experience the sport based on what fits them best.”

Secondwind is located at Ayala Malls the 30th in Pasig.

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