It is pretty safe to say that Mickey Yardis eats, sleeps and breathes running. The longtime owner of Threads and Treads athletic equipment store on East Putnam Avene is the brains behind the 24th annual, 10-event, Greenwich Cup.
Yardis is preparing to direct the Cup into its second half with the Volvo of Stamford Greenwich Triathlon on Sunday. Yardis and other racing enthusiasts conceived the idea years ago to bring together participants in all kinds of endurance races under one banner.
"We were sitting around one New Year's brainstorming, and we wanted to tie in some of the races we had already established [in Greenwich]," Yardis said. "We used to rank the season-long competitors ... but we just listened to our customers who wanted more variety as the multi-sport cross-training movement unfolded."
Yardis opened his store in 1979 after graduating from Lehigh, where he was a star on its track team. Threads and Treads has been going strong ever since, becoming something of a Greenwich landmark. "I do attribute [the store's success] to staying involved with athletes in the community," Yardis said. "It's a lot of fun. You get to know a lot of great families in a business like this."
Yardis has the rare opportunity to combine his job with a hobby he is passionate about. If he's not at his store, or with his wife and two kids, he's probably out running, or indulging in his other hobby, yoga. Yardis said his schedule is too hectic to participate in his own triathlon, but he is looking forward to overseeing a sold out field on Sunday.
"It's a little harried in here during race week, but once you see everybody get going and having fun, you get a lot of energy and fulfillment out of it," Yardis said.
The Volvo of Stamford Greenwich Triathlon begins at 6:30 a.m. at Tod's Point on Sunday.
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