Last week I had the privilege to go to Stillwater and give a presentation to OSU students majoring in Dietetics. Road trips are fun and I can’t pass up an opportunity to visit my alma mater. My friends who have traveled with me in the past learned to expect that I’ll always try to locate the local running store. My hope is that they have a really cool tech shirt with their logo on it that I can purchase and wear during a training run (if no cool shirt then maybe a pair of socks with their store name). Why not advertise for them? My collection of “travel tech shirts” has grown over the years, but I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.
Stillwater’s local running store is “Run With It” and the owner, Rocky, was there the day I stopped by. We had a great discussion about the need to support the local running economy (change that up with the local biking economy, local triathlete economy, etc. — whatever your sport encompasses) and hopefully you’ll understand why all of us recreational athletes really need to support these businesses.
Last year, I posted a blog entry that summed up the need to do this. Sadly one of the running stores I listed by name has now gone out of business. I don’t live in that area, and there’s nothing I, alone, could have prevented …. but it demonstrates the critical need to shop local. I can’t say it enough about the significance of keeping these people in business. If you live in Stillwater, I encourage you to stop by the store and buy something. Don’t let them be the next store to close their doors because they weren’t supported enough.
Below is a section of the blog entry I mentioned and it’s worth saying again:
For those of us who live in Tulsa, we’ve got it good. I could say the same thing about Oklahoma City. Think about it, we have several locally owned running stores and bike shops. We also have the chain stores such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Academy Sports & Outdoors, and Sports Authority. However, each time you make a purchase at the local specialty stores then you support both the running and the cycling community. We need that; we all need that regardless of where you live. You can buy your Gu at the national chain stores… but what if you took the time to stop by the closest running/biking store and bought it there? Is the price really that different? Don’t they have so many more flavors to choose from? Did you know they can order stuff for you too? What about socks, water bottles, etc? The little things count and consider the impact.
The local specialty stores are often sponsors of the races we compete in and just as much as they support us — we need to support them.
What about rural areas? These stores especially need our support. Where do runners and cyclists from much smaller communities go to purchase their gear, their nutrition, their stuff? Sure, the Internet is seemingly the best source because they may be cheaper (but we somehow forgot about the shipping cost). But what about the small local running or biking store in your area that desperately needs customers to stay in business. They need you and you need them. They need to stay in business and how will they do it? By consumers taking the time and making a purchase from their store. Cyclists can easily stop by the local running store (if there are no bike stores in your community) and purchase carb gels, carb chews, jelly beans, any nutritional supplement you could use. These little things help and they do add up.
For those of us in Tulsa and OKC, we are responsible to help our own running and biking communities too. Please shop local, please help these small independent businesses stay in business and help them stay in our community. They are often our sponsors for the events we compete in. They need us and we need them.
Share this post: