About Us

At Aardvark Sports Shop, we are committed to supporting the running community in the Lehigh Valley and beyond.

Our Story

Our friendly and talented staff is made up of local runners just like you, from plodders to top finishers of Lehigh Valley 10Ks and half marathons, all who are passionate about running and eager to help beginners and seasoned runners alike perform at their best.

When you come in, they will ensure that your shoe has a secure midfoot so your foot doesn’t move around, wasting energy. They’ll make certain you have enough room between your toe and the front of the shoe and that your heel doesn’t lift. They’ll watch you walk and run a few steps to analyze your stride. These are things you just can’t do over the internet. And they are critically important to achieving optimal fit—and getting more enjoyment out of running.

Our shop’s goal is to sell you the perfect shoe. Because when you run better and enjoy running more in shoes fitted by our staff, we know that when you need a new pair, you’ll run right back to our store. Aardvark respects your feet. We value your patronage. Let us help you make greater strides with a shoe that fits perfectly.

Aardvark Sports Shop is a locally owned retail store specializing in running merchandise located in the heart of historic Bethlehem, PA, on the corner of Main and Broad streets in The Shoppes at Main Street Commons.

 

OUR STAFF

John Blaxland

Q: How long have you been running?
A: 35 years

Q: What is your pre-race meal of choice?
A: Pasta 

Q: What is your favorite running shoe of all time?
A: The shoe I’m in right now

Q: What is your proudest running moment?
A: 2:49 marathon 

Q: Favorite place to run?
A:  Trails

Bruce Haines

Q: What is your favorite activity other than running?

A: Fishing with my son, Grant

Q: Tell us about your favorite event.

A: I have only done it once, but I would have to say The Blessing of The Fleet 10 Miler in Narragansette, Rhode Island. It is a beautiful course near the water, lots of folks cheering and the race finishes up at a Seafood Festival.

Q: What is the activity or event on your “bucket list” that you would most like to do if money and time were no object?

A: I would like to take a float trip through the Grand Canyon.

Q: Favorite place to run.

A: The roads around Shapleigh, Maine where we spend vacations.

Q: How do you like to celebrate after a race?

A: A cold beer with friends.

Mark Haring

Q: How long have you been running?
A: 6 years

Q: What is your favorite activity other than running?
A: Gardening and Landscaping

Q: Tell us your favorite event
A: St. Jude Memphis Marathon. The crowd support was insane! And running through the St. Jude campus with the children outside cheering was an experience like no other.

Q: What is your favorite pre-race meal of choice?
A: Black iced coffee!

Q: What is the activity or event on you “bucket list” that you would most like to do if money and time were not an object?
A: Complete an Ironman Triathlon.

Q: What is your proudest running moment?
A: Losing over 60 pounds and being able to run a 5:30 mile.

Q: Favorite place to run?
A:  Whatever route Sheena picks for Team Vark! 🙂

Q: Best and worst running experience?
A: Best: Finishing the Harrisburg Marathon (my first) on November 14, 2014. Worst: Tripping over curbs is never fun.

Sue Henry

Q: How long have you been running?
A: I started running in high school.  I ran casually for fun and exercise and competitively as a sprinter.

Q: Tell us about your favorite event.
A: Runner’s World Half Marathon.  I love having the race run through our hometown including my neighborhood.

Q: What is your pre-race meal of choice?
A: I like to eat light – usually a half of a banana, granola and a cup of coffee for added energy.

Q: How do you like to celebrate after a race?
A: I like to celebrate with friends and family that either race or come out to support the runners.  Typically, a cold beer or two and a good meal out.

Q: What is your favorite running shoe of all time?
A: I am a Newton girl.  I run in various models.  I like to switch up the shoes during my runs throughout the week.  I love how light the shoes feel on my feet.

Jon Notary

Q:  What is your favorite activity other than running?
A:  Family time…enjoying life with my wife and our two daughters…some of that time involves running, but not all of it!

Q:  Tell us about your favorite event.
A:  Penn Relays, one of the world’s most popular Track and Field meets. If you’ve never been…go. Thankfully I had the opportunity to run there 6 times between high school and college. Personal favorite on the track is the 4x400…nothing better than running fast with friends!

Q:  What is your favorite running shoe of all time?
A:  I’m a Newton junkie so this is going to be a toss-up between my very first pair of the original Distance and the now five-lug Gravity.

Q:  What is the activity or event on your “bucket list” that you would most like to do if money and time were no object?
A:  Without a doubt it would be a six month to year long trip with my family around the US by car or RV to see the rest of this amazing country and all the scenery, culture, and history it has to offer.  

Q What is your best and worst running experience?
A:  Best…finishing 6th in the 400M at the PIAA State Track and Field Championships my senior year of high school after putting in four very well coached hard years of training.
Worst…the 2014 Via Marathon, should have stuck to the plan…didn’t stick to the plan…lesson, always stick to the plan!

