Run and Become is an independent chain of running shops based in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff. Run and Become was founded in by Ongkar Smith in 1982, who took the advice of Sri Chinmoy to open a store - at a time when runners were rarely catered for. Over the past 30 years, Run and Become has sought to serve and inspire the running community through offering personalised customer service and supporting a range of running races in the nations' capitals.
With 30 years of expertise, the shop specialises in helping runners find their optimal shoes and equipment for running. In addition to sales, the shops have recently expanded into running related services, such as free workshops on injury prevention, training tips and unique challenges of running.
Recently, the London branch moved to a new location in Victoria. See article (New Run and Become shop) Speaking at the opening ceremony, the current manager, Shankara Smith spoke about the aims of Run and Become, and how it is inspired by the philosophy of Sri Chinmoy. Sri Chinmoy himself was a keen runner, completing many marathons and ultra-marathons during his running career. Sri Chinmoy also taught how meditation and the philosophy of self-transcendence could play a beneficial role in helping the outer running. Throughout the store, there are several photos of Sri Chinmoy, including photos of meeting great running heroes, such as Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis.
Meet the staff
The staff of Run and Become play an integral role in many of the UK's Sri Chinmoy Races. The 24 hour race at Tooting Bec, was founded by Ongkar Smith in 1989, and continues to this day, organised by Shankara Smith and Devashishu Torpy.
Article in Independent on Run and Become October 2000
"At 4.15 on Tuesday afternoon the Indian peace advocate and guru Sri Chinmoy will appear at the House of Commons at the invitation of MPs Jenny Tonge and Piara Khabra, and Baroness Flather. He will share his vision of world peace and he may play his flute. So far, so run of the mill as far as visiting gurus go. However, where Sri Chinmoy differs from your average mystic is that he also happens to be a hero of the running community.
Sri Chinmoy's philosophy is not Buddhist, although it shares some of the same values, including emphasis on meditation. Which is where, intriguingly, running comes in. Now in his 70th year, this former champion decathlete and marathon runner, who is based in New York and is currently working on his weightlifting, believes that running is a form of external meditation." Read more