The Last Lap Corner Store, Chicago’s Black-Owned Running Store on the South Side.

Staying Healthy while living through a pandemic can be complicated but attainable. One way of staying healthy is to make healthy food choices, boost your immune system, and remain active. How do we stay active while being safe? Many have taken to participating in outdoor activities, which may include strength training and cardiovascular exercise. One way to help keep social distancing is to get outdoors and go for a walk or run. For the runners out there, especially on the South Side of Chicago, having to go to the North Side for your running needs can be an inconvenience.  Luckily there is a Black-Owned Running Store & community on the South Side of Chicago to help you.

Last Lap Running Chicago DefenderSouth Side native and resident, Ian Gonzalez is the owner of the Last Lap Corner Store located in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood. He describes it as, “he’s a black business, within a black business, within a black business.”

Last Lap Corner Store is a running specialty store that sells nutrition, apparel, recovery gear, and functional athletic wear. Everything in the store is there to help you run, before, during, and after. As Ian says, Recovery is as vital as putting in the miles.

You can find Ian and his running group running on the South Side down Stoney Island Ave, bringing awareness by showing black men being active in their neighborhood with outdoor running. “Running, Strength training, and Recovery” is Last Lap Corner Store’s motto and is embodied in his logo and wants you to remember, “You have to Slow Down to speed up.”

Ian admits that he has not been a runner for a long time. He just started a few years ago.  As a social person, Ian decided to open his store on the South Side because the South Side is where his people need him. There is a community aspect to the store. Ian wants to look out for people, runners, and the South Side. His goal is to support the runners in the streets and help build well-rounded runners.

“I love this,” Ian says about running. Running has changed his life in the last three years and changed who he is and what is important to him and he wants to give back out to the community.

Ian’s goal is to make Last Lap Corner Store a Hub for runners, not just for the South Side, but for any runners.  As his space grows, he is looking to add services to the store where runners will feel comfortable, spending time hanging out (post-Covid-19, of course), to talk about running, and swap training ideas with each other. Ian wants runners to feel that they can start their run from the Last Lap Corner store or make it a checkpoint along their run where you can get properly hydrated, preferably, year round. He wants the Last Lap Corner Store to become the store that provides running needs for runners that may be hard to find on the South Side. The Last Lap Corner store aims to be a welcoming community of runners.

You can find Ian and the Last Lap Corner Store at 332 E. 51st Street in the Bronzeville neighborhood in Chicago and on social media at, and social media platforms @LastLapCornerStore.

Shera Strange, Writer & Certified Fitness Professional. Find her on social media at  Linkedin: Shera Strange FB: Strange Fitness Inc


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