Trevor Van Ackeren

Q: How long have you been running?
A: I’ve been running for over 15 years. I started running on a middle school cross country team, but I remember doing runs with my dad and brother even before then.

Q: What is your favorite event other than running?
A: An addition to running, I’ve always loved basketball. I love my role as an assistant basketball coach with Liberty High School and invest a lot of time and energy into coaching.

Q: Tell us about your favorite event.
A: My best and my favorite event has typically been the middle distance races on the track. I love the relays where you compete as a team like the 4x800m and the Distance Medley Relay.

Q: What is your favorite running shoe of all time?
A: My favorite shoe is the Brooks Cadence. It’s just so versatile due to its light-weight but also supportive/structure elements. I love it for a longer run or an uptempo workout.

Q: What is the activity or event on your “bucket list” that you would most like to do if money and time were not an object?
A: I would love to run in an Olympic Trials marathon or another major marathon field. The marathon is a new and scary distance for me, but I’d love to take a crack at running a fast one.

Q: What is your proudest running moment?
A:  Winning the Penn Relays 4xMile “Championship of America” with my teammates at Princeton. Going to watch Penn Relays as a freshman in high school was what really opened my eyes to the greatness of track and field as a sport, and it was the 4xMile that day that really inspired me. Going full circle from a boy in awe of the collegiate champions to a champion myself in the same event was something very special to me. To accomplish something on such a big stage in front of a packed stadium, and to do so as part of a relay with my best friends and teammates made the feat all the more cherishable.

Eileen Darlington

Q: What is your favorite event other than running?
A: I love skiing! There is no better feeling thank letting your skis fly down the mountain, especially on a beautiful, sunny winter day.

Q: Tell us about your favorite event:
A: The Boston Marathon is an amazing experience! I am grateful to be running my 4th Boston Marathon this year.

Q: What is the activity or event on your bucket list that you would most like to do if money and time were not an object?
A: If money and time were not an object, I would love to attend one of Kara Goucher’s weekend retreats.

Q: What is your favorite running shoe of all time?
A: The answer to that question keeps changing for me. Currently, my favorite running shoes are the Hoka One One Clifton and the Saucony Kinvara.

Q: How do you like to celebrate after a race?
A: I like to celebrate after a race by sharing a good meal and a beer with family and friends.

Elyssa Kocon

Q: How long have you been running?
A: 8 years

Q: What is your favorite activity other than running?
A: Baking and cooking

Q: What is your pre-race meal of choice?
A: Nature’s path pop tart and nuun

Q: What is your favorite place to run?
A: At the beach in Emerald Isle North Carolina

Q: How do you celebrate after a race?
A:  Eat all the food and take a nap.

Sheena Wells

Q: How long have you been running?
A: I would say I began running Autumn of 2010. I ran intermittently here and there and had done two casual 5ks before that, but it wasn’t until I started training for the Pittsburgh marathon 2011 that it really became part of who I am.

Q: What is your favorite activity other than running?
A: Pilates would be it for me! This practice of mindful movement has done wonders for my running and day to day life.

Q: What is your pre-race meal of choice?
A: Night-before meal would be fish, vegetables, and rice or quinoa. Day of breakfast would be rice cake or toast with nut butter, raw honey, cinnamon, and sliced banana or a small bowl of oatmeal with some light fixings.

Q: What is your proudest running moment?
A: My proudest running moment is finishing my first marathon in Pittsburgh. There are a lot of “firsts” in training for that first marathon and you learn a lot about yourself mentally and physically.

Q: Best and worst running experience.
A: The worst running experience for me was an unorganized run in Philadelphia a couple of friends and I decided to participate in. We cut it short, seeking out the Temple flags for safety. The directions were off, we got lost in some very bad neighborhoods, we were approached by some shady characters, and we had to dodge some unmentionable items along the way.
My best running experience is my first Boston Marathon April 17, 2017!

Stephanie Hoppe

Q: How long have you been running?
A: I’ve been running ever since I can remember. I grew up playing a different sport every season: soccer, field hockey, swim team, and track. My entry into long distance running was 10 years ago, when I completed my first half marathon at the Colonial Half Marathon in Williamsburg, VA.

Q: What is your favorite activity other then running?
A: I love traveling! Usually my husband and I combine our passion for running with our love of traveling and compete in destination races! Our favorite so far was a 1/2 marathon in Iceland.

Q: What is your proudest running moment?
A: My proudest running moment was completing my first full Ironman in October 2016. Training and competing in that race was the most physically and mentally challenging thing I have ever done, and I am still so proud when I think of that accomplishment.

