Mike Nadeau, owner of Fleet Feet Sports Savannah, is brewing up some new things for the Savannah running community.
“We have everything from people who have Boston (Marathon) qualified that are running out there...to people that are run/walkers. I think we actually have some people walk and they just walk around the block real quick to [drink],” Nadeau said with a laugh. “They may be there a little more for drinking beer than running, but you know, I think that’s the great thing.”
“Pints to Pavement” is a free, casual run every third Wednesday of the month that supports local breweries and brings a few more people to the running community.
Nadeau moved to Savannah from Florida and has become a key player in the local Savannah community. Along with running Fleet Feet, Nadeau sits on multiple local non-profit boards, including Bike Walk Savannah, the Savannah Sports Council, and Savannah Racing Association. Overall, he said the goal is to find balance and make the community safer overall.
“I heavily think about runners, but I also think about the community as well: how to create a way to minimize their impact of us running around all over the town and really help create a balance between the two, you know? Where runners can run and people can get where they need to go,” he said.
Nadeau said he recognizes the intricacies of finding balance when trying to build bridges between runners and the overall community and how to be heard best. “It's a lot of listening, but once again, (I’m) trying to help be a mouthpiece between what the running community is,” he said.
“Savannah's a growing town, you know, and not only growing from tourism, but we have a lot more movies. We have a lot more races. We have a lot more of everything going on and what's that balance of continuing to support the great history that we have, but (also) turning an eye to the future and helping us grow and develop and do some things that will help attract even more tourism and attract more great things? We’ve got a lot of great miles out here that can be run.”
Nadeau is onto something when it comes to finding the common ground between not only the running community and the city, but also creating a bridge between personal differences and instead focusing on our sameness. “I had a really interesting opportunity a couple weeks ago, we have everybody from extreme right (politics) to the extreme left (politics), and we were talking about the diversity of the five of us sitting there,” he said.
“We talked about how running really equalizes all those things, just as runners, and that's what we accept you know. We were able to sit there collectively and talk because we shared one thing in common, and that was running...We’re all just in there having a beer, and I think it’s really awesome that we can all come together like that”.
frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen>