Welcome to the seventh in our series of articles showcasing specialty run and outdoor retail stores focusing on their commitment to trail running through their in-store programs, brand inclusion, events and more. Spotlight on Specialty is presented by Saucony.
Boulder, Colorado, is one of the country’s trail running meccas, with more than 200 miles of trails within close proximity to downtown and a short drive from In Motion Running. While it’s been facetiously called the People’s Republic of Boulder, it might as well be called the Runner’s Republic of Boulder. There are dozens of top-tier runners in town, including marathons, track athletes and trail runners. In fact, with names like Scott Jurek, Anton Krupicka, Cat Bradley, Buzz Burrell, Ryan Smith, Clare Gallagher and Addie Bracy in town, it’s certainly a hotbed for ultra-distance trail runners. While In Motion Running does their best to support and highlight the elite runners, they’ve always taken pride that it’s the regular citizen runners that really exude the passion of trail running.
Our executive director Nancy Hobbs spoke with In Motion Sports marketing/special events/social media manager Brian Metzler to learn more about In Motion Running.
[Nancy] Share with our audience three featured trail running-related programs you promote at In Motion Running.
[Brian] We have trail running products from all of the major brands and regular highlight in digital video content on our site. Secondly, we use trail running images and inspiration in our social media feed several times every week. Finally, we provide our own custom-produced map of 18 Boulder-area trails FREE for all customers. (We also have maps we sell too.)
[Nancy] How have you showcased trail-running brands and products in your store?
[Brian] We feature new shoes for demos during our Thursday night runs (Saucony, La Sportiva, New Balance, Brooks, Hoka, Nike and others). We often have local elite trail runners are part of our Thursday Night Speakers Series: Clare Gallagher, Addie Bracy, Sage Canaday, Cat Bradley, Matt Daniels, Chris Mocko, Scott Jurek and more. We also have trail running authors speak, including Chris McDougald, Lisa Jhung and Marge Hickman/Steve Siguaw.
[Nancy] What is one positive lesson learned from integrating trail running programs into your store?
[Brian] Trail running is inherently about community, even more so than road running or local training programs. Every time we have a trail running event in the store, it brings a wide range of people.
[Nancy] Do you have any advice to offer other store owners who have yet to feature trail running products?
[Brian] A lot of runners are still nervous or apprehensive about running trails. Handle them with kid gloves and help get them out there. Show/tell them the gear they need, the best trails to run and groups to run with and they’ll become loyal customers.
[Nancy] Do you have three tips for individuals considering getting into trail running?
- It can revive your running, bring you more running friends and rejuvenate your fitness.
- Leave your watch and devices at home most of the time. Don’t worry about the pace you’re running and just enjoy the flow of the terrain and the scenery.
- Consider challenging yourself by running a trail running race. Every distance from 5K to marathon and beyond is entirely different than the experience on the roads.
[Nancy] What percentage of sales does the store generate from trail running shoes/gear/products.
[Brian] About 40 percent.
[Nancy] Has the percentage of sales geared to trail increased at your store over the past three to five years?
[Brian] In Motion Running is still a new store, but we’ve definitely seen a good amount of interest around trail running in the 14 months we’ve been open.
[Nancy] What are some trail running races you support through the store as a sponsor or organizer?
[Brian] We sponsor the Sunset Trail Running Festival which takes place in September and offers a scenic tour of Boulder County where runners can enjoy varied terrain of dirt roads and trails, running through ponderosa pine and aspen forests, while taking in amazing views on challenging courses. We also highlight numerous other races in various ways, including the Golden Gate Dirty 30, Leadville Race Series and more. Watch for more events coming in 2020!
[Nancy] Do you have any non-race events that you host at In Motion Running?
We have Friday morning trail runs at Mt. Sanitas. The routes up 6,863-foot Mt. Sanitas are among Boulder’s most popular trails, and rightly so. Each is a scenic and strenuous run that winds up at the top of our favorite local mountains.There are three main options from base of the mountain on Mapleton Avenue: the steep, rocky 1.3-mile route up the Mt. Sanitas Ridge to the top of the mountain; the 1-mile smooth dirt road route up Sanitas Valley Trail and the 1-mile rocky single-track route up Dakota Ridge Trail that connect with the steep, rocky 0.6-mile East Ridge Trail that heads to the summit. The other trail option out of the Centennial Trailhead is the 3.8-mile route to the Mt. Sanitas summit by combining Sunshine Canyon Trail with Lion’s Lair Trail on the west side of the peak. Each of the routes to the top climb 1,340 feet, but the Sunshine/Lion’s Lair route is the most gradual and consistently runnable.
In Motion Running Contact Information:
Facebook page: facebook.com/inmotionrun
Years in Business: 1.5 (opened in 2018)
Owner(s): Mark and Shirley Plaatjes
Manager(s): Tammi Pham, Luz Plaates, Greg Weich
Address: 1880 B 30th Street, Boulder, CO 80302
Phone: (720) 808-7232
PRO TIP: Looking to dig deeper? Check out In Motion Running’s series of articles about healthy running.
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