Mission Accomplished! Abby Oliver at the Finish Line of America’s Toughest Road Marathon

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Abby Oliver in our Sales and Service department did great in the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon this past Saturday. Liz on our team chatted with Abby at the finish line after Abby completed the grueling 26.2 miles–in her Foot Levelers’ XP3+ orthotics, no less–check out our new video here!

Big congrats to Foot Levelers’ team members Abby, Josh Barto and Steve Stone–and to all those who braved America’s Toughest Road Marathon! See you next year!

Congratulations Runners, and Thanks to All!

Thank you to all the runners, volunteers, fans, sponsors and more who made the 2016 Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon an outstanding success!  See you in 2017!

Look Who Made the Front Page!

RT coverWe’re excited for our own Abby Oliver, who graces the front page of The Roanoke Times today, our hometown paper!

Abby is a rockstar in our Sales and Service department and an accomplished basketball player in her “previous life”–to say the least. The Times talked to her about training for the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon–her very first marathon, and known as America’s toughest–happening just steps from our office door tomorrow!

‘Course, Abby is no stranger to challenges.  Among a mile-long list of achievements, she was the University of Richmond’s women’s team 7th Leading All-Time Scorer when she graduated in 2012, and the nation’s best at the free throw line. Read that again: the nation’s best. Number 1, Numero Uno, Top Dog, Queen Bee. Holy wow. Before joining our team, Abby played pro overseas.

At Foot Levelers, Abby helps doctors from all over the world choose the right custom-made orthotics for their patients, many of whom are professional athletes. Her experience on the court makes her a natural when it comes to helping docs help patients stay injury-free and performing at their peak.

We know Abby will do great at The Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon, and we’ll all be rooting for her at the finish line. Go Abby go! 

America’s Toughest Road Marathon Needs YOU!

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On April 16th, hundreds of runners from all over the world will descend upon Foot Levelers’ hometown of Roanoke, Virginia, for the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon, also known as America’s toughest road marathon.

And it’s not “just” the race. Down by Downtown is a three-day celebration of music with more than 50 acts performing at iconic local venues including the stunning Elmwood Park Amphitheater and at the marathon finish line.

Not a runner, but still want to get involved? Not a problem.

Consider joining the team that makes it happen.  It takes over 500 volunteers to pull off the big event, and there are still plenty of spots left.  So pick a time and job description that suits you and come join the fun!!

If you’re coming from out of town, check out our Visitor’s Center for lots of great advice on where to sleep, eat, and other things to see and do in our gorgeous little corner of the world. We can’t wait to host you!

Ready for The Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon? This Guy Is!

 

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We’re less than one month away from the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon, and to celebrate we’ll be introducing you to some of our fine folks here who will be running and volunteering in the big event.

Josh Barto, or “Barto” as he’s better known, has been with Foot Levelers for over 8 years and “running pretty much ever since I could walk—if you ask my mom,” he says. Though he’s worn at least half a dozen different hats at Foot Levelers, today Barto works mostly in “Mods” (that’s short for “Modifications Department,” which just doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as nicely).

Barto and the Mods Team are key to the Foot Levelers model, and one of the many reasons that nothing compares to custom. If your Foot Levelers’ custom orthotics aren’t absolutely perfect, if they don’t do what they’re supposed to do, the Mods team will work their tails off to ensure we make them right (that’s part of the Foot Levelers’ 100% Guarantee).

A self-described 5- and 10K addict, Barto is competing in the half marathon (13.1 miles).  Get to know Barto a.k.a. The Mod Man below, and look for him at the starting line!

Run 6Name: Josh Barto, better known as Barto.

Age: 31.

Position with Foot Levelers: Unofficially: Jack of All Trades. The Mod Man. Officially: Sales & Service Specialist.

You’re a big runner. How did you get into it?

My mother used to say that whenever she called me, whatever I was doing, I would always come running… I ran cross-country at school, [today] I do races all over the Roanoke [Virginia] area. I’ve just always enjoyed it and staying fit. I’ve done two Tough Mudder Races; I also play a lot of rec sports like softball, soccer, basketball, ultimate frisbee and I’m on a kickball team.

What is special to you about the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon?

The fact that this will be my first “official” half marathon… I’ve run a couple before, but never on paper or competing. My friends pushed me to do it. Plus it’s great that my employer is the title sponsor. The marathon brings so much to this area.

What’s your training regimen look like?

I average about 15 to 20 miles a week right now. I’m a 5K and 10K racer, so I just started by figuring out how far I could run the first day [of training] and then gradually increasing. I run every other day, [then] I add a either a half mile or a quarter mile, depending on how I am feeling that day. I’ve been doing that for about 2 months now.

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Josh Barto training in the Foot Levelers gym

Foot Levelers helps [with my training] by providing the company gym, plus everyone here is so supportive… We have a great Workout for Payout program that I obviously take advantage of… I do my weight training here and start my runs from here. Sometimes I train with my co-worker Abby Oliver. She’s doing the full marathon.

I’m a big trail [running] fan and it’s nice that our company is so close to the Greenways. I love being outdoors but for rainy days, the treadmills in the Foot Levelers gym are great.

A lot of runners use Foot Levelers custom orthotics to keep their bodies performing optimally and to prevent injury. How about you?

I’m lucky because I get to test some of the products before they’re introduced to market.  I was an early tester of the InMotion, which is now our top-seller… I wanted to see how it held up since I’m a big runner, and it’s fantastic. The new XP3 and XP3+ orthotics are focused toward performance, and I recommend them to a lot of people.

Meet Our Marathon Volunteers: Laura Ash

Nine days and counting until the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon! We’re pleased to introduce Laura, one of our most enthusiastic marathon volunteers. Laura helps man the Mill Mountain aid station where runners refuel with water and snacks around mile 12.

Name: Laura Ash

Years with Foot Levelers: 17

Role at Foot Levelers: “Layout Technician. When 3D foot scans or foam casting kits arrive [with foot impressions from patients], I look at the image and what the doctor says, and I design the orthotics,” based on Foot Levelers’ proprietary method.

Role at the Blue Ridge Marathon: “I hand out the water and snacks on top of Mill Mountain and I’m a cheerleader.”

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Runners crossing the starting line at the 2014 Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon

What made you decide to volunteer? “The very first year I volunteered for the Workout for Payout points” [credits that Foot Levelers offers employees toward free health insurance, days off, and other goodies, earned by eating healthy, exercising, and volunteering].  “But once I got up there to Mill Mountain, I got caught up!

It’s amazing to me: watching that first wave of runners; they’re like a wave of gazelles. Then the people with physical challenges come—and it’s so inspiring…Last year there was a gentleman in a wheelchair; he had no use of his legs, he was doing it all with his arms…

All your life from this high you hear, ‘you can do whatever you put your mind to.’ Some of these runners are disabled, some of them are not so young–they’re older than I am! So seeing them out there reminds you that ‘yes, you really can do whatever you put your mind to.’ It brings that to life.”

How do you feel about Foot Levelers’ involvement in the marathon? “It makes me proud to be part of Foot Levelers, because the marathon brings so much to Roanoke, and we’re giving back to a community that has given so much to us.  We’re also showing people how our orthotics can help, whether you’re a professional athlete or just running around the block for fun.”

What are your favorite orthotics? “I like the InMotion… I have them in the shoes I’m wearing right now. I’ll be wearing them on race day too!”

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Laura Ash