Support Your Local Running Store – Buy Local!

As with every month, I highly anticipate receiving my copy of Runners World Magazine.  I usually read it cover-to-cover and get some very valuable information.  I also enjoy reading their inspirational articles and stories. This week, when I went to the mailbox and pulled out my April edition, it looked different. Thicker?  Gasp…horror…it was due to a gigantic 24-page, high-gloss advertising supplement from Dick’s Sporting Goods. I was shocked.

Alright, I know Runners World is in business to make money and so is Dick’s Sporting Goods, and I respect them both.  However, I’m hell bent on supporting my LOCAL RUNNING STORE of choice, specifically Runners Roost.  Let’s look at Dick’s Sporting Goods, they sell guns, ammunition, bikes, camping equipment, stadium chairs, snorkel equipment, baseball gear, weight lifting stuff (yea even the Shake Weight), thigh masters, golf clubs and balls, ski equipment and fishing rods.  Plus much, much more sporting stuff than I will never own.  Yes, they also sell some running clothes and shoes which is apparent from their 24-page, high-gloss advertising supplement.

My local Denver running store of choice sells only running-related equipment.  My local running store provides a run club that  hosts a weekly run from each of their locations. My local running store is fully-engaged in supporting the local running community, and is visible at the majority of local Colorado races. My local running store makes me personally feel a part of the running  community.  My local running store puts on FREE running clinics and supports my running group, Runners Edge of the Rockies.  My local running store actually cares about all runners, and has skilled knowledgable employees that actually run; one, Patrick Rizzo, even competed in the Men’s Olympic Trials in Houston and came in 13th place.  He, along with the other skilled employees, takes the time to help first-time and existing runners get into the right pair of running shoes to maximize their running  experience.  Last time I checked, I couldn’t purchase my favorite shoe, the Newton Motus, at Dick’s Sporting Goods! My local running store carries the entire Newton line. Get my point?

Support Your Local Running Store

Dick’s Sporting Goods, though a fine store, does not specialize in running.  Their employees are not generally runners.  With the exception of putting their name on some events, Dick’s Sporting Goods does not do anything for the running  community.  All of our local running stores are passionate about running; it’s their livelihood and lifeblood — and you usually know the owner or owners who are actually runners themselves.

Now about Runners World.  I know it’s a magazine owned and published by mega-publisher Rodale Press.  I know it’s in business to  make money, the same as Saucony, Asics, Brooks, NikeNew Balance, and Mizuno, and I don’t blame Runners World  for working with Dick’s Sporting Goods.  I’m sure Dick’s Sporting Goods paid them a boatload for that insert.  I just simply want to shed light on the little guy, the local running store.

If you are a serious runner or even a casual runner, before you decide to walk through the doors of  a mega giant sporting goods store to purchase your running-related items, please consider purchasing at your local running store instead.  They count on you and can really return the favor in what they can do for you and your running community.  You will be educated on your purchase by a professional and who knows, a whole new world may open up to you by finding a fun running group to join!

You can be absolutely sure that the dollars I spend on my running equipment will be spent 100% exclusively at my local running store.  You can bet on it!

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  • Chris Bielinski says:
    March 09, 2012 10:40 AM

    I could not agree more! Anytime I need new shoes or any running related purchases I head to my local Boulder Running Company in Littleton. Not only can they give you insight into new products you can take out your shoes for a test run.

  • Rick O says:
    March 09, 2012 3:33 PM

    I couldn’t agree more … I would not have ever considered running a marathon if the Running Room had not offered Learn To Run clinics (although not free, they do offer free run-club runs). And it was at the running room that I met runners who advised me that I could get products at better prices at a small local running & triathlon specialty store.

    Runners Rock!

  • Harold says:
    March 11, 2012 9:13 AM

    Unfortunately, when there is not a local running store within an hour’s drive, it limits your ability to support them. We have several of the chain stores that have running shoes and other gear, but are not the same as a local running store and don’t really support the local running community.

    What do you do? The best you can, especially with the price of gas. I guess at that point you find an online running company that meets your needs or use the chain stores selectively to purchase your running gear.

    • Jim Lynch says:
      March 11, 2012 7:20 PM

      I understand. When you do not have a local store then you gotta do what you got to do to get your running gear. Completely understandable. Keep running!

  • Donna says:
    March 12, 2012 4:41 PM

    Amen, Jim! Well said! I, too, was surprised to see that insert from Dick’s. Though I can’t blame either party for that (as you said, it’s a business), I’d hate for new runners to think that they’re getting the same value at the big-box stores as at our local running store. And by value, I mean all of the non-monetary things you mentioned.
    We’re lucky to have such great local running stores here, and that’s where my running dollars will go, too!

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