Love Affair With Drake Relays Allowed Couple to Call Iowa Home

JOHNSTON, Iowa  --  For Lindsey Jo Andrews and her husband Jordan, opening up Heartland Soles Running and Walking Store in Johnston nearly two years ago was a dream come true.

"Being a local shop in a state that values farming, shopping local, and mom and pop shops," said Lindsey.

It's not just a local business; Heartland Soles is one of the state's only stores to use a process called gait analysis to analyze customers' fitting.

"They get to see, 'okay, this is how I was running, now I'm in this new shoe that is good for me and I can see, yes, it has everything working more efficiently.'"

Lindsey's love of running stems from her Kansas City-area roots, but her passion to create this one of a kind experience and grow a family in Iowa with her high school sweetheart was paced by one 10,000-meter race at the Drake Relays.

"It's just powerful. It is just an amazing experience," Lindsey said.

As a competitor for Columbia College, an NAIA school in Missouri, Lindsey, a six-time All American, says her experience in 2015 was unforgettable.

"The drumline was playing and I actually went in ranked first," she said.

That, combined with a weekend-long exploration of Des Moines with Jordan after her race, left them with no doubt about where they would live after graduation, despite having no family ties in Iowa.

"We kind of fell in love with the Beaverdale neighborhood, and that is were we live now," said Lindsey.

The cheers she heard as an athlete that day inside Drake Stadium still refuse to quiet down.

"A lot of times I just run up and go look at the Blue Oval. Just look at it and it gives you that feeling of competition and power," she said.

Inside Heartland Soles are tickets from the relays dating back to 1979. It is a tradition Lindsey is proud to be part of, and also one she hopes to one day share with her seven-month-old daughter Layla.

Lindsey said, "When she is in high school, I will be getting in the age where I could do the Masters 800. Hopefully she will enjoy it herself, too, and it would be really fun to get to both compete on the Blue Oval."

Lindsey and Jordan recently opened up another Heartland Soles location in the Iowa City area in March.