Once an overweight, out-of-shape smoker, John Stanton changed his life forever when he entered a three-kilometer road race with his sons in 1983. Realizing that he needed to improve his health and fitness, he began running before daybreak, as he felt embarrassed about not being able to run the distance between two lamp-posts. Stanton went on to run over 57 marathons, hundreds of road races, and numerous triathlons, including the Canadian Ironman and the Hawaiian World Championship Ironman competition. Not being able to find good advice about running and running products, Stanton founded the Running Room in 1984 in one room of an old house in Edmonton that was shared with a hairdressing shop. Today, with 64 locations in Canada and the United States, the Running Room has grown into North America's largest specialty store for walkers and runners.