Q: If you did not grow up in the Lehigh Valley, tell us how you ended up here.
A: I grew up in Richmond, VA, but my husband and I have moved around quite a bit for his job, from Phoenix to Chicago, and most recently to the Lehigh Valley in December 2016.

Q: What is the activity or event on your “bucket list” that you would most like to do if money and time were not an object.
A: I would LOVE to compete in a marathon on every continent. I aspire to run all of the World Marathon Majors, so that will help get me close to my goal. But Antarctica will definitely be a challenge, and is on my bucket list, though I hear I’ll need to learn to run without sweating!

Greg Jaindl

Q: Where is your favorite place to run?
A: Lehigh Parkway is my favorite place to run. I ran my first 5k ever there, and this is where we had Saturday practices for my high school team.

Q: What is your proudest running moment?
A: Breaking my high school’s 4x800 record with my teammates. After that I knew I wanted to focus on running year-round, and that it would lead to more success.

Q: What is your favorite activity other then running?
A: I love playing basketball with friends, but I also enjoy hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities.

Q: Tell us your favorite event.
A: The 4x400 is one of the best races during a track meet, and since it is usually at the end of the meet it leads to a lot of excitement if the meet is close.

Q: What is the activity or event on your “bucket list” that you would most like to do if money and time were not an object?
A: I would love to go to the summer and winter olympic games. Especially the summer games to see the track events.

Lauren Image

Lauren Kanaskie

Q:  How long have you been running?
A:  I have been running since middle school cross country, so about 15 years.

Q:  
What is your favorite activity other then running?
A:  My favorite other physical activity would be skiing or hiking, other hobbies include photography and drawing.

Q: What is your pre-race meal of choice?
A:   The night before would be grilled chicken, grilled veggies, and a baked sweet potato. Day of is always a bagel with peanut butter and a banana.

Q:  Where is your favorite place to run?
A:   Any trail or country road.
Q:  Tell us about your favorite event.
A:   Vermont City Marathon/half/relay in Burlington, Vermont. The course is beautiful and the community feel is amazing. One year it was abnormally hot and every spectator had water, ice pops, hoses running, sprinklers etc to help out the runners. It was much appreciated!

Q:  What is your favorite running shoe of all time?
A:   Brooks Ghost. I have run in Brooks shoes for so long, our dog’s name is “Brooks.”

Q:  What is your proudest running moment?
A:   Completing my first half marathon, the Nike Women’s Half in Washington, DC.

Q:  What was your best and worst running experience.
A:   My best running-related experience has been coaching high school cross country and track. Watching kids grow and succeed with my help is one of the most rewarding experiences to date!
My worst running experience (which may be TMI) was probably being about 9 miles into a long run and having to quickly find a bathroom which ended up being a random pizza shop in the middle of no-where –enough said!

Q:  If you did not grow up in the Lehigh Valley, tell us how you ended up here.
A:   I grew up in Berks County, went to Oley Valley high school, ended up in Delaware and Philly for college and grad school and then moved to Vermont for the past 3 years! We just moved back to the area (my boyfriend grew up in the Lehigh Valley) and are glad to be closer to family.
Q: How do you like to celebrate after a race?
A:   A cold beer.. can I say that? If not, taking a nap with my dog!

Q:  What is the activity or event on your “bucket list” that you would most like to do if money and time were not an object?
A:   The Boston Marathon

Alex Fitch

Q: How long have you been running?
A: I started running when I joined the Northeast Middle School cross country team. From there I joined the Liberty High School cross country and track teams, and I now run for Misericordias’ cross country and track teams where I am currently studying physical therapy.

Q: What is your favorite activity other than running?
A: Outside of running I enjoy things that get me out the door to see new places. I enjoy cycling and hiking because they both let me explore and experience nature in different ways.

Q: What is your pre-race meal of choice?
A: I’m not overly picky when it comes to what I eat the morning of a race but I always enjoy snacking on some sort of gummie candy pre-race – whether it’s gummie bears or Sport Beans.

Q: What is the activity or event on your “bucket list” that you would most like to do if money and time were not an object?
A: I would want to travel to different running “hot spots” such as Flagstaff, Oregon, Ethiopia, Kenya, and others to train with elite and sub-elite runners. The most interesting part of that would be comparing the different philosophies and cultures of training that exist here in the US vs. that of villages and cities in West Africa.

Q: What is your proudest running moment?
A: My proudest running moment would have to be when I was in 8th grade I competed in the Hurricane Invitational that Liberty High School hosts every year. I placed 25th in this race and snagged the last medal place. While this isn’t the best or more prestigious running moment; it’s a moment where I realized that running gives back to you. It ignited the passion I have for running and without it, I would’ve missed many amazing opportunities and never met people that I did otherwise.

Heather Hawthorne

Q: How long have you been running?
A: 7 years

Q: What is your favorite activity other than running?
A: swimming, cycling, and downhill skiing (can’t pick just one)

Q: Tell us about your favorite event.
A:  Red Rock Canyon Half Marathon in Nevada. Scenery took my breath away.

Q: If you did not grow up in the Lehigh Valley, tell us how you ended up here.
A: I’m originally from SoCal, my mother moved us to the east coast to get away from the earthquakes and fires.

 

Suzanne Moore 

Q: How long have you been running?
A: I joined First Strides in 2009 and haven’t stopped running since.

Q: If you did not grow up in the Lehigh Valley, tell us how you ended up here:
A: I am originally from Hunterdon County, NJ. We got a lot more house for our money in PA. Easy access to major highways and a nice neighborhood sold it for me. We have been in the same house in Bethlehem Township since 2003.

Q: What is your proudest running moment?
A: Running the NYC Marathon in 2013.

Q: What is your favorite place to run?
A: On towpath along the Lehigh River and near the ocean.

Q: How do you like to celebrate after a race?
A: With a beer!

Brian Schafer

Q: How long have you been running?
A: 35-years.

Q: What is your favorite activity?
A: I enjoy golfing.

Q: Tell us about your favorite event?
A: Utica boilermaker 15-k. They always have great crowds, lots of energy along the route and a post-race party at Saranac Brewery. Anyone who runs Utica comes back with great memories and stories!

Q: Favorite place to run?
A:  Lehigh Parkway

Q: What is your proudest running moment?
A:  Finishing the 100th Boston Marathon in 1996, and my other 3 Boston finishes 1998-2003-2004. Breaking one hour for ten miles would be 2nd on my list.

Aandy

Q: How long have you been running?
A: I have been running ever since I was a cub, but it took some work to be where I am today. My form was terrible! Aardvarks are naturally fast, but I would sometimes zigzag or hit all fours like a quadruped being chased by a hungry hyena. After 30+ years of hanging around the running staff here at the store, they eventually got me to kick those instinctual habits and turned me into a running machine!

Q: What is your favorite activity other than running?
A: My absolute favorite activity is cheering at running events!

Q: Tell us about your favorite event.
A: Runners World Half & Festival baby!!

Q: What is your pre-race meal of choice?
A: I bet everyone thought “ANTS!” No no no. First off, I love termites. Secondly, it takes me all night to bust open one mound for only half a pound of termites. No one can run on that little food after all that work! Good thing I work at a running store that has food for runners. After experimenting quite a bit, I’ve come up with this combo: I’ll eat a few Picky Bars or Honey Stinger Waffles and wash it down with some Nuun. Gives me the right amount of fuel without weighing me down!

Q: What is your favorite running shoe of all time?
A: Altra Torin 2.0 is the only shoe that can fit these gnarly feet.

Q: What is your proudest running moment?
A: I love seeing Team Varkers get together after a race. Whether you ran a good race or a bad one, everyone is there to support each other. We have built one heck of a family and I’m very proud of that!

Raisa Kochmaruk

Q: How long have you been running?
A:  When I started in 6th grade (2011), I could barely keep up with my mom. My form was terrible, and she told me to pretend I was being pulled up by an imaginary string… which is advice I’ve sometimes given! I ran for Nitschmann Middle School and then Liberty High School, and now I’m thrilled to be running cross country and track at Cornell University. I hope/pray that good healths allows distance running to be a lifelong endeavor.

Q:  What is your favorite activity other then running?
A:  I love finding a life-changing novel (which is mostly historical fiction for me!), drawing childrens’ portraits and birds, reading articles about health and happiness, cooking, and listening to indie music and blues rock. However, not much compares to going for slow walks in the woods during the ‘glory hour’ of sunlight.

Q:  What are your best and worst running experiences?
A:  My fondest running memories are of the hours after winning Leagues and the District 11 meet in tenth grade, when the reporter led my grandparents to believe I was a minor celebrity, and my team went out for dinner and nothing could make me stop grinning.

Q:  Worst running moment
A:  Having my vision disappear, and then nearly passing out before the finish line at the cross country league meet of my senior year.

Q:  What is your favorite place to run?
A:  Through streaming sunlight on a foggy morning anywhere in historic Bethlehem.

Q:  Activity on my bucket list:
A:  Live in a foreign country for about a year (without access to English speakers), pick up the language, and connect with people through common interests, whether they involve art, running, wildlife conservation, or music….

GET IN TOUCH TODAY

 

Do you have questions about Aardvark (what we do or merchandise we carry) or running stuff in the Lehigh Valley? If so, please feel free to ask here and we will get back to you shortly. 

Address:
559 Main St., Suite 122
Bethlehem, PA 18018

Email: sales@aardvarksportsshop.com

Phone: 610-866-8300

Store Hours: Monday - Saturday 10am - 8pm, Sunday 12pm - 5